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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tacos in corn crêpes

Crêpes sound fussy, but really they're not.  They can be made ahead and even frozen with really good results.  I once made 5 dozen crêpes the day before a birthday party, put them in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap, and served them the next day without any difficulties.  The only trick to doing them in advance is to lay them out in overlapping circles so you can pull them apart later.  If you freeze them, be sure they are fully thawed before trying to peel them apart. 

 I use a crêpe-maker, which I realize is not exactly standard American kitchen equipment (or even standard French equipment, for that matter) but it just dials down the number of swear words I have to use in the course of cooking.  I've cooked with actual French women in actual French kitchens making actual French crêpes, and I just can't get the hang of the pour-tilt-flip skillet method.  So sue me. 

For this taco recipe, why not just use tortillas, you may ask?  These corn crêpes (from my favorite product cookbook EVER, the Argo recipe book) have the flavor of a hard corn taco shell but with the rollability of a soft flour tortilla.  You can serve them rolled with taco meat filling, or folded in triangles with just cheese.  They are worth trying next time you have taco night at your house.  They are a more delicate crêpe than many other recipes (if you've made crêpes before), but a little attention goes a long way. 

Last comment...I make my own taco seasoning to control sodium and heat.  I don't add salt to mine, but feel free to add it to yours if you want.  I also use ancho chile powder for a slightly spicier mixture, but substitute regular chili powder if you prefer.

Corn Crêpes
Makes 12 crêpes

3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp cornmeal
2 eggs

Whisk cornstarch, milk and salt together (this is not easy...be patient).  Whisk in eggs, oil and cornmeal.  Set aside. 

Overlapping circle formation

Heat a crêpe-maker or small skillet.  If  using a skillet, pour 1/4 cup into the skillet and tilt the pan to coat.  If using a crêpe-maker, dip the crêpe-maker quickly into the batter then double-dip quickly.  Cook 1 minute, then flip CAREFULLY.  Cook another 30 seconds, then remove to a sheet of foil.  Whisk batter in between crêpes.

Arrange cooked crêpes in an overlapping circle to help them pull apart later.

Serve with 1 lb. prepared taco filling and any preferred toppings: cheese, onions, sour cream, avocados, tomatoes.

Taco Seasoning
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 cup dried minced onion
3 tbsp chile powder
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Combine and store in an 8 oz. glass jar in a dark cabinet.  Use 1-2 tbsp per pound of protein for tacos.

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