Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Navajo Fry Bread Tacos

This fry bread taco is spectacular! It's one of those dishes that takes a little extra effort, but with results that are really unique and delicious.  The work here goes into making and frying the bread, which comes together easily but does require deep frying.  Because the bread dough has a neutral flavor, I recommend straining your oil back into a clean container after it cools to reuse for another deep frying project -- much less waste this way.  The bread puffs up dramatically and becomes golden brown and delicious.  You can top it with whatever taco toppings you like...I recommend lots of toppings, but keeping things pretty simple.

As with most deep fried foods, these breads do not keep well, so fry just what you will use.

Navajo Fry Bread Tacos (adapted from Tips from a Typical Mom, original recipe here)
Serves 4-8, depending on appetite (makes 8 fry breads)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp powdered milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
Extra flour for dusting hands and surfaces
Vegetable oil, to fry

Taco toppings of your choice -- we used seasoned ground beef, sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese, salsa, and minced cilantro

1. Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, baking powder, and salt. Add the water and stir with a fork until well combined.  You may need to use your hands to get everything incorporated -- but do not knead or the dough will be heavy!
2. Cut the dough into 8 pieces.  Flour a work surface, and press each piece of dough into a flat circle.  Let rest while you prepare your toppings and heat the oil.
3. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy pot (cast iron is ideal).  When it sizzles if you (carefully) drizzle in a few drops of water, you're ready.
4. Fry the bread one or two pieces at a time until well browned, the flip and cook the other side.  The second side will cook more quickly so keep a close eye.  Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the cooked fry bread to a paper-towel-lined plate.  Be very careful of spattering oil!
5. Top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy.
6. Let the oil and stove cool completely before transferring the oil to a disposable container to discard.

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