Crispy Potato Tacos

If you love carbs as much as I do, then you will tot-ally love these Crispy Potato Tacos!

One of my favorite things to order at Taco Bell are the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and Potato Tacos. It’s one of my guilty food pleasures when I am on my part-time vegetarianism. So when Taco Bell announced earlier this month that they are getting rid of all their potato-based menu items, I decided to put matters in my own hands, and made my own!

This recipe follows J. Kenji López-Alt’s Crispy Roast Potatoes method, and it surely made some of the most “crispiest-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside” spuds I’ve ever eaten!

Although not nutritionally the most balanced, these spud-tacular tacos are surely comforting and delicious! It makes for a great meal for all the vegetarians out there as well.

Ingredients (serves 5)
-4 lbs Russet Potatoes
-1 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp Kosher Salt
-3 Liters water
-Corn or flour tortillas

Seasoning
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-3 tsp Kosher Salt
-1.5 tsp Black Pepper
-2.5 tsp cumin
-2.5 tsp paprika
-2.5 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp cayenne (optional, for some heat)

Topping Suggestions
Frankly Awesome Fresh Pico De Gallo
-Sour cream
-Salsa roja
-Guacamole
-4 Cheese Mexican Shredded Blend
-Limes

Procedure
1) Add approx 3 L water, 2 tsp Kosher Salt, and 1 tsp baking soda into a large pot and bring to boil.
2) While water heats up, peel skins off potatoes and dice into semi-small cubes (approx 3/4” cubes).
3) When water is boiling, add the peeled and diced potatoes into the pot. Allow to boil until potatoes soften (about 10 minutes; use a fork to pierce through a potato. If it easily goes through, then it is ready).
4) Drain the potatoes from the water and allow to cool for approx 5 minutes.
5) Pre-heat an oven for 400°F (roasting + convection option, if applicable to your oven)
6) Place the potatoes into a mixing bowl and add the Seasonings ingredients into the bowl.
7) Toss or mix gently until potatoes are coated with seasoning
8) Place potatoes evenly into a baking sheet and place in the oven and allow to roast for approx 45 minutes (or until all sides are crisp). At about halfway through the cooking time, flip the potatoes to the other side and place back into the oven to allow even crisping.
9) Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow to cool before serving with warmed tortillas and toppings of your choice.

Potatoes out the oven! Some potatoes stuck to each other because of it’s close contact with one another.

Observations
-If you put a large amount of potatoes in a single baking sheet, some of the potatoes may stick to each other during roasting. You can break this up easily with a spatula. Alternatively, you can also put more space in between each potato cube to prevent sticking.
-Russet potatoes have a high amount of starch. This could tater-ly lead to starch oxidation if cut potatoes are left exposed in the air (causing a browning discoloration). To prevent, leave your peeled and cut potatoes in a bowl of room temperature water, until you are ready to boil.
Science! Baking soda is the secret ingredient to creating crispy potatoes. This magical ingredient isn’t just for baking! Adding baking soda to your water boil raises the pH, and turns your water alkaline. This alkaline environment breaks down pectin, which is a starch that is found in potatoes. This pectin breakdown gives the potatoes a rough, bumpy exterior, which then gives the crispy, crunchy texture when you roast in the oven.

If you look carefully, these potatoes have some white bumps on the exterior. This is thanks to the alkalinity of the boiling water! Without baking soda, these white bumps won’t form and the potatoes won’t be as crispy.

References
J. Kenji López-Alt’s Crispy Roast Potatoes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s