Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Deconstruction

Our next step was to deconstruct the taco in a bag and begin to reconstruct it. We broke the dish down into six basic components. We discussed each one, and possible directions to go in.

Meat: We were unanimous on the need to get rid of the ground beef, but what to replace it with? We started off with braised beef. Maya argued for braised pork. I wanted duck confit. In the end braised beef won out, a cross rib roast, to be precise. Initial spice ideas included bay, ancho chiles, cocoa, chipotle, and cumin.

Veggie: Iceberg lettuce and cheap tomatoes definitely wouldn’t cut it, but what would? We tossed a lot of ideas around and settled on a jicama, orange, and avocado salsa as having an appropriate blend of crunchy, sour, and creamy. We also agreed to try kalamata olives as a second topping to bring in a hit of salt.

Tortilla: Ideally we would make this from fresh masa, but as this is not available in southern Alberta we will stick to masa flour. Of course, the shape of the chips is also important. We reached surprisingly quick agreement that the tortillas should be cut into long thin strips and fried.

Sauce: Instead of jarred tomato salsa I suggested something simple with fresh cilantro and lime. Greg agreed.

Cheese: Cheap cheddar was out. A quick internet search revealed a simple and delicious sounding recipe for queso fresco (click the link, seriously, you need to make this). We had to try this, and urge you to try it too.

Bag: Maya is working on it. We give her complete creative freedom.

A high end dinner is never a single course. To do this properly we need more. We made a list of potential additional courses based on other foods commonly served along with taco in a bag. More will be revealed about these in future posts. We’re focusing on the main event first. Next up is the report of our first try of the reimagined taco not yet in a bag.

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