Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Make Navajo Tacos

Navajo tacos are a tradition when we go camping. They're easy to make and you can feed a passel of people with little fuss.

Navajo tacos consist of fried bread dough (called fry bread) topped with chili, cheese, lettuce and tomato. If you wish, you can add salsa and sour cream.

You can use your own bread dough--and that reminds me. One day in the future I'll give you my recipe. However, when we camp, we buy frozen dinner roll dough from the freezer section of the grocery store.

If we're having Navajo Tacos for dinner, I set the bag of rolls out to thaw about mid-morning. When they're squishy but still cold, I mash two together and set them on a pan I've sprayed with Pam to rise.

When the rolls have risen to double their bulk, I heat the chili. You can simply buy canned chili, or you can make your own. (There's another blog!)

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. When you drop a piece of roll in it and it bubbles around it, it's hot enough. If it bubbles furiously, it's too hot. Turn the heat down and cook one of the rolls just to bring down the temperature, and try again. After one or two, you'll learn to read the temperature of the oil.

Before you drop the roll in the oil, you need to flatten it to about the thickness of a pancake. It will puff up again as it fries.

Cook the bread until it's golden brown on one side and then turn over to cook on the other side. If it's turning brown on the outside but it's still doughy on the inside, your oil is too hot.

Remove the bread and drain on a paper towel.

These are best if eaten right away. We usually cook two or three and then have people start coming through the line. We give them a piece of fry bread hot out of the oil, then they put on their own toppings that we have laid out buffet-style. If your crowd is big, you can have two or three people cooking fry bread. However, if that doesn't work out, you can hold them in a warm oven until you have enough cooked to begin.

We also have butter, powdered sugar and honey set out so everyone can have a piece of fry bread for dessert.

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Stephanie Black said...

Yum, Liz, this sounds SO tasty!

Kari Pike said...

YUMMY! We love Navajo tacos! Hmmm...I have bread dough rising right now...maybe we'll have some for dinner tonight! Thanks Liz

Liz Adair said...

It's tasty, Stephanie, because it's FRIED. It's a guilty pleasure.

Kari, you have bread rising! What a great mom you are. How do you stay so slender with home-made bread around?

If I lived in the SLC area, I'd arrange to come visit around dinnertime.

Tina Scott, the writing artist said...

Liz, I can't believe you're out camping this time of year. We've got snow on our mountains here in the deserts of AZ. Our family also loves Navajo Tacos, and I'd never thought of using frozen bread dough. What a good idea!

Liz Adair said...

Actually, Tina--and sorry to mar my image, here--but that was a campout in September.

I thought when I was posting this that my Arizona readers would probably all know how to make these, but I'm glad the frozen roll dough tip was new to you.

Valerie Ipson said...

We love these, too, but haven't tried them with bread dough or chili. We use refried beans and the fry bread is made with shortening and flour and a few other things. I like the idea of the frozen bread dough--easy peasy!

Liz Adair said...

I'm with you, Valerie, on the refried beans. That's why I like to make my own chili--it's mostly beans, and I use green chilis instead of red to season it.

So, when you make them, is your bread more like sopapillas?

Tanya Parker Mills said...

Okay, now I'm really hungry. This diet thing is killing me! It's a good thing all your postings are archived. I'll have to revisit the food related ones in about a year.