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Old 02-17-2006, 06:39 PM   #1
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Missing TACOS? Got a solution!



I was missing TACOS! I had read about people making crackers out of shredded cheese, and I thought, why not TACO SHELLS...why not indeed!

You need a 7 or 8" nonstick, slope-sided omelette-type pan. You need some shredded cheese. I used Trader Joe's 3 cheese blend, which is mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and cheddar, preshredded. All cheddar might be pretty oily, as this was anyway, but might work!

Heat the pan over a fairly hot flame - when heated, add about 1 ounce or so of the shredded cheese. You want the very bottom of the pan covered, but not piled deep. Let the cheese cook until melted and bubbling and the oil starts to come to the top. Use a high-heat spatula to gently press the cheese around the edges to create an even edge all around. Check for browning on the bottom; when it's browned pretty well, and holding together, gently flip it over - press down to remove any air pockets and continue to cook until the cheese no longer is "liquid" underneath but is cohesive. Flip it out onto a dinner plate; blot gently with paper towels on both sides to remove excess grease. You have to work a bit quickly here as it will set up fairly fast, depending on room temp. Move it to a rack, gently fold in half, allowing it to set partly open so you can fill it later. This whole process takes about 2 minutes per shell. Repeat until you have the required number of shells.

The next thing that worked out REALLY well was instead of shredding the lettuce, I used whole romaine leaves, which I bent in half to "fracture" the stiff spine, then place the whole leaf inside the cheese shell; THEN fill that with your seasoned meat. Spoon on salsa or guacamole, sliced green onions, whatever you like on your tacos. EAT!

They are so nice because they don't fracture like corn tortilla shells do, they don't poke you in the mouth, the texture gives just slightly. Putting the whole lettuce leaf inside the shell prevents the hot meat from melting the cheese shell, AND you eliminate the problem of shredded lettuce falling out all over! No shredded cheese needed either, since the shell takes its place!

You could also do this as tostada shells.

Char
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:08 PM   #2
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These are great Char!! I love these things.

I've also made them out of the sliced provolone cheese, for mini tacos and I do the lettuce the same way you do.

Another thing I do is add some chopped or sliced black olives to the grated cheese and then I get a new flavor on my tacos cuz the black olives are always falling all over the place. This way, they stay in my taco, so to speak.

I have added minced onion also and jalepenos just to change the flavor.

Of course I haven't made any in a while. At one time, I had "breakfast tacos" like this nearly every day. Thanks for posting...I'm off to make some now.

Last edited by SugarBabi; 02-17-2006 at 07:11 PM..
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:33 PM   #3
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Great picture, I bet scrambled eggs would be good in those shells too
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:46 PM   #4
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Great idea, Tater! Add a sausage link or strip of bacon to it...yeah, sounds GOOD! Or scramble the egg with some cubed ham...

SugarBabi, hmmm, sliced cheese! Yeah! I wonder if havarti would work, may give it a try as I have some from Costco. Filled with chicken salad...tuna salad...the possibilities are endless here!
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:19 PM   #5
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Awwww Char...
You clever Gal...that's as purdy as a speckled pup in a li'l red wagon
I feel a Taco Attack comin' on ..Pronto!
oooooh, Havarti too, ...ya think?

SugarBabi...I like your Olive-capturing technique
...oooh, Provolone for mini ones...

Tater, any self-respecting scrambled egg would be thrilled to wear a cheesey wrap

Thanks for the ideas, Y'all...

Shawnee
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:52 PM   #6
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I wrote earlier that you posted a beautiful picture, but for some reason it didn't show up.

I've also taken pepperoni and chopped them up into small pieces and added them to the grated cheese.

Regular cheddar by itself does work, but it leaves a lot of grease behind.

I haven't tried it with just mozzarella or just jack cheese, but now I'm thinking of doing some experiments.

Another thing I like to do is make them tostada style and just put picante sauce on them and eat them like that.

I'm wondering what happens if you bake one...after making it in the skillet--I wonder if it will fall apart or stay the same cuz it's already cooked. I'm thinking of trying an enchilada experiment, just for kicks. If it works out, I'll post it tomorrow. Of course, my enchilada might become a wrap, depends on if it melts again or what.
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:57 PM   #7
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One more thought that just occured to me.
Hot dog, well, cheese dog wrap.
Yep, the possibilities are endless with this one.
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:15 PM   #8
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Oh, pepper jack cheese!

Pretty picture, pretty shells, pretty lettuce ... and, pretty plate!

Thank you for this, especially the lettuce lining tip!
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Old 02-22-2006, 08:39 AM   #9
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I was thinking today that if you made it the same but molded it around something tube shaped (while it's still flexible), I could fill them with stuff. I'm don't know if they'd be sturdy enough for stuffing with tuna\chicken\ham salad though. Maybe make a rolled taco sort of thing where I'd wrap the flexible cheese circle around a pre-cooked chicken finger? If it worked, and I dipped 'em in a salsa\sour cream mix, that would be good. I'm going to experiment with it this weekend and see what I come up with.
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:24 PM   #10
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I think they would be sturdy enough and your idea sounds great. Can't wait to hear the results of your experiments. {A test tube would be great to make them tubular...can't think of what else might work at the moment.}

Now, I'm thinking manicotti...hmmm
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:30 PM   #11
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I've made these but folded pizza toppings into it! Also great made into salad "bowls". You know, I've also been thinking about the "forms" for the tacos...I have this ceramic taco holder that I bet would work great! Here's a pic...

