Tacos never looked so good

No one ever said tacos were sophisticated. Nonetheless, once the suburban soccer mom’s festive alternative to sloppy joes (ground beef and Old El Paso taco kits anyone?), they’ve become a more en vogue meal option. Exhibit A: the hipster-infested patio of Big Star on a summer evening.

The humble taco: delicious, it is, pretty it’s not.

So what’s an aesthetically-obsessed hostess to do? Why, stacked tacos, my dear. Admittedly a smidge over-the-top, they’re a manifestation of my feelings of domestic inadaquacy (spurred by complaints about one too many oven-baked chicken breast dinners).

But, they’re easier than they look, and as delicious as ever. Mine were a little heavy-handed, ingredient-wise—if I had to recommend ditching one ingredient, it would probably be the refried black beans (although delicious, they weighed the dish down a bit)

Baja shrimp and chorizo “stacked” tacos

Makes 8-10 soft tacos

You’ll need:

1/2 lb of uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 oz chorizo

1 can of refried black beans

1 poblano pepper, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 cup corn

2-3 avocados, sliced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cup queso fresco, crumbled

small flour tortillas

1 Solo cup, with the bottom cut out

Chipotle sauce for cabbage and to garnish

1/2 chipotle pepper with sauce (canned)

1 cup mayonnaise

First, cut all the veggies as instructed and set aside. Then make your chipotle sauce by blending half a chipotle pepper in its sauce (less if you can’t handle spice) with the mayo. Mix a desired about in with the cabbage and corn and put the rest in a piping bag (or sandwich baggie with the corner snipped) to garnish.

Cook the peppers and onions with a little butter or olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add crumbled chorizo to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until cooked through. Add shrimp and cook for a few minutes until pink. Careful not to overcook! Remove from heat and set aside.

Before prepping, heat the refried beans (if you’re using them) and the tortillas a bit.

For assembly, make sure you’ve cut enough off the bottom of your solo cup to be able to easily stack the ingredients inside. I greased the inside of my cup with butter so the ingredients wouldn’t get stuck or fall apart when lifting the cup.

The rule of thumb is to stack the heavier and more sturdy ingredients first. Set your plate out, lay a tortilla on top, and place the solo cup, bottom up, in the middle of the tortilla. I started by spreading a layer of refried black beans at the bottom of the cup. I then arranged the avocado slices in a neat, even layer. Then the tomatoes, onions and peppers, cabbage/corn salad mixture, and finally the shrimp/chorizo/onion/pepper mixture. Slowly lift the cup off the plate. Garnish with crumbled cheese and chipotle sauce.

You’ll need to serve these guys with a few more tortillas—based on Dave’s taste test, each “stack” will make about three small tacos.

¡Viva el taco bonito!


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