The Free Motion Quilting Project: Taco Tuesday

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Taco Tuesday

Josh here today for... Taco Tuesday!

That's right, no quilting video for me this week as we are currently piecing out our new block for May. I will be back next week for my crack at free motion quilting this month's block the "Cheater" Drunkard's Path. That name just sounds interesting, doesn't it?

Today I'd like to share with you one of my favorite passions, which is Mexican food--specifically, authentic Mexican food. When Leah and I dated back in college in 2003, I introduced her to Mexican food via Americanized "Mexican" restaurants. Tortillas, beans, rice, tomatoes, cilantro, and most important: chile peppers. Unfortunately, your average go-to Mexican restaurant is about as authentic as Taco Bell.

And tacos are what I want to share today.

I've been experimenting with Mexican street style tacos for years, and the results have always been lacking. These are not difficult things to make; soft corn tortillas, marinaded carne asada filling, and fresh cilantro and minced onion as topping. You also can't forget the salsa, which is key as a finishing flavor.

This leads us to my breakthrough: an amazing Craftsy cooking class: Mexican Street Food with Deborah Schneider.

Deborah walks you through six different salsas, three using heated ingredients and three using raw and fresh (including pico de gallo and an amazing hot sauce). They are so easy to prepare and taste so good you'll never go back to anything bottled, nor revert to throwing a few tomatoes, pickled jalepenos, onion, and cilantro into the blender as I have done for years.

I've come close to matching the flavor of a carne asada street taco, but I've always missed something. Lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, beer, and tequila are just some of the things I've tried in my marinade of the beef, and I've come close, but I've never quite captured the essence of a true authentic Mexican taco. The same goes for roasted salsas... after watching the class, it turns out I was making things too complicated.

If you've ever had an interest in home cooking fresh and authentic Mexican food, you have to check out this class. The best part is you learn how to make your own tortillas, and it's nowhere near as difficult or tedious as I once thought.

If you'd like to jump into making Mexican street food too, sign up for this class today. Click Here to get 25% off the regular class price.

To finish, I'd like to share my own recipe for quick and easy corn tortilla chips. Originally a Gordon Ramsay recipe, I've modified this a little bit.

Baked Tortilla chips

1 package corn tortillas, 8" diameter, from the refrigerated foods section
A good olive oil for rubbing
Salt, to taste
Smoked paprika or my own Cajun sCrUnCh

Stack 3 or 4 corn tortillas on top of each other on a cutting board. Slice the stack in half using a large sharp knife, and then cut in half again, yielding 4 quarter pie-piece shaped chips from each tortilla. Drop about 1/2 tsp olive oil onto each piece. Using your fingers, rub the olive oil all over the surface of the tortilla pieces, then pick each piece up and then rub the piece underneath, as well as coating the underside of each chip. Depending on your olive oil, you may coat two tortillas this way. Add more oil and continue to coat each piece. Your goal here is to cover every bit of surface area with some oil, but you don't want to saturate the chip.

Spread the chips over the coating board and sprinkle on smoked paprika or Cajun ScRuNcH. Rub the seasoning into the chips. Finally, sprinkle a little salt on top. We use a very fine, almost invisible, salt like Himalayan salt grated off the block, but any fine salt will do at this stage.

free motion quilting | Leah DayPreheat your oven to broil, keeping your cooking shelf at the middle. Place your oiled and seasoned chips on oven pan, spread apart. Cook until golden and crispy, anywhere from 4-6 minutes, depending on the tortilla.

Remove from oven and hit with a little more salt. Serve with your favorite salsa, and don't forget the guacamole!

Let's go cook,



  1. My mouth is watering! Now I really need a street taco, and yes, I will be making homemade nachos tonight. Thanks for sharing! Yum...

  2. Chips and salsa, pico or guacamole are a weakness of mine. Yummo - gotta try this.


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