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Los Angeles’ Innovative Tortilla Scene Brought to Life with Oven-Fried Potato and Cheese Tacos Dorados

While exploring the taco scene in Los Angeles, we discovered the endless possibilities of tortillas.

We came across corn tortillas filled with stingray, hard-shell tacos shaped like baskets, and Middle Eastern-influenced tacos Árabes with spit-cooked meat, onion, Oaxacan cheese, avocado, and chili salsa.

One standout taco variety was the flautas, deep-fried flute-shaped tacos filled with lamb, chicken, chorizo, or potato, also known as tacos dorados (golden tacos). These flautas were crispy, satisfying, and topped with salsa roja, guacamole, and cotija cheese.

However, for weeknight meals, deep-frying can be messy. That’s why we experimented with oven-frying in this recipe from our book “Cook What You Have.” By using the oven instead of deep-frying, we achieved a crispy result without the hassle.

For the filling, we kept it simple with mashed potatoes and shredded cheese but gave it a boost with canned chipotle chilies and their smoky sauce. Pickled jalapeños added another layer of tangy heat.

Since we’re not deep-frying, there’s no need to roll the tortillas into tubes. Simply spoon the filling over one half of a flour tortilla, fold it over, and bake on a greased sheet in a 475°F oven. The tacos come out golden and crispy with all the flavor of L.A. but none of the deep-frying hassle.

Oven-fried potato and cheese Tacos Dorados

Start to finish: 55 minutes (40 minutes active)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped, plus cilantro leaves to serve
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon brine
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Eight 6-inch flour tortillas
8 ounces cheddar OR Monterey jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
Shredded iceberg lettuce, to serve

Directions:

Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons oil. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the potatoes in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil until browned and tender, about 12 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and lightly mash the potatoes. Stir in the cilantro, scallions, pickled jalapeños and their brine, chipotle and adobo sauce, salt, and pepper.

Divide the potato filling evenly among the tortillas (about a scant ¼ cup each) and spread it to cover half of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese and fold the unfilled side over. Arrange the filled tortillas on the prepared baking sheet and flip them so both sides are coated with oil.

Bake until the tacos begin to brown and crisp on the bottoms, about 9 minutes. Flip each taco using a wide metal spatula and continue baking until browned on the second sides, about another 3 minutes. Transfer the tacos to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Serve topped with lettuce and cilantro leaves.

Optional garnish: Diced avocado (or guacamole) OR sour cream OR salsa OR hot sauce OR a combination

Get more recipes and dinner ideas from the viralnewsscope food section.

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