Tuesday, April 23, 2013

smashed potato tacos with guacamole & tomato salsa

southern california is flooded with "hole in the wall" mexican restaurants, sometimes called taquerias.  almost all have amazing, delicious, fresh food which is made to order for either eat in or take-away.  i travel to california frequently to visit my family and i always need my "mexican food fix" a few times while i am there.  one of my favorite dishes to order is potato tacos. (tacos de papa).

seasoned potatoes stuffed in a fried corn tortilla with your favorite toppings, this simple and easy dish is surprisingly delicious.  you can use leftover mashed potatoes, but i like to make mine fresh and season the potatoes with roasted garlic. i  keep a bit of texture in the potatoes...i refer to my recipe as "smashed" potatoes, but you can use whatever you like.

freshly fried corn tortillas are wonderful, but to make this dish even easier i often use organic packaged taco shells.  my favorite brand is bearitos and/or whole foods.

a couple of tacos make a wonderful lunch.  i serve with beans and posole for a hearty dinner.  make extra salsa & guacamole...have plenty of corn tortilla chips, make a pitcher of margaritas and you have a party!  cinco de mayo is in two weeks....i think this will be the menu!  enjoy

smashed potato tacos with guacamole & tomato salsa
(serves 4)
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes ( cut in quarters) do not peel
1/2 cup milk (warmed either in pan on stove top or in microwave)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp roasted garlic paste (see below)
grey salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

8 organic taco shells, follow directions on package
guacamole recipe
tomato salsa recipe
shredded lettuce
diced white onions
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

add potatoes to a large pot of salted water. (salt the water like you would for pasta). bring to a boil and cook until fork tender (about 15-20 minutes). drain the potatoes and add back to the now empty pot. cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until potatoes and pot are dry (stir continuously to prevent potatoes from sticking). turn heat to low and add warm milk and olive oil to potatoes and mash using a potato masher. the potatoes will be lumpy due to the skins, so check to ensure milk and olive oil are thoroughly incorporated into potatoes. add garlic paste and salt/pepper to taste... additional milk may be added if potatoes are too dry. serve immediately.

roasted garlic paste
you can make this with as many heads of garlic as you wish...this no-recipe recipe is as follows:

with a sharp knife ,cut off the very top of each head of garlic...you should just see the very tip of the garlic cloves after cutting. remove the first layer or two of papery garlic skin from the garlic head...not too much, you want the garlic cloves to remain attached. place the garlic root side down in a small ovenproof pan or baking dish...you want the garlic to fit tightly in the pan...so the pan size will depend on the number of garlic heads you are roasting (make more than you need...this paste will last a few days...and you will use it in everything!)...drizzle cut side of garlic with extra virgin olive oil. sprinkle with sea salt (i like grey salt) and freshly ground pepper. cover pan tightly with foil and roast in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. garlic should be very tender. remove foil, drizzle with additional olive oil and continue roasting for 10 minutes more.
at this point you can squeeze the garlic from the cloves directly onto toasted french or sourdough bread which is lovely...or you can squeeze all the garlic into a small bowl, mash with a wooden spoon and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil to create a smooth paste...taste and add additional salt/pepper if desired. garlic paste can be stirred into your smashed potatoes, added to toasted bread, added to roasted or steamed vegetables, stirred into sauces...etc...once you taste it you will be inspired to add it to almost everything!

for another potato taco recipe, try my potato & chorizo soft taco recipe over at the napa farmhouse 1885 blog

it is "something mashed" week at food network's "sensational sides mixed with spring produce" roundup. check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends:

Weelicious: Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes

Cooking With Elise: Savory Banana Corn Cakes

Virtually Homemade: Three-Onion Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mashed English Pea Spread on Garlic-Rubbed Bruschetta With Roasted Salmon

Red or Green? Smashed Potato Tacos With Guacamole & Tomato Salsa

Devour: Easy Mashed Plantains Recipe

Domesticate Me: Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Goat Cheese

The Sensitive Epicure: Italian Style Smashed Potatoes

The Heritage Cook: Whipped Ginger-Cardamom Sweet Potatoes

Dishin & Dishes: Truffled Mashed Potatoes With Prosciutto and Rosemary FN Dish: Mashed Spring Sides

my best,
red or green 
napa farmhouse 1885

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i have started sharing my taos experiences on my newest blog "california girl in taos". please visit and let me know what you think.

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