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Entries in Tacos (1)


Alex's TACOS

I like a good taco.  I even like to make a good taco but usually the buying of a good taco wins out.  There is a little Mexican restaurant here in Charlotte that makes rrreeeeaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyy good tacos so I usually just go there.  It's easier.  Simpler.  I like to sit outside on their patio overlooking a large outdoor fountain that has a little play in it.  If the wind is blowing just right, I get a little spray of water every once in while (which is such a fabulous thing during our summers).

After reading Alex Stupak's book on tacos, I am enlightened that the tacos that I used to make were obviously (and painfully) very ordinary. I  would use locally-sourced chorizo and make my own pico de Gallo that was it.  No fabulous salsas and definitely not my own tortillas!  Alex's book will change that (although I will have to be in a really industrious mood to make my own tortillas).

I was smitten with this book from just taking it out of the box.  I love the feel of the book....I call it the page feel.  It doesn't have a glossy cover and doesn't have glossy pages.  The page feels nice under the palm of your hand; I like to rest my hand on the book as I am reading.  (Am I weird?   Page-feel is so important to me).

The book is a tomb of knowledge as it relates to tacos.  There is an entire chapter (entire chapter people!!!) on making tortillas; everything from the corn to nixtamalization to masa to detailed descriptions and pictures that walk one step-by-step through the process of making tortillas.  I know what you are thinking...what is nixtamalization???  Well, let me tell you (because I now know!  I'm a miss smarty-pants right now) Nixtamalization makes the vitamins found in corn, like niacin, be able to be absorbed better by the body.  Who knew that tacos were so good for you!   Tacos also has a wonder chapter on salsas, whether they are fresh chile salsas, tomato-based salsas, tomatillo-based salsas, or nut-and-seed based salsas and moles.  The recipes are authentic salsas for taco makings and are vibrant with the heat of the peppers and the cool of the citrus.  I have so many flagged!  

Then we get to the piece-de-resistance....the chapters on the taco fillings.  Chicken, beef, port, offal and other meat (think tripe and goat), seafood, veggie, eggs, and sweets.  I will not be partaking in tripe tacos nor goat tacos (I think goat smells and the smell lingers on your hands, even after washing them like a hundred times and I have a pet goat so I'm just not eating it).  I will, however, be partaking in the chicken tacos with salsa verde, skirt steak tacos with mojo de ajo, salpicon tacos with xni pec (this is a real taco...I did not screw up the spelling), slab bacon tacos with salsa negra (love me so pork belly!), tacos al pastor, potato and chorizo tacos, and canitas tacos.  No name just a few.  I could go on and on.   

But I won't.  Go on an on that is.  Tacos is 240 pages of in-depth knowledge.  Alex shares with us his love for tacos and his secret recipes of his success.  This book implores us to not go to the little Mexican joint and sit in front of the fountain hoping for a little spray of water; this book beckons you into the kitchen and then to your little patio out back to enjoy a sunset while sipping a pineapple margarita of your making and chowing down on a Tacos taco.......