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Tacos de Canasta: Authentic Mexican Basket Tacos Recipe

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Tacos de Canasta, also known as “basket tacos” or “basket-stuffed tacos,” are a beloved and unique variety of tacos originating from Mexico. These tacos are traditionally prepared and served in large baskets, hence the name, and are distinguished by their soft, steamed tortillas filled with flavorful ingredients such as potato, beans, or tinga (shredded chicken in a spicy tomato sauce). Tacos de Canasta are a popular street food in Mexico, often sold from bicycle carts or small stands, making them a convenient and tasty option for breakfast or lunch. This recipe provides a step-by-step guide to recreating authentic Tacos de Canasta at home, ensuring a delicious taste of Mexican cuisine.

Ingredients

For the Potato Filling:
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste
For the Bean Filling:
  • 1 cup refried beans (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
For the Tinga Filling:
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Salt, to taste
Other Ingredients:
  • Corn tortillas (small size), steamed and kept warm
  • Sliced radishes
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Salsa verde or salsa roja
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Fillings:
    • Potato Filling:
      • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
      • Add finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Saut√© until softened.
      • Add diced potatoes and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
      • Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
    • Bean Filling:
      • In a small saucepan, heat refried beans over low heat.
      • Stir in finely chopped onion, ground cumin, and salt. Cook until heated through. Set aside.
    • Tinga Filling:
      • In a skillet, combine diced tomatoes, finely chopped onion, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, and chicken broth.
      • Simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly.
      • Add shredded chicken and cook until heated through. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  2. Assemble Tacos de Canasta:
    • Prepare the Tortillas:
      • Steam the corn tortillas until soft and pliable. Keep warm in a clean kitchen towel or tortilla warmer.
    • Fill the Tortillas:
      • Place a spoonful of each filling (potato, beans, or tinga) onto the center of each tortilla.
      • Fold the tortilla in half to form a taco shape, pressing lightly to seal.
    • Arrange in a Basket:
      • Line a large basket or container with a clean kitchen towel.
      • Place the filled tacos snugly into the basket, layering with additional towels to keep warm and maintain moisture.
  3. Serve Tacos de Canasta:
    • Garnish the tacos with sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of salsa verde or salsa roja.
    • Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the tacos.
  4. Tips for Serving
    • Variations: Experiment with different fillings such as chorizo, tinga de pollo (chicken tinga), or picadillo (spiced ground beef) to suit your taste preferences.
    • Storage: Tacos de Canasta are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a steamer or microwave before serving.
    • Accompaniments: Pair Tacos de Canasta with Mexican rice, nopales (cactus salad), or a side of spicy pickled vegetables for a complete meal experience.
  5. Cultural Significance

    Tacos de Canasta are a cherished part of Mexican street food culture, offering a convenient and delicious option for quick meals or snacks throughout the day. The preparation and serving in baskets not only keep the tacos warm and moist but also add to the charm and authenticity of this beloved dish. Tacos de Canasta showcase the culinary ingenuity and vibrant flavors of Mexico, inviting you to savor a taste of tradition in every bite.

Conclusion

Tacos de Canasta embody the rich culinary heritage of Mexico, featuring soft, steamed tortillas filled with a variety of flavorful ingredients such as potato, beans, or tinga. Whether enjoyed as a morning treat or a satisfying lunch, these basket-stuffed tacos offer a taste of authentic Mexican street food that delights the senses and celebrates the country’s vibrant culinary traditions. Embrace the essence of Mexican cooking by preparing homemade Tacos de Canasta with this authentic recipe, inviting you to experience the bold flavors and cultural significance of this beloved dish firsthand.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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