Monday, January 28, 2008

Meatless Main Dish Monday: Fried Potato Tacos with Pears and Roquefort

Almost any food that I like tastes even better wrapped up in a tortilla. One of my favorite meals of the past year was eaten in a Mexican restaurant in Western Michigan and consisted of a roasted poblano chile stuffed with cheese and onions, fried, and wrapped in a flour tortilla. It was simple and perfect, the kind of meal I will spend the next 11 months thinking about, or until the next time that we're in Michigan.

Dan and I had plain old ground beef tacos tonight, and as we did, we talked about our favorite taco fillings. We both love ground turkey tacos with sweet corn; we both love tacos with stewed chicken, fried beans, and olives. But even better, we both love fried potato tacos in soft flour tortillas.

This taco lends itself really well to big flavor accompanying it. Rich, sharp, stinky cheese melted over top, and sweet diced pears scattered over the whole thing--oh, man. There is nothing like it.

Save yourself some time: buy diced, frozen hash browns--not the shredded ones but the ones that are cut into little cubes. Otherwise, you're scrubbing, peeling, dicing, parcooking, and frying instead of eating tacos. Believe me, you'd rather be eating these.

To easily warm flour tortillas, put a stack of them on a paper plate, cover them tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave 1-1 1/2 minutes.

Serves 4 generously.

Fried Potato Tacos with Pears and Roquefort

1-pound bag frozen southern-style hash browns (the cubed ones, not the shredded ones), thawed and drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chile powder
1/3 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
2 medium pears, seeded and finely diced
1 cup crumbled Danish bleu cheese or roquefort
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced medium
12 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions and fry until they are translucent and soft, 6-8 minutes. Add the chile powder, cayenne, and salt, stir over medium heat until they are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook over medium-medium high heat until browned and crispy, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.

Lower the heat to low. Spread the diced pears and the roquefort over the fried potatoes and cover the pan to let the roquefort melt over the potatoes.

To serve: put about 1/4 cup of the potato-cheese mixture down the center of a warm tortilla. Garnish with diced red bell peppers and cilantro, a dab of sour cream, diced avocado, or a drizzle of salsa. I especially like a hot green salsa with this dish.

Serve immediately.

1 comment:

merseydotes said...

Huh. Potato tacos. I don't know if Petunia would go for these, but Basil and I would probably love them.