Tacos and Tequila Tuesday
Once you give these homemade cilantro-flecked soft taco shells a taste, I promise there is no going back! Inspired by the gourmet soft tacos served at Havana Blue restaurant on the beach in St. Thomas, these made-from-scratch taco shells are out-of-this-world amazing. I am not kidding when I tell you our visits totally revolve around Tacos and Tequila Tuesdays (and the succulent award-winning Ancho Espresso Filet served upstairs in the blue-lit open air dining room) when these incredible tacos are available for half price at the downstairs SandBar. We’re thinking of enjoying a few on the beach right about now!
Mas Masa Por Favor
I seriously can’t get enough of these melt-in-your mouth, cilantro-flecked soft corn shells. I started experimenting with these after our last trip to St. Thomas in May and since then have been through more than my share of Masa Harina. Because you can stuff them with virtually any healthy meat, cheese and sauce combo, taco night will never be the same again! The best part is that you can make and shape the dough up to a week in advance and keep the shells in an air-tight container in your refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. We get three meals out of this one recipe so you could also easily serve them up for your next party as delicious little Antojitos. I sure have! And they are extra tasty with any one of my refreshing homemade margaritas and party Sangria!
Pesto to the Rescue
The key to making these melt-in-your mouth shells is the Masa Harina, which is basically flour made from corn. I found a big bag in the ethnic aisle at my local market. The first time I made these, I totally meant to use fresh cilantro but our garden was running low. I reached for the next best thing, frozen Cilantro Pesto that I luckily always keep in the freezer. Talk about a recipe saver! The dough comes together easily in your mixing bowl and shaping the shells is very much like shaping play dough. You can make them just about any size you want by using a cup or biscuit cutter to cut the rounds.
The Ultimate Taco Bar
Is your mouth watering yet? You can jazz up your custom-made delicious tacos with any your Mexi favorites from Guacamole to homemade Salsa. I also like to whip up a simple creamy sauce by combining light sour cream with cilantro pesto, mashed avocado or hot sauce. For the finishing touch, I pile on a generous grating of hard cheese with strong flavors, like a Spanish Manchego or Mexican Cotija, but any shredded cheese that you happen to have on hand will do just fine. If you happen to have fresh cilantro, a few sprinkles will add another dimension of fresh flavor to your beautiful creation.
The Main Event
Steak soft tacos happen to be my personal favorite. It’s near impossible to resist succulent flank or skirt steak that’s been sliced thin and juicy. It literally melts in your mouth. Next time you’re out grilling steak, save a few slices for these tacos for an extra crazy quick weeknight dinner. Or you can try these soft tacos with Cuban Picadillo that you hopefully keep on hand in the freezer like I do for super quick and healthy meals. And for an extra crispy finger-licking treat, try them with sliced Panko Crusted Chicken. Regardless of how you top them, one taste and you will definitely be wondering where they’ve been your whole life. You can thank me later!
Suggested Wine Pairings
The variety of components and flavors in these tacos calls for a versatile and food-friendly wine. Try bold steak tacos with a jammy Zinfandel or spicy Syrah. A fruity red with soft tannins and minimal oak, like a Merlot or Pinot Noir, would compliment the rich and spicy sauces in delicate chicken or pork tacos. If you prefer white wines, a vibrant one with crisp acidity would stand up to these rich tacos and compliment the salty cheese. Try a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc with chicken or pork tacos.