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Taco Mixto - A Trio of Tacos

I was in the mood for tacos, but not regular tacos - something different. So I made a little taco bar for my QC team and let them mix and match. Since I’m sure you know how to make a taco or two, I’m just going to share the recipes that might really take your taco game up to the next level.

    My combinations were:

1) *Duck confit (see my notes)  with Asian salsa, cucumbers and five spiced cashews

2)  Grilled ribeye slices with blue cheese dressing, sriracha, arugula and bruschetta

3)   *Smoked chicken thighs (see my comments)with Alabama barbecue sauce and pickled red onions.

Asian Salsa

5 chopped scallions

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 cucumber, chopped fine

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Mix and let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours

Five Spiced Cashews

1/2 cup cashews, rough chopped

1 teaspoon Sesame oil

2 teaspoons Five Spice powder

In a small dry skillet on medium, toast the cashews until they start to get golden.

Coat the nuts in the oil and sprinkle with the powder. toast a little more until you can smell the spice.


2 cups Campari tomatoes, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

Big pinch of kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Mix and leave in the fridge for a couple hours.

This will make a bit more than you might need, but who doesn’t love leftover bruschetta?

Alabama BBQ Sauce

1 ½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste

1 tablespoon brown sugar optional

Alabama Barbecue Sauce is a gift from the mayo gods (to quote Chef Sam Talbot) and it goes great with anything barbecued or smoked.

Mix. It’s ready.

Regarding the chicken:

I’ve been on a duck confit kick AND a smoked meats kick, but you can substitute anything you wish.

Smoked chicken, however, is absolutely wonderful. If you don’t have a smoker, you can still smoke meats, and I recommend you do. To smoke chicken thighs, get a wood plank and soak it for 60 minutes.

Weigh it down with a pot or can to keep it under water. Feel free to add apple juice, white wine or beer to the water to enhance the flavors.

Heat your grill to high (500). Remove plank from water, pat dry and spray one side with oil. For chicken, rub oil on chicken thighs, then coat with dry rub on all sides. Place chicken pieces, skin side up, on oiled side of plank.

Place plank with the chicken on the grill and cook for 5 minutes on high heat. Keep a spray bottle or water handy in case the planks catch fire.

Turn heat down under plank to lowest setting and lower other burners so that chicken is cooking at about 400. Cook another 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F/71C using an instant read thermometer.

You can also just used roasted chicken.

For the Duck Confit

I did a duck confit recipe for cassoulet in March ( which you can follow. But if you’re not in the mood, you can order confitted duck legs from Wegman’s.

All this experimenting aside, I still do love the seasoned brown beef with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese in a corn tortilla. But what’s life without a little fun?

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