Tacos may not seem like the kind of food that you should assemble an hour before eating, which is why I've never thought of them as a particularly good potluck dish. But that's because, until recently, I'd never encountered tacos de canasta, a special variety of taco sold by bicycle vendors in Mexico that are made in advance and get better as they sit. This is the potluck taco you've been waiting for.
'taco' on Serious Eats
Crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-in-the-middle, these beer-battered avocado slices are tucked into warm corn tortillas with cabbage, salsa verde, pickled red onions, and a creamy chipotle sauce. These are the most decadent vegetarian tacos you'll ever eat.
This breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or midnight snack) taco from Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's new book, Tacolicious, is a spot-on version of the Texan tradition, with strips of roasted poblano peppers, good-sized bites of bacon, and tiny cubes of potatoes cooked with onion in that bacon fat, all scrambled with eggs and just the right amount of cheese.
This taco, featured in Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's new cookbook of recipes from their San Francisco restaurants, Tacolicious, only goes to show how versatile and inspiring a waiting tortilla can be. Sure, you could fill it with braised pork or charred chicken, but it can be equally good piled with well-seasoned veggies.
Crispy bits of slow-cooked pork, ready to cradle in a warm tortilla—carnitas is rightfully one of the best-loved taco fillings out there. In Tacolicious, Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave go a fairly traditional route for their carnitas: Fatty pork shoulder gets marinated overnight, then slow-cooked stovetop in the marinade and lard, after which it's pan-fried until delectably crisp.
These 20-minute tacos make for a great family-style dinner or a quick weeknight meal. Finishing the chicken thighs in a flavorful braising liquid filled with spicy chipotles in adobo yields tender, moist meat that's topped with a raw corn-and-feta salad and creamy slices of avocado.
When it comes to vegan recipes, I usually stay far, far away from anything that uses quotation marks in its name. I'm happy to eat a plate of vegan food—rice, beans, and vegetables are some of my favorite things to eat. Once "meat" and "cheese" get involved, meals tend to get a little weird. So I approached Mark Bittman's "chorizo" tacos in his new VB6 Cookbook with some trepidation.
Fresh homemade Mexican chorizo with warm spices and a vinegary tang is cooked until charred and crisp along with onions, poblano peppers, and smoky chipotles. The mixture gets stuffed into soft warm corn tortillas and topped with salsa verde, cilantro, and a slew of other garnishes. It's one of the simplest and most delicious tacos you can make.
This smoky, spicy, and earthy chicken tinga takes less work than the flavor would lead you to believe—chipotles add most of the depth, while meaty chicken thighs, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, and onion add layers of flavor to the sauce.
All the spicy, earthy, and beefy flavor of a ground beef taco in dip form.
Spicy tomatillo chicken is cooked in the slow cooker and tucked into corn tortillas topped with red onions and cilantro.
These ground turkey tacos with a quick mole sauce and squash can be on the table in under half an hour.
Smoking a lamb shoulder roast prior to braising adds a smoky flavor to the already layered earthy and spicy barbacoa sauce.
These tacos are distinguished by bits of browned chorizo, which adds both spice and depth. A sprinkling of salty, crumbly cheese and a squeeze of lime helps open up the flavors.
Breakfast tacos with soft scrambled eggs, charred zucchini, and red bell pepper.
Breakfast tacos with crispy potatoes fried in chorizo fat and a soft fried egg on top.
Soft-scrambled eggs and garlicky spinach are tucked into a tortilla with salsa and crispy bacon bits.
A one-skillet taco feast with charred spice-rubbed skirt steak and corn, topped with greek yogurt, mint, and sriracha.
Chicken thighs braised in a tangy and spicy green salsa made with tomatillos and chilies, served in warm tortillas.