Getaway extended: Taco night

I’d picked up some avocados and corn tortillas on my way home on Thursday, so for dinner last Friday we made another stab at what I would classify as Mexican food… namely tacos and salsa.

(That’s Sean’s plate with all the cheese.)

The stuff cradled inside the avocado is my attempt at pico de gallo, a mixture of tomato, cucumber, red onion, garlic, and cilantro. Once again, the tomato was a bit mushy (why is it so hard to find firm, crisp tomatoes here?!), but the garlic, cilantro, and onion pepped it back up, and the cucumber provided the crunch.

The tacos, bursting with flavour and colour, were a messy but yummy affair.

Most of the tortillas quite literally burst, though, even before we got our hands on them. I’d been looking around online for advice on how to reheat frozen corn tortillas, and a couple people advocated putting them in a steamer (or microwave) wrapped in a “clean kitchen towel”. Uh, we do have 3 or 4 kitchen hand towels in rotation but none of them can be considered clean in the sense that I’d wrap/cook my food in it — the washed ones have been collecting dust on a shelf.

So we used paper towels, wrapping 4 or 5 around a dozen thawed tortillas. I put the steamer basket with the tortillas in the rice cooker, brought the water to a boil, then after a minute pulled the plug and waited another 15. Maybe half of them came out intact, but a bunch of them had developed rips and we suspect a few disintegrated entirely, as we definitely didn’t end up with twelve tacos. They were warm and soft, though, so we were willing to make do.

Since we had filling left for a second round, we microwaved our next batch with dampened paper towels to see if they would fare any better. They came out worse, like cardboard. Thankfully, the tasty vegetables were able to save them from the garbage can.

I’m not sure how I feel about corn tortillas. Sure, they’re more “authentic” — and healthful — than the flour variety, but the flavour and texture, at least of these ones, were a bit lacking. I’m sure it has to do with them being pre-frozen and made in China and reheated incorrectly though. I’ll consider investing in a brand new kitchen towel for our next endeavour.

Oh, and I’m making burritos after I get my hands on some more flour tortillas! At least I can reheat those on a pan. (Yes, I’m totally trying to make up for lost Mexican food time. And yes, I know burritos aren’t “really” Mexican, according to some people. But I don’t really care :)

Taco filling
Vegetables of your choice, diced (I used garlic, onion, yellow squash, zucchini, tomato)
1 can red kidney beans (or other bean of your choice), drained and rinsed
Salt, paprika, cumin, basil (or spices/herbs of your choice)
Bit of cilantro, chopped
Olive oil

1. Heat a bit of oil in pan. Cook onion and garlic first for a few minutes, then add other vegetables (we’ll count tomato as a vegetable) and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add beans, seasonings, cilantro. Be liberal with the seasonings.
3. Serve with salsa, avocado, sour cream if you can afford it, and properly reheated tortillas.
4. Forgive me for the wishy-washy recipe. I didn’t really follow a recipe, and there are a million ways to do this, so have fun making up your own! :)

Where to find…

  • Corn tortillas (frozen): Avocado Lady (274 Wulumuqi Lu), 28 RMB/~3 dozen
  • Cilantro: any vegetable market and probably supermarket, 1 RMB/lots
  • Red kidney beans (canned, local product): Parkson Supermarket (100 Zunyi Lu near Xianxia Lu), 5 RMB/can

  • Relevant resources:

  • The pico de gallo recipe I used, with some modifications (took out peppers, put in cucumber; lemon juice instead of lime, but only because they don’t stock limes in the fruit store)
  • Reheating corn tortillas; reheating corn tortillas


    Filed under eating in

    3 responses to “Getaway extended: Taco night

    1. Wish we had an Avocado Lady here! This looks great.

    2. Florence

      I think corn tortillas are just like that. For all my years of living in California and being flooded with Mexican food, I never figured out how to make corn tortillas soft and pliable. Personally I’d try reheating slowly on a pan instead of in the microwave (just don’t fry them to a crisp). I still prefer flour tortillas, though.

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