My favorite potato tacos are nothing more than plain mashed potatoes stuffed into a tortilla and then fried. That's the way I encountered them at El Atacor in Los Angeles, and the way I crave them to this day. It's all about how the crispy tortillas give way to the creamy potatoes. The thin guacamole and lettuce are just icing on the cake.
Now, I know I already wrote about some rather serious potato taquitos from Diana Kennedy, which look kind of similar. That recipe is still amazing, and the fresh masa adds a whole level of deliciousness, but if you're in a hurry, this might be the way to go.
Inelegant and messy, these are littered with crema and guacamole. This recipe also happens to come from Kennedy, but this time from The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.
They're are also pretty easy. Just cook some potatoes, mash them up with cheese and salt, then stuff them into tortillas. The only difficult part comes from frying them. You need to secure the tacos with a toothpick to keep them from opening up while cooking. But sometimes the toothpick doesn't want to stay. I found it was best to thread the toothpick through the tortilla twice to properly secure it. Luckily, they only have to fry for a few seconds on each side to come out perfect. Just remember to remove the toothpicks before you eat!
- Avocado and Tomatillo Salsa
- 2 avocados
- 4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
- 1 large garlic clove, quartered
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Potato Tacos
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 4 ounces queso fresco, divided, crumbled
- salt and black pepper
- 12 corn tortillas
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup Mexican crema, or sour cream
- 1 ½ cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
For the Avocado Salsa: Cut avocados in half lengthwise, and remove large seeds. Scoop out flesh and place in blender along with tomatillos, garlic, chiles, cilantro, ¼ cup water, and salt. Process until it is a coarse puree. Set aside. The avocado sauce won’t turn brown because of the tomatillos.
For the Potato Tacos: Bring large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander. Mash the potato in large bowl, or pass through potato ricer. Mix in half of the queso fresco. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon two tablespoons of potato mixture into each tortilla. Fold each over, and secure each with one tooth pick, weaving in and out to keep each in a “U” shape.
Pour oil into large 10-inch cast iron pan set over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add enough tacos as will fit in a single layer, probably three. Cook until crisp and golden on each side, about 30 seconds for each, flipping with pair of tongs. When done, remove tacos, draining as much oil as you can. Place on paper towels and repeat process until all tacos are cooked.
Serve tacos with salsa, crema, and lettuce.