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Old 02-22-2006, 02:33 PM   #12
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Hi Charski. I have been making these for a while and you're right...they are excellent!! Such a wonderful toasty cheese flavor. After I make them up on the stove, I take them off and blot and then QUICKLY drape them over a rolling pin to get that taco shell shape. These are so good. I also like to crunch them up and put them in taco salad. I like the egg idea that was posted...I'll have to try that.

God bless, Tera
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underHiswing
I've made these but folded pizza toppings into it! Also great made into salad "bowls". You know, I've also been thinking about the "forms" for the tacos...I have this ceramic taco holder that I bet would work great! Here's a pic...

The pizza toppings sound good, esp. if you use mozzarella or the pizza mix cheese. Yummy!!

So many great ideas for these!!
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:47 PM   #14
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Yeah, that ceramic thing looks workable, I think, if you let them firm up enough first so they won't squoosh (technical term) down into the form.

I was thinking I might save my next couple of paper towel tubes and suspend them between some cans, and drape the soft shells over them - might also absorb some more of the oils.

I also thought about getting a length of broomstick and covering it with foil and then suspended it across the kitchen sink....

I made these again last night, filling them with leftover chicken, which I shredded and heated up with a pinch of cumin, ancho chile powder, garlic salt, onion powder, and the juice of a fresh lime - boy they were so yummy! DH just LOVES the leaf liners....
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:22 PM   #15
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Darn, I have already had my dinner! These look wonderful and you all have great ideas. Thanks
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Old 02-24-2006, 02:38 PM   #16
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how delicious looking!! Thanks for posting all the fab pics!
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:56 PM   #17
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Just gotta add, we made a "Greek Taco" tonight - I fried a mixture of Halloumi and 3 cheese blend into the shells, lined them with the green leaf lettuce, and filled with leftover thinly-sliced lamb loin, Trader Joe's tzatziki, slivered red onion, halved Calamata olives, and a drizzle of Calamata olive oil vinaigrette. Kind of like a gyro but crunchier and low carb and truly yummy!
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:33 AM   #18
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Tried these for the first time last night and I must say they are wonderful and you are my new hero!!!!!
I shredded chicken and mixed onions,chopped(hot)chilies,cumin,fresh cilantro and garlic salt.I then stuffed each shell lined with lettuce with the chicken,avocado and sour cream.It was awesome!
Thank You,Thank You,Thank You

Last edited by Barbara690; 02-25-2006 at 06:35 AM..
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:51 AM   #19
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oh, yum

sour cream would totally make these!! sounds great!
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:58 AM   #20
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I make these, fill with tuna salad and kindof roll them up.

Also smaller ones-allow them to set up flat, they make for good mini tostadas!
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:55 AM   #21
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Made these Friday night and WOW! They were awesome! Thanks for sharing! These will be a staple at our house when we're craving taco bell!!!
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:58 PM   #22
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Taco Shells

Charski,

These looks beautiful. My DH likes a soft taco and this might do it
for him. Your idea of lining with long leaf lettuce is brilliant.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:17 PM   #23
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These are cool. I do like them, but when I am pressed for time, I just slice big rounds of jicama, put on the toppings and eat it like a tostada. It has a very taco salad thing going on.
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:07 PM   #24
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:28 PM   #25
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I made these again a couple weeks back, after forgetting about them for at least 6 months. This time, though, I lined my biggest baking sheets with my nonstick teflon liner (you could use parchment paper or nonstick foil though) and made 3 cheese "circles" on each of 2 sheets and baked them at 400* til they stopped bubbling much. Waited a minute, then took them off the sheets and formed the taco shape over a wooden dowel covered with foil.

MUCH easier, faster, and less having to pay attention to it! A good tweak, I think!
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:38 PM   #26
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Yes, these crispy cheese tacos are wonderful!!! I have also fried the cheese in a frying pan in one big circle and then when it was done - I set it on top of an upside-down bowl to cool and form. It made a really nice taco salad shell!!!!!


That's one of the biggest things I miss with taco salads. Now with this crispy cheese taco shell - it's a great subsitute for the real thing!
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:50 AM   #27
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Wow..definitely going to try these Char..

Hey..do you think muffin top pans would work in the oven. That way they would stay in the right shape. I might cut parchment paper for each circle, then sprinkle the cheese on top and bake..Just a thought..
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:05 AM   #28
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These sound so good. (I used to eat four Taco Bell tacos for a lunch. )

How much shredded cheese did you use for the 7" skillet?
I'm afraid my 4 oz of cheese in a meal days are over. So if it's a lot of cheese I may have to pass.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:01 PM   #29
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How much cheese are you allowing yourself per meal, Jezzie?

I would think that 2-3 oz. of shredded cheese would make a substantial tostada shell.....Keeping it flat instead of shaped like a traditional shell would allow you to layer on more toppings....

Or as Flower suggested, make a bowl and pile in your taco salad fixings....LOVE that suggestion!

Last edited by LeighDear; 10-13-2007 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:28 PM   #30
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I experimented..

In my fridge I had the shredded cheddar, FAT FREE mozzarella (I bought by mistake), and some parmesan. I used all three..and I think the fat free cheese
absorbed the shredded cheddar and it wasn't greasy at all..Tasted great!!!
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