A double-layered crisp and tangy Taco treat!
By Shuchi Mittal
My husband and I went to Napa for Christmas, and apart from the awesome wine and dine, stumbled upon a version of these delectable beauties at the Yountville Redd restaurant. After a few bad meal experiences, a tad too much wine, a unwilling drag into my 30th year of existence and over an hours wait, these were totally worth the anticipation. Executive Chef Richard Reddington has much applaud under his belt, but this ‘bar food’ is a must must try.
I said a version of the Tacos since Redd does them with fried fish (and what a fish it was!) and a secret sauce that resembles BBQ (but is most definitely not). But the most innovative part of the tacos was the crunch. Yes, they are in 2 layers with the interior made of crisp corn taco, and the exterior that of soft flour tortilla. Forget about the calories and do indulge in these dual-thrill lip-smacking treats when visiting Napa next! Worth noting that these famed fish tacos are only served at the bar seating (not in the main restaurant) and only after 2:30pm. A lesson we learned with a rather growling tummy.
Anyway, so we ate, praised and returned home and then came the Napa Taco craving. So, as I always do, I tried to recreate them with my own sauce and condiments. I also substituted the fried fish with minced chicken (no reason except that it was easier!). The result? A comforting Monday night dinner that came pretty close to Redd. I am content but I shall leave the mastery to the geniuses!
- 250 gm minced chicken (you can use pork, beef or tofu)
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 onion. Slice ¾ thin and lengthwise and the dice the remaining ¼
- 1 medium jalapeno, seeds removed and sliced lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 lettuce leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh coriander or parsley
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- A pinch of salt & pepper
- 4 corn taco shells
- 4 whole-wheat tortillas
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onions (3/4 that was sliced lengthwise), garlic and jalapeno and stir till the onions are transparent. Add the chicken and the remaining dry spices. Cover and cook till the chicken is fully cooked. Open cover, sauté on high heat to dry and liquid and keep aside.
- Combine all ingredients for the salad and the sauce in two separate bowls. Mix well and keep aside.
- Put 1 teaspoon of the prepared sauce at the bottom of a corn taco shell. Top this with 3 tablespoons of the minced chicken and a generous portion of the salad. Warm a flour tortilla and then place the taco shell in between the tortilla. Top with grated cheese and serve immediately.
Shuchi cooks with the heart of a poet. Banker turned chef, she runs the 29. Private Kitchen in NYC focusing on social tasting events, dining experiences and small-scale private events. Using simple & wholesome ingredients, she likes to re-invent homemade Indian flavors into modern tapas & small plates. Her dream? To cook, feed, write, and eventually open her own communal dining cafe - with a published recipe book on the stands.