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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, October 22, 2010

How to Make a Restaurant Style Deep Fried Mexican Crispy Taco Salad Bowl

I've talked about taco salad presentation before where the salad is served in deep fried tortilla bowls.  I love this presentation!  It really is a bit unique as the prepared tortilla bowls aren't readily available in the stores so you really have to make them yourselves or enjoy them prepared for you at a restaurant.  Your family and/or dinner guests will be impressed to be served taco salad in these bowls at home!

Here is a short video clip that demonstrates the method I used for making the taco salad bowls.  The video is illustrative only but easy to follow the method without a commentary.  


 


Making taco salad bowls is not difficult but will increase your meal prep time by about 2 minutes per bowl plus the oil heating time.  I made thtee taco salad bowls to serve taco salad for dinner.  I set the deep fryer to 190ÂșC (375°F), frying one bowl at a time.  I modified the method to use a silicone ladle to form the bowl shape as I was using the smaller 6 - inch tortilla shells.  I drained the bowls upside down on wire racks.  Once cooled the bowls were ready for filling.  The bowls could be prepared the day before or earlier in the day then placed in an airtight container if making enough for 6 or 8 servings.  I would think they will keep their crispy texture for a day or two.

I was quite pleased with my first attempt making taco salad bowls.  While you can fill these bowls with any arrangement of the normal taco salad toppings, quite often the base layer is refried beans that helps to protect the bottom of the bowl from getting soggy too fast.  I used my standard taco salad toppings - seasoned ground beef, lettuce, homemade salsa, homemade taco hot sauce, chopped vegetables (tomatoes, green peppers, onion, black olives, lettuce), sour cream and cheddar cheese.  Tortilla shells come in three different sizes here - small (6"), medium (8") and large (10").  The larger the tortilla shell the more pronounced the bowl shape and the more the bowl will hold.  I found the small tortillas just perfect in comparison to many restaurant taco salads that are simply too much for one person to eat.  The limiting factor as to how big of a tortilla shell that can be fried for a taco salad bowl at home is the size of the deep fryer.   I can go as large as the medium sized tortilla shell.


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