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La Taquerias Chef Cesar Madrigal shares his best tipsand his fave taco recipes!
Need some inspiration for your next #TacoTuesday feast? La Taqueria‘s operational chef, Cesar Madrigal, is here to help! “You don’t need to have profound knowledge of Mexican food to be able to come up with some amazing creations,” he says. In fact, it mostly comes down to a few key elements: “Tacos can easily be compared to canapés since, in a way, canapés can be anything with a base, spread and garnish.”Madrigal shared a few of his fave recipes with WL, including a traditional charro bean filling and extravagant beer-battered-prawn-stuffed Cabo Taco (found on the menu at La Taqueria’s new Hornby Street shop), but there are endless possibilities. Before you start cooking, take a peek at Madrigal’s taco-making guidelines—and then celebrate a job well-done with a slushy lime margarita.
According to Madrigal, every taco has three primary components: (1) Shell: “Like a canapé, a taco has a base—in this case, a soft or hard tortilla shell.” (2) Spread: “Any type of veggie or meat filling, mild or spicy, with a stew-like consistency.” (3) Garnish: “It can be any type of salsa, a sliced avocado, or chopped cilantro and onions—even lime juice.”
“If you wish to have tacos for lunch or dinner you don’t need to have ground beef at home,” says Madrigal. Get creative, and try using chicken, tofu, fish or even vegetables as a filling. “You are looking to create a filling that has a spreadable consistency, thick enough for it not to fall out of the shell, but not dry.”
Toppings are meant to compliment your filling, but they are a pain to eat when they’re too large. “One of the most important things you’ll need to remember is that everything has to be cut into small pieces to fit in your shell,” says Madrigal. Try pairing a protein filling with fried onions, cilantro and a splash of lime juice—our mouths are watering just thinking about it! And though it’s not mandatory, Madrigal always recommends an added kick of spice (hello, hot sauce).
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we end up with leftovers during the week. And, in this case, it’s actually a good thing. “In Mexico, it is not uncommon to turn leftovers into a taco buffet,” says Madrigal. “It could be last night’s stew, or yesterday’s curry chicken from lunch. Then it just needs to be served in a tortilla with your favourite toppings.”
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