This week on Basics I'm going to show you how to transform taco night. I'll show you how to make corn tortillas, different proteins, and garnishes.

Equipment List

For the tortillas:

Tortilla press or large skillet

Nonstick or cast iron skillet

Gallon size plastic storage bag


For the chimichurri:

Food processor

Gallon plastic bag for chimichurri marinade

Shopping List

For tortillas:

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 ¼ cups water


For chimichurri and skirt steak:

  • 1 Fresno pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Handful cilantro or parsley
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • Small handful fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 skirt steak


For the chicken and its marinade:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Shakes of:
  • White pepper
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar


For the chorizo potato filling:

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • Dash of white vinegar
  • 2 links of chorizo (casings removed)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Olive oil


For the rajas con crema (to accompany the chicken):

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • ¼ white onion, sliced
  • Dried oregano
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper


For the pickled radishes (to accompany the chicken):

  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2ish cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Mustard seeds, whole peppercorns, and dill (optional)


Other garnishes (to accompany any taco):

  • Half of one white onion, diced
  • Cilantro or parsley to taste
  • One lime, juiced
  • Cotija or feta cheese


Corn Tortillas

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of masa harina with 1 ¼ cups of water. Mix gently by hand and pad into a ball. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Next, take a plastic food storage bag and cut it open like a book and place it on your tortilla press. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can use a large flat pan. Take a piece of your dough and roll it into a golf ball sized piece. Place it between the plastic and using either the tortilla press or the pan, flatten your tortilla.
  3. Preheat a non stick or a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Place your freshly pressed tortilla down and let cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then flip and cook for about 20 seconds. Keep your tortillas warm in a tortilla warmer or in a low oven wrapped in foil.


Skirt Steak Chimichurri Tacos

  1. In a food processor, put 1 fresno pepper, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, 4-5 cloves of garlic, a handful of cilantro or parsley, and a small handful of fresh oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Process until it’s lightly chopped but not fully pureed.
  2. Place your skirt steak in a large ziploc bag along with about half of your chimichurri mixture. Remove air from the bag and give the bag a nice deep tissue massage to make sure the marinade is even distributed and place in a glass bowl. Put it in the fridge and let it sit in there for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the steak from the bag and place in a ripping hot cast iron skillet. Cook until a little brown on one side and then flip. They don’t need to cook long, but make sure each side has a little browning. Remove when the internal temperature reaches 130°F. Cover with foil and set aside to rest.
  4. Slice steak along the grain and then into bite sized pieces. Assemble with tortilla, reserved chimichurri and either cotija or feta cheese.


Chicken Tacos

  1. Start by butterflying the chicken and placing it in a plastic bag.
  2. In a bowl combine 2 cloves of roughly chopped garlic, the juice of 2 limes, a good shake each of white pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, a few glugs of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Also you want to add a little bit of sugar because that will help with the browning later on. Whisk everything together and then put it in the bag with the chicken.
  3. Remove air from the bag and massage to combine everything. Place in bowl, and put the bowl in the fridge for 1-4 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and place on a ripping hot skillet. Cook until each side has browning and internal temperature reaches 165°F. Once fully cooked, cover with foil and set aside to rest.
  5. Slice into bite sized slices. Assemble with tortilla, pickled radishes, rajas con crema and some cotija or feta cheese.


Chorizo and Potato Tacos

  1. Start by peeling and chopping potatoes into bite sized cubes. Place in a pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Add a dash of white vinegar and some salt and then bring to a boil, stirring for about 10 minutes. Strain and place on a baking sheet to cool completely.
  3. Remove chorizo from casings and cook in a ripping hot cast iron skillet until browned. Once browned, remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet add some vegetable oil and let it warm up before adding the potatoes.
  5. Let the potatoes sit for about 2 minutes untouched to get some nice crispy brown-ness on the bottom before stirring them in the skillet. Once they are cooked, add back the chorizo. Mix to combine.
  6. Serve on a corn tortilla and top with onion and cilantro mixture.


Rajas Con Crema (garnish for chicken tacos)

  1. Remove the tops and seeds from 3 poblano peppers and cut in half. Place peppers on an open flame until they turn black on the outside. Once they’re black put them in foil 10 minutes to let them rest and soften up.
  2. Remove from foil and remove all the charred outside skin and slice them into strips or into bite sized pieces.
  3. In a skillet add ½ white onion sliced with some olive oil and saute for about 1-2 minutes before adding your poblano peppers and some dried oregano. Let cook for a few minutes.
  4. Next add ¼ cup of heavy cream and the juice of ⅓ a lime and cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl. Set aside.


Pickled Radishes (garnish for chicken tacos)

  1. Scrub, wash, and thinly slice 4 radishes and place in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Add about 2 cups of hot apple cider vinegar and let sit for about an hour or until cooled off.
  3. Optionally you can add mustard seeds, whole peppercorns, or dill if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.


Cilantro & Onion (garnish for any taco)

  1. Chop one onion and mix with cilantro (or parsley) along with the juice of one lime. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Devin Monaghan