Sunday, August 17, 2014

Frybread Taco Recipe - Indian Summer Vacation Series

Leave it to American Indians to come up with a delicious dish that looks like a Mexican pizza: a Frybread Taco.

I had a Frybread Taco during a lunch stop on the way to Arches National Park. It's similar to a humongous Americanized taco, but on a fluffy, airy round of pizza-like crust - really quite tasty.

All the typical ingredients seemed simple enough to assemble, just ground beef, beans, iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, grated cheese and sliced black olives, on a slab of Indian Frybread. For my version I left out the beef, olives and onions, but you can mix and match almost any favorite taco ingredients you like. Do you want meat on your taco? I have an easy and quick recipe for that right here.

Flour, baking powder, water and oil, that make up Frybread, are cheap enough. I made this entree vegetarian and all the toppings fall within my 99 cent mandate. As I mentioned above, you can make it with ground meat, while that is an inexpensive protein, it's still over my budget.

If you have been following my Indian Summer Vacation Series then you've seen my Frybread Video Recipe from a few weeks ago. Just click here to see it - but I do explain the recipe below as well. Frybread is light and tasty, kind of a cross between a flour torilla and pizza crust. They are on the large size, about 8 inches across, so one Frybread Taco is almost enough for a meal. My recipe makes enough for 2 Frybread.

The main topping ingredient for this taco are Chili Beans. I take a shortcut and use canned. Also, you can also use any favorite canned beans, like pinto, chili with beans, red or black beans. If all you have are red beans or pinto beans, try adding half a teaspoon of chili powder. And you can use nutritious spinach instead of iceberg lettuce.

Frybread right out of the frying pan is delectable and you should try it once, even if it is made with white flour and deep fried like a doughnut. (You can substitute whole wheat flour instead of white.) It's a delicious indulgence.

So give my Frybread Taco a try, it's a unique taco and looks good on the plate.

Ingredients for Frybread (for two, eight inch round tacos)
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour - okay to use wheat flour.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder - it makes the Frybread blister and puff up.
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Vegetable oil for frying - any favorite. Most recipes call for lard or Crisco, you can use it, if you want to.

Frybread Taco Toppings
Chili beans, chopped tomato, lettuce (or any greens) and shredded cheese. Other topping include: sliced black olives, onion, avocado, taco-style ground meat (recipe here,) pico de gallo (recipe here,) and of course, hot sauce.

Add flour and baking powder to a large bowl. Mix well.

Pour in water and begin to stir with a spoon or fork. As dough comes together you will need to get your hands in there to form a dough ball.

If the dough is sticky when all mixed together, then sprinkle on a teaspoon of flour and fold the dough some more. You shouldn't need more flour than a couple of teaspoons.You only need to mix and fold the dough for a couple of minutes, total.

When dough if well mixed together, pinch it in half and form 2 dough balls.

At this point you can chop any veggie toppings and set them aside. I used tomato, red leaf lettuce and cheddar cheese.

Start the Chili Beans heating in a pot (or zap them in a microwave oven.) I like to get all the topping ingredients ready to assemble when the Frybread comes hot out of the oil.

Add oil into a frying pan that's at least 8 inches across. Add enough oil until half an inch deep. You want enough for the Frybread dough to float when cooking. Start with a medium/high heat for frying.

While oil is heating make the Frybread rounds. Sprinkle a little flour on a board or counter. Spread it out about 8 inches around. Lay out one dough ball and flatten with your hand and fingers. Start from the center and work your way outward.

Keep pressing until you get a tortilla shape. It doesn't have to be perfectly round, the main thing is to make it thin without tearing (or taco fillings will fall through.) It should be similar to thin crust pizza.

Repeat the shaping steps on the other dough ball. Now time to fry it up.

Pinch off a small piece of dough and drop it into the now hot oil. The dough should immediately bubble and float. Be careful as you are working with hot oil. If you have a frying thermometer the temperature is about 375 °F (190 °C.) I just guess, with my heat controls in the medium/high range.

Spoon-out the dough piece. Use both hands to pick up the flatten dough and slowly add it to the hot oil. Again, be careful when working with hot oil. The dough will bubble and quickly float.

The dough cooks quickly, no more than 30 seconds to a minute. Use a metal spatula or fork, and lift one edge of the dough to check that the Frybread is stiff - that means it's read to be turned over.

Turn the Frybread over and cook another 30 seconds or so. That's it. The Frybread doesn't have to be browned like a doughnut - you may get a few light brown spots.

Now just lay the Frybread on a paper napkin, or a wire rack, to drain off the oil. Repeat the same frying method for the other dough ball.

It's best to assemble and eat the Frybread Taco while it's still warm. You can add the toppings in any order. I like the beans on the bottom then add the rest of the toppings. If you want melted cheese then add that on the hot beans, followed by the other ingredients.

The balance of ingredients is up to you. Add a lot of beans or just a little. Double up on the cheese or veggies. It's all to your taste.

Now just eat the Frybread Taco like you would a big slice of pizza. It's easier to handle than pizza, as Frybread is stiffer - somewhere between a saltine cracker and a soft tortilla.

As I mentioned earlier, you can use any favorite taco toppings like: black olives, avocado, onion (white, yellow, red or green onion,) sour cream, pico de gallo salsa (recipe here,) hot sauce, etc.

And my Frybread recipe is easy to just double the ingredients to make more. Also, I reuse my oil, so when it cools down and the flour sediment has settled to the bottom,  I pour it into a large pickle jar (cleaned and dried of course) for use on another day.

1 comment:

Debra Zaragoza said...

That looks so yum! I am going to make this one! Thank you for showing that people can cook decent food on a strict budget!

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