The other day, I was perusing the internet for some new ideas for an upcoming Super Bowl party. Somehow, after wandering down a meandering web path of odd finger foods and less-than-stellar game day snacks, I had a revelation about tacos. And cheese.
Read on for eight new thoughts on taco fillings and cheeses to accompany them.
Want the taco pictured above? Get the recipe: Charred Corn Tacos in Crispy All-Cheese Taco Shells at Serious Eats
My first thought, regarding tacos: Why oh why are hard tacos like, virtually non-existent? Secondly, why doesn't a slider version of a taco shell — that is, a mini one — exist? Wouldn't that be just downright... cute? And wouldn't that inspire lots and lots of different possibilities for fillings?
My discovery: Mini tacos do exist, and you can have them, too. And cute they are. Information at the end of this post.
Then I got to thinking about fillings. And with thoughts of filling come thoughts of cheese.
When you're constructing a taco, think about the bulk of the interior, and how you can complement it with cheese. Look beyond the typical cheeses you'd imagine between two crispy folds of tortilla, and envision what another one of your favorites could do for you in an taco-ed application. Considering cheese choices that you might not typically consider taco-friendly might inspire you to think a bit outside of the shell. Consider these:
8 of the Best Cheesy Taco Combos
The cheese: Manchego
The filling: Fresh chorizo, salsa verde, sour cream
The cheese: Fontina
The filling: Roasted garlic, roasted mushrooms, and Mexican oregano
The cheese: Swiss
The filling: Pulled chicken, roasted tomatillos, and radishes
The cheese: Cheddar
The filling: Ground beef, spicy crema, fresh jalepenos, and pickled carrots
The cheese: Fresh ricotta and parmesan
The filling: Roasted poblanos
The cheese: Mozzarella or Pepper Jack
The filling: Hard chorizo, sauteed chard, hominy
The cheese: Idiazabal or Mahon
The filling: Pulled pork, avocado, and cilantro
The cheese: Feta
The filling: Pork belly, pineapple, and mint
And try them in the mini versions! At Dreamer's Gourmet, you can find blue corn, yellow corn, and red tomato flavors of mini corn tortilla taco shells. They're $40 for 100 shells. In such small format, you'll have no excuse not to explore a bevvy of fillings.
(Image credits: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt for Serious Eats)