Since moving to the great state of California, I have learned many things. Many, many things, my friends.
I have learned to not touch any brownies unless I make them myself.
I have learned how to dodge motorcyclists by an inch on the freeway.
I have learned that there’s an actual race where people run naked? <—weird.
It’s been an interesting transition to say the least. One of the best things I’ve learned though is how to make a real taco. Not the kind that we used to make growing up with large flour tortillas, tons of cheddar cheese, seasoned beef and iceberg lettuce, but tiny authentic street tacos that can literally be found on every single corner around here.
It must be the week for miniature food, because that’s what these tacos remind me of! I can hardly believe that up until moving out here, I had never tried a corn tortilla. I seriously thought the only kind of tortilla out there was flour! I can almost see you shaking your heads and rolling your eyes at me.
The other night, I ventured over to the other valley (napa!) to visit my friend, Korina. When she asked if I could stay for dinner, I debated, thinking of my grand plans to brush Dexter, sweep my floors and try on all the shoes in my closet. Then I said yes. Lucky for me, she made these tacos! Well, not THESE tacos…Korina actually made her own corn tortillas (here’s a great recipe if you’re interested in trying!) while I just sat, sipped on a mango margarita and watched in awe.
The tortilla press… the masa…the delicately sliced radishes…the satisfaction from someone else cooking me a homemade dinner…it was a beautiful thing. Thank you, Korina!
Well, I loved Korina’s tacos so much that the next night I made them again for myself. Obviously they weren’t as good as hers (why does food always taste better when someone else makes it?) but they hit the spot.
The only thing I have left to say right now is that even if you think you don’t like radishes, try them on these tacos! I hated them until I had a radish epiphany the other night. Now I can’t stop eating them. It’s a little odd.
Chicken Street Tacos
makes 9 small tacos (serves 3-4 depending on how many tacos each person eats. I can easily pack away three!)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces
mix of chili powder, cumin, salt and/or taco seasoning
1 small bunch radishes, sliced thin
1 bunch cilantro, minced
4 oz queso fresco cheese (use feta if you can’t find it)
9 small corn tortillas
1 T canola oil
Heat the oil over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken and cook for about eight minutes, or until chicken has cooked through. Remove and put chicken in a bowl and season with salt, chili powder, cumin and/or taco seasoning. There’s no real measurements here—just season to taste.
Wipe down your skillet then heat up again to medium. Add the corn tortillas, one by one, to warm up.
Once warm, fill tortillas with a little chicken, some chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, a little cheese and a big squeeze of lime. Serve with additional toppings and salsa if desired.