27 January 2016
This Christmas book came with and additional tortilla press, so we could go totally authentic. This year there have been many "taco" cookbooks, but for most people, Tacopedia is the standout. Like the title implies, this is the taco encyclopedia of Mexico. Hey, not all tacos are alike, no matter what Taco Bell might say.
Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena had a huge hit in Mexico with Tacopedia. Darling boy of the foodie world, Rene Redzepi, got a copy and dragged it to his publisher. It was translated into English and the rest, as they say, is history. Most assuredly, the history of the taco. It seems that between 1000 and 500 B.C. the taco was invented as a kind of edible spoon to get the pork to your mouth without losing all the juice and spices. Even then, it was probably less than effective but oh so tasty.
Still in use by the turn of the 20th century, the lowly taco was considered the food of the poor. Have you ever noticed that "the food of the poor" is often that best food there is...but I digress.
Now, tacos are the food of everyone. There are now broccoli tacos and kimchi tacos and caviar tacos, and bell tacos, tacos both good and bad. But for authentic tacos look no further than the recipes in Tacopedia. From the US boarder in Baja to the Yucatan Peninsula, the authors leave no taco unturned. Each province has its specialities and each recipe builds on the flavors of the area. This is a Baja favorite.
Mexican Style Shrimp Tacos
2 tablespoons corn oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green serrano chiles (or to taste), seeded and thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
9 oz (250 g) cocktail (or fresh) shrimp, peeled and cleaned
3 sprigs cilantro
8 4 1⁄3-inch (11 cm) corn tortillas
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes (do not let it brown).
2. Add the chiles and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Add the shrimp, then cook for 1 minute, until the shrimp are just opaque and pink.
4. Add cilantro and salt to taste. Remove from heat and serve hot in the tortillas.
Tacopedia is giant graphic novel of a cookbook, filled with history, stories, recipes, and travel info. Don't be surprised to see folks on the flight to Mexico City carrying Tacopedia on board.