I am a Mexican American. I was born and raised in California living in The Bay Area most of my life. My parents, grandparents, and great grandparents were born and raised in the United States. In fact I have roots in this country before it was the territory of the U.S.!
Life hasn’t been easy for us Mexicans in the U.S. In fact our numbers were dwindling until the mid-twentieth century. When the Japanese were placed into internment camps because of their supposed threat to national security during WWII, this left the western half of the country without farm laborers. So came The Braceros ( The Laborers) from Mexico which was a government guest worker program that started a shift in the trend of the declining number of Mexicans here in the U.S.
With this long history of Mexicans in the U.S., it always astonishes me that people still ask me where I’m from, where was I born or how long have I have lived in this country. In fact I am not an anomaly when it comes to being a Latino that was born in the U.S. There are in fact millions of us with roots reaching back well into the Spanish conquest that are primarily mixed race Spanish/European/African/Asian and American Indian blood lineage throughout the United States today.
Growing up, the taco was my sandwich. It’s not to say I didn’t have Bologna and cheese sandwich like everyone else here but luckily, my meals were interspersed with tacos made with flour tortillas often filled with scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes for my breakfast and fried corn tortillas with stewed meats for lunch and dinner. We always called anything made with flour or corn tortillas, tacos not burritos. We didn’t use the name burrito until the rise of the Taquerías in Northern California somewhere in the 1980’s.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful and simple dish. It’s roots are in the American West and in fact just as American as apple pie!
Tacos de Papa con Chorizo (Potato Tacos with Mexican Chorizo )
Mexican Chorizo (The Spanish Chorizo is a different sausage but it could work if it’s the only sausage available)
3 or 4 large Potatoes (I prefer Russets)
Corn Oil (Any frying oil)
Cotija or Jack Cheese
Scallions or diced white onions
First put the a pot of hot water to boil. Taste the water. It should be salty like the sea. Place the potatoes in the water and cook until the potatoes are soft. Test the potatoes by sticking a fork into the potato. If the fork goes in all the way easily, the potatoes are cooked.
Take the potatoes out and let them cool. When cool enough to touch peel the skin from the potatoes by hand. It is important to cook the potatoes first because the Russets will fall apart in the water. After, mash the potatoes with a fork.
Take the chorizo and fry it on a pan. Pour the oil that comes from the chorizo from the pan into a separate dish and discard. Mix the cooked chorizo with the mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Next fill a shallow frying pan with frying oil to about the depth of the taco being halfway submerged. Heat the oil to less than medium. It is important to not let the oil burn!
Now take the tortillas and fill them with about two tablespoons of potatoes and chorizo. Fold the tortillas and gently place the tacos on their sides into the hot oil. Be sure to watch the temperature of the oil. Allow the tacos to cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Pull the tacos out of the oil and be sure to drain the oil. Try to put as many tacos into your frying pan as you can fit on their sides that your pan allows, this will maximize your cooking time. Cook all the tacos and then add the cheese and chopped scallions. Add salsa or hot sauce to taste.