Monday, June 20, 2005

Tortilla Chip Tacos in a Bag

Here's an idea that I gleaned from the May 2005 issue of Food Management, a monthly trade journal for the non-commercial food service industry.

This recipe is served at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City as "Walking Tacos." Fans grab the taco salad-in-a-bag and a fork and eat it in the stands.

Tortilla chip tacos are perfect grab-and-go entrée for campers. Set up a quick buffet line with tortilla chip bags, a pan of taco meat (beef or chicken or both) and bowls of individual condiments. Condiments should include grated cheeses, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, minced onions and salsa.

Don't forget the adults. They'll relish a few extra toppings like avocados, extra hot chiles, chopped fresh cilantro and one or more exotic salsas. Some of the older children will "sneak" away some of these toppings. But that's okay. The goal here is to accommodate as many tastes as possible.

For a truly grab-and go meal, accompany the tacos with juice and milk cartons, applesauce cups and popsicles. And you may want to place a sturdy paper plate on the buffet table as the taco can be pretty messy. And don't forget a disposable fork.

I used a 1-ounce bag of Doritos for the test run. You may want to use one of the larger portion-control bags of chips.

For each serving:

1 bag of tortilla chips
1/4 cup taco meat (see recipe)
2 tablespoons shredded cheese
2 teaspoons minced onions
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
2 tablespoons dice tomatoes
2 tablespoons taco sauce or salsa

Crush a bag of your favorite tortilla chips (1-ounce size or larger) and slit the side of the bag. Top chips with spicy taco meat, shredded cheese, minced onions, diced tomatoes and taco sauce, as desired. Garnish with sour cream and chopped cilantro.

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