You may know by now that I love trying new things. At least in the realm of food and drink, whether it is in the kitchen or out I am adventurous. Also, you probably know that I like celebrating food days. These don’t have to be National Days of food, but even Taco Tuesdays! That’s how I discovered my new favorite taco recipe; Tacos de Papa.
First, let me help you out if you don’t speak Spanish. Papa is a Spanish word for potato, depending on where you are seeking and speaking potato. In Spain the correct word (I am told) is patata as in my favorite Spanish Tapas Patatas Bravas. However in Latin America and Mexico the word for potato is Papa. While this can be confusing, especially in a home where the name my children call my father is Papa, don’t get in the weeds on this!
What you need to know is that Tacos de Papa are potato stuffed fried tacos. Need I say more?
Well I will. As with much food the name varies a bit by region, but generally you will be fine if you know the easiest term.
Speaking of easy (not Speakeasy, although cool) Tacos de Papa are very easy to make. In all honesty you could say they are mashed potato tacos. They are basically mashed potatoes spread into a corn tortilla and deep fried. There is a bit more to them than that, but not much.
I made Tacos de Papa for the first time last week and loved them so much I also made them a 2nd time later in the week. In fact I am going to make them for the third time today for Daughter Number Two’s birthday celebration dinner.
When D2 announced she was coming home today to watch D4 play a softball game I asked if we could go ahead and celebrate her upcoming birthday. She said yes. I asked her what she wanted to eat, which is more complicated with her than with some people. In addition to being a vegetarian she has food sensitivities. I don’t know from visit to visit what foods she is having to avoid. When I mentioned Tacos de Papa she was excited. I’m pretty sure potatoes are her spirit animal. Whether that comes naturally from her Irish heritage or just something in her, she loves potatoes. I would probably not be far off if I said that Mexican food was one of her favorite food styles or cuisines.
The rest of the family isn’t sad that I’m making these again. Tacos de Papa are such a versatile base that anyone can enjoy. The toppings and accompaniments are vast; shredded lettuce, avocado, cheese, pico de gallo and more can elevate these tasty bites to a new level.
Have you ever tried Tacos de Papa? If not, did you ever imagine putting potatoes in a taco?
They have quickly become a staple in my home and I may not continue searching for new and different styles of tacos for Tuesdays.
Tacos de Papa
- 3 medium sized potatoes red or gold
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 12 corn tortillas
- Oil for frying
- Garnishes optional
- Cotija cheese
- Lettuce shredded
- Cabbage shredded
- Radishes sliced thin
- Tomato diced
Use new potatoes or potatoes with unblemished skin for best results. Clean potatoes. Pierce skin gently and place in a large pan of water over medium heat. When water begins to boil add salt. Cook potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes.
Place potatoes in a mixing bowl to cool. Reserve cooking water. When potatoes are cooled enough to touch remove skins and discard skins. With a potato masher gently mash potatoes, adding reserved potato water to thin, if necessary. Add seasonings. Do not add milk or butter. Mash potatoes until they are smooth and resemble a past. Do not over mash so they do not become starchy.
In a skillet place about two inches of oil. Heat oil in skillet to 375 degrees F.
Heat tortillas in microwave or on a griddle or in a skillet for a few seconds. Warm tortillas are more pliable and won’t tear when filling and folding.
Place 1 - 2 tablespoons of potato mixture on one half of heated tortilla. Fold in half gently and secure with toothpicks to prevent filling from failing out.
When oil is hot, place tacos one or two at a time, without crowding, into hot oil. Cook until golden and crispy, turning once so both sides are done. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate with a paper towel to drain. Continue with remaining tacos.
Garnish as desired.