June 26, 2012

Little Bitty Tacos!

Posted by Ethne~

It’s a fiesta for your fingers!

While waiting in the dentist’s office for the girls’ check-ups, I ran across instructions for making mini crispy cups out of oiled wonton wrappers and a mini muffin tin.

I LOVE anything mini and I am happy to report that KD and Easy Mac have inherited this gene!

Mini Me!

This was a simple enough premise, with loads of possibilities.

Brush wonton wrappers (find them in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle at the grocery store) on both sides with olive oil (I used my handy pink silicone kitchen brush).

Gently press them into a mini muffin tin.  You will need to make little folds so an open pocket remains in the middle in which to put your filling of choice.  Thrifty Nana (my mom) was helping me with these and she had the genius idea of using a teeny cordial wine glass to push the wrappers into the muffin tin.  It worked like a charm.  A shot glass might work, or be creative.

The instructions said to pre-heat the oven to 350º and bake the wrappers for 4 minutes or until golden brown.  So we baked them for 4 minutes.  Then another 4.  Then we turned the convection fan on.  Then another few minutes and they were done.

Bottom line for baking: 

1)   I do not think 4 minutes will be long enough – but set your timer for that just to be sure.
2)   If you have a convection fan on your oven, use it – then watch the baking process closely.
3)   The best bet is to go for the ‘golden brown’ and just check on these guys every 2 minutes until they reach the perfect color.  You don’t want them blackened, but I found that until they were really golden, the bottoms were still doughy.  Ick.

Keep at it, though, because they will cook just fine.  The dough will bubble up, brown on the edges, and get crisp and even a little flaky.

For filling, I had tacos on the brain.  The girls love them, so they’re always a winner for dinner.  And I always love to make something at home rather than buying it fast food.

I made up taco meat just like I would any other time – a packet from the store and low-fat ground beef.  Shredded cheese.  Fresh diced tomatoes.  Shaun and KD went for the taco sauce.  Easy Mac and I went for the homemade Chipotle guacamole.

See how crispy and dark golden they got?

Yes, you read that correctly.  Homemade.  Chipotle.  Guacamole.  I was hungry for it.  I Googled it.  Lo and behold, Chipotle has its own video on how to make it.  You need red onion, jalapeno or Serrano pepper, avocado, cilantro, lime juice and salt.  Thas'it.

Anyway, Friends, we really enjoyed these.  They weren’t a lot of work at all and were a way-FUN twist on the blah-but-always-tasty taco dinner night.  [You can make these shells a day or two in advance (not more or they will get stale) and store in an airtight container.  When you are ready to use them, put them in a heated oven for a minute or two until they warm up.]

NOTE: I mentioned lots of variations on this recipe:  One that jumps out at me is brushing wonton wrappers with canola oil (I personally think it’s more flavor-neutral than olive oil if you’re gonna use sweet stuff), bake just like I talked about above except sprinkle the cups and edges with granulated sugar before baking, then when ready to serve, put a little dollop of ice cream in each cup, drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.  Yum!

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