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The Food Lab

Crispy All-Cheese Taco Shells

Crispy All-Cheese Taco Shells

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: After cooling completely, these shells can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Fill these taco shells with soft scrambled eggs, or with charred corn.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Crispy All-Cheese Taco Shells

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About This Recipe

Yield:Makes about 8 small shells, serving 2 to 3 as a light meal or 8 as an hors d'oeuvres
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:20 minutes
Special equipment:cast iron or non-stick skillet, 2 1/2-inch ring mold
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab Mini: Crispy Taco Shells Made of Cheese? Yes!

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated on a microplane grater

Procedures

  1. 1

    Using a paper towel, spread a thin layer of vegetable oil on the inside of the ring mold. Wipe a thin layer of oil into a small cast iron or non-stick skillet and place over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Place ring mold in center of skillet and sprinkle a very light layer of cheese inside it. It should form an even layer in which you can still see the black bottom of the pan poking through in spots. Carefully remove ring mold and set aside.

  2. 2

    Cook cheese until it stops bubbling and is an even golden brown throughout, adjusting heat so that pan is hot but not smoking (you should never take it above medium-low). Use a thin metal spatula to carefully remove cheese from pan.

  3. 3

    Working quickly, drape the cheese over the handle of a thick wooden spoon placed over two overturned cups and form into a shell shape. It will harden within a few seconds. Transfer to a plate to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cheese to make more shells. After cooling completely, these shells can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Fill as desired (such as with soft scrambled eggs, or with charred corn), and serve.

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