Sunday, November 24, 2013

Smashed Potato Tacos with Guacamole & Pico di Gallo

Southern California is flooded with "hole in the wall" Mexican restaurants called Taquerias. Almost all have amazing, delicious, fresh food which is made to order for either eat in or take-away. Whenever I visit my family in So Cal I always need a "Mexican food fix".  One of my favorite dishes to order is potato tacos. (Tacos de Papa). 

Seasoned potatoes stuffed in a fried corn tortilla with your favorite toppings, this simple and easy dish is surprisingly delicious.  You can make them using freshly prepared mashed potatoes or simply reheat leftovers. Some people fry the potato-filled tortillas to create what I am used to calling a taquito or flauta. My favorite restaurant fries the tortillas first and then fills with the mashed potato mixture. That is how I am preparing them today.

What a perfect way to use up leftover smashed or mashed potatoes from your Thanksgiving dinner. As a bonus, I have included recipes for smashed potatoes and for roasted garlic paste...just in case you are still planning your T-day menu.

A couple of tacos make a wonderful lunch. I serve with beans and posole for a hearty dinner.  Make extra salsa & guacamole...have plenty of corn tortilla chips, make a pitcher of margaritas and you have a party! Maybe a new tradition for the day after Thanksgiving? 

Smashed Potato Tacos with Guacamole & Pico di Gallo
(serves 4)
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes ( cut in quarters) do not peel
1/2 cup milk (warmed either in pan on stovetop or in microwave)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp roasted garlic paste (see below)
grey salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

*8 organic taco shells, follow directions on package
guacamole recipe
pico di gallo recipe
shredded lettuce
diced white onions
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Add potatoes to a large pot of salted water. (salt the water like you would for pasta). Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender (about 15-20 minutes). Drain the potatoes and add back to the now empty pot. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until potatoes and pot are dry (stir continuously to prevent potatoes from sticking). Turn heat to low and add warm milk and olive oil to potatoes and mash using a potato masher. The potatoes will be lumpy due to the skins, so check to ensure milk and olive oil are thoroughly incorporated into potatoes. Add garlic paste and salt/pepper to taste... additional milk may be added if potatoes are too dry. Serve immediately.

Roasted Garlic Paste
You can make this with as many heads of garlic as you wish...this no-recipe recipe is as follows:

With a sharp knife, cut off the very top of each head of should just see the very tip of the garlic cloves after cutting. Remove the first layer or two of papery garlic skin from the garlic head...not too much, you want the garlic cloves to remain attached. Place the garlic root side down in a small ovenproof pan or baking dish, you want the garlic to fit tightly in the pan, the pan size will depend on the number of garlic heads you are roasting. Make more than you need. This paste will last a few days and you will use it in everything! Drizzle cut side of garlic with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt (I like grey salt) and freshly ground pepper. Cover pan tightly with foil and roast in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Garlic should be very tender. Remove foil, drizzle with additional olive oil and continue roasting for 10 minutes more.

At this point you can squeeze the garlic from the cloves directly onto toasted french or sourdough bread which is lovely...or you can squeeze all the garlic into a small bowl, mash with a wooden spoon and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil to create a smooth paste. Taste and add additional salt/pepper if desired. Garlic paste can be stirred into your smashed potatoes, added to toasted bread, added to roasted or steamed vegetables, stirred into sauces...etc. Once you taste it you will be inspired to add it to almost everything!

*Freshly fried corn tortillas are wonderful, but to make this dish even easier, I often use organic packaged taco shells.  My favorite brand is  organic Bearitos and/or organic Whole Foods

It is "Favorite Thanksgiving leftovers" week at Food Network's Fall fest. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this post.

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Layered Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole {30+ Healthy Leftover Turkey Recipes}
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Smashed Potato Tacos with Guacamole & Pico di Gallo
Red or Green: Spiced Winter Squash Muffins 
Virtually Homemade: Mashed Potato Pancakes with Homemade Applesauce
Feed Me Phoebe: Turkey Noodle Soup with Ginger and Cilantro
Weelicious: Turkey Shepherd's Pot Pie
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Cabbage Roll Stuffed Cabbage with Turkey
Domesticate Me: Mashed Potato Pancakes with Goat Cheese and Chives
The Sensitive Epicure: Cranberry Almond Pancakes with Maple Bourbon Cranberry Syrup (Gluten-Free)
Dishin & Dishes: Turkey Quesadillas with Spicy Cranberry Cream 
FN Dish: 10 Ways to Reinvent Thanksgiving Leftovers

This is my last post before Thanksgiving.  I want to take a minute to thank all of you for reading and supporting this blog.  What a terrific group. I am very grateful for all of you!
napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog"California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

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