Awhile back a friend of mine asked what we eat at our house. Do we eat mostly Salvadoran or mostly American, she wanted to know. I told her it’s probably about 50/50 depending on my mood. One week I might make all Salvadoran food or a mix of Latin American foods and then the next, I’ll make “American” food, (which is actually more likely to be Americanized Chinese, Mexican or Italian food.)
However, since being asked how we eat, I’ve been a bit more conscious of it and holy cow – we eat some strange things – the best example of the “fusion” cooking that happens organically in my kitchen would be “Fried Chicken & Mashed Potato Tacos.”
How did this happen? It’s the necessity of combining the tastes of everyone in the family with the ingredients I have on hand. I looked into my fridge and saw leftover mashed potatoes and the ever present stack of corn tortillas. I decided to make “Tacos de Papa” – something I first learned about from Graceelena of Sunshine and Potatoes, but I actually got to try them last year when one of Carlos’s Mexican co-workers gifted us some.
The problem with making Tacos de Papa is that Carlos insists on having meat at every meal, and that’s when I spotted the lonely pieces of leftover fried chicken. With a little green onion and salsa to give it some sabor, I had created something that wasn’t quite Mexican or even Tex-Mex, but definitely wasn’t my grandmother’s comfort food either.
Here’s the recipe if you’re crazy enough to try it.
Fried Chicken & Mashed Potato Tacos
2-3 pieces of fried chicken, shredded by hand
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 green onion, chopped
salsa or hot sauce of your choice
corn or flour tortillas
1. Add the green onion to the chicken. Keep all other ingredients separate.
2. Warm tortillas on the comal [griddle] or in a large frying pan, so that they’re pliable. Flip them over.
3. In the center of each tortilla, place a spoonful of mashed potato, a few pieces of chicken & green onion, and top with a spoonful of salsa or hot sauce.
4. Use a spatula to fold each tortilla closed. The mashed potatoes will help keep them from opening. Brown on each side, flipping as needed. If you like, spray each side with cooking spray for better browning.
5. Remove from comal and serve.