Friday, August 28, 2020

Spiced Smashed Potato Tacos with Homemade Purple Corn Tortillas

My cousin Joan posted the photo [below] on social media last month along with the caption that her high school classmate generously shared her mom's recipe. I politely asked if she would be willing to share it with me. Because, well, you know me. I'm always excited about beautiful and delicious food!

photo by Joan Mateo-Bartoli via social media

Naibe graciously posted her mom's recipe in the stream of comments and I used it as a jumping off point. In fact, you might say that I went completely rogue; I swapped in some homemade purple corn tortillas and whatever potatoes I had in my root basket; I added fresh cabbage, and pico de gallo; and I sautéed the potatoes in coconut oil with some spices. But her recipe was my inspiration.

makes about twelve 6" tortillas and as many tacos

Purple Corn Tortillas
  • 3 cups purple masa harina
  • 2-1/4 cups warm liquid (you can use water or stock)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • corn meal for rolling
  • oil for cooking
  • Also needed: waxed paper or parchment paper, tortilla press (if you don't have a press, you can use a rolling just won't be as uniform)

Potato Filling

  • 5 to 6 medium potatoes (I used Yukon gold because I liked the color combination of yellow and purple!)
  • 2 to 3 Spring onions, trimmed and diced (or you can use 1/2 of a regular onion)
  • 2 organic tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Also needed: oil for frying (I used coconut oil)

Taco Fixings
  • pico de gallo (I have made Watermelon Pico de Gallo, Peach Pico de Gallo, and others)
  • shredded cabbage (I used green cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cheese (I used cotija)
  • fresh organic cilantro leaves
  • lime wedges
  • avocado slices

Purple Corn Tortillas
Put masa flour in a large mixing bowl. Add warm liquid, salt, and olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix all of the ingredients together. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Knead the dough to form a smooth ball. If the dough seems too dry, add more liquid; if the dough seems too wet, add more masa. Once the dough is ready, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

Pinch off a piece of the masa dough and shape it into a ball the size of a plum, or slightly large golf ball. Take two pieces of wax paper or parchment paper and lay one on the bottom of the tortilla press. Place the masa ball in the center.

Place another piece of wax paper over the masa ball. Gently close the press and press down, until the dough has spread to a diameter of 5 to 6".

Heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Grease your pan; I used coconut oil. Working one at a time, hold a tortilla in your hand, carefully removing the wax paper on each side. Allow the tortilla to rest half on your hand, and half hanging down, and gently lay the tortilla down on to the skillet.

Cook the tortilla on the hot pan for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. The tortilla should be lightly toasted and little air pockets forming. Set aside.

Potato Filling
Wash potatoes and cut into cubes. Please them in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then cook until easily pierced with a fork, approximately 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Smash the potatoes while leaving them a bit lumpy.

In a large skillet, add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil and heat until melted. Sauté the Spring onions until they are softened and beginning to turn transparent. Stir in the tomatoes and spices. Cook until the tomatoes soften and begin to lose their shape, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and mix until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed.

Heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Grease your pan; I used coconut oil. Place your tortillas on the griddle and spoon 2 to 3 Tablespoons of filling on one half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and lightly fry each taco until crispy, approximately 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Repeat until you run out of tortillas or filling. Serve immediately.

Let diners carefully tuck some cabbage, cotija, and cilantro in each taco. Top with pico de gallo. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

I first made this to celebrate Peruvian Independence Day last month and would never have thought to make a potato taco, so for that I thank Joan and Naibe. Totally inspiring, ladies! It has been added to my family's menu rotation as Jake is now plant-based during the week. And this is delicious and filling, so we make it at least every other week.

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