Open Faced Mini Taquettes: Big Excitement from Tiny Tacos!

This summer I read an entire stack of cookbooks to broaden my horizons and started visiting farmers’ markets on a weekly basis, with a mission: Find something I’ve never had or used before, do some homework, and figure out how to make something splendid out of it. I am still reading and continue searching for new and funky ingredients in stores as well, which is really fun because the results are always unexpected and fun.

A few weeks ago my pick was arugula, and I had a housewarming party to go to. I was rushing through the day, having made apple butter, and didn’t want to show up with a salad, and after manically rifling through the fridge, I had  a lightbulb moment. I had a stack of 46 corn tortillas in the fridge and needed to find a way to use them! Tacos are fun, and you rarely get to have them at parties, so the idea was to make tiny appetizer-sized ones that were open-faced, with some of my favorite, super-strong ingredients. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they have to have tiny taste!

This was really fun to make, as it had to be done at the friend’s house, and other guests became curious to see what the hubbub was about.

“What is she making?”

“I don’t know, but it smells great!”

“Is she frying prosciutto?”

Reading the books this summer has surprised me in so many ways and provided new ideas that I love doing the same thing for other people. What? Frying this? Torching that? Putting those together? Oh yeah!!

Open Faced Mini Taquettes

(makes 20 pieces, but you can do more if you want because a lot of people wanted extra servings! There are a lot of options here, so play around and run with it! The choices I made created a very sweet-salty layered affect on top of the neutral corn “chips”, with a little bite from the arugula and pepper, which was a lot of fun.)

6″ diameter Corn tortillas (I used 5, for 20 taquettes)

Prosciutto, very thinly sliced (get your butcher to slice it for you. Also can try using bacon, pancetta, similar types of sliced meat, or for a vegetarian options, try substituting veggie bacon or mushroom slices that are fried until golden and crunchy)

1 big handful of arugula, stems removed (or rocket, as Jamie Oliver says, which confused me for the longest time)

1 or 2 tbsp salad dressing (I used Kraft’s sundried tomato & oregano, but also would have tried a raspberry vinaigrette, honey-mustard or Italian dressing)

1 head of roasted garlic

Gruyère cheese, for grating (have at least a 2″ square block)

Olive oil, for frying and drizzling

Pepper to season with

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While it warms up, use the back of a spoon to smear roasted garlic cloves generously all over the tortillas, drizzle on a little olive oil, and use the spoon to spread that love around on top of the garlic, without letting the tortilla get soggy. Quarter the tortillas, lay them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven when it's warm enough. I made do with one of those giant foil pans that you get massive take-out/buffet food in.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While it warms up, use the back of a spoon to smear roasted garlic cloves generously all over the tortillas, drizzle on a little olive oil, and use the spoon to spread that love around on top of the garlic, without letting the tortilla get soggy. Quarter the tortillas, lay them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven when it's warm enough. I made do with one of those giant foil pans that you get massive take-out/buffet food in.

Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan on the stove and turn the heat up to medium. Carefully tear up the prosciutto, and add it all in 1 layer when the pan is hot. Grate the Gruyere while that cooks up. Let the prosciutto get crispy and curly all the way through, then drain on a paper towel to cool off and absorb any greasiness.

Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan on the stove and turn the heat up to medium. Carefully tear up the prosciutto, and add it all in 1 layer when the pan is hot. Grate the Gruyere while that cooks up. Let the prosciutto get crispy and curly all the way through, then drain on a paper towel to cool off and absorb any greasiness.

Check on the tortillas for crunchy done-ness and take them out to cool off. Toss the arugula in the dressing, being careful to coat it without letting it get floppy and wilted from having too much in there. The kitchen was bustling, so I used the arugula's bag to shake it around in. Easy!

Toss the arugula in the dressing, being careful to coat it without letting it get floppy and wilted from having too much in there. The kitchen was bustling, so I used the arugula's bag to shake it around in. Easy! Check on the tortillas for crunchy done-ness and take them out.

Spread the tortillas out on a platter to serve, and sprinkle on the grated cheese. These ones were still warm, so it melted, yay!

Spread the tortillas out on a platter to serve, and sprinkle on the grated cheese. These ones were still warm, so it melted!

Top each taquette with a piece of arugula (fold the leaves if you have to) and prosciutto. If there are any tortillas that curled up in the oven, don't worry, they look cooler and it's more fun to tuck stuff inside them.

Top each taquette with a piece of arugula (fold the leaves if you have to) and prosciutto. If there are any tortillas that curled up in the oven, don't worry, they look cooler and it's more fun to tuck stuff inside them.

Share! If you feel like it.

Crack some pepper on top and share, if you're in a generous mood.

Notes: You can also do these with slices of baguette, but would have to watch for burning, toast for a shorter period of time, and they wouldn’t be little tacos. I might also try a very Italian version of this one day, substituting basil leaves with no dressing for the arugula, shaved Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano for the Gruyère (be mindful of saltiness), and maybe adding a sundried tomato slice on top of the garlic to caramelize it while in the oven, mmm!

Eat well!

Kari

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This entry was posted in Appies & Sides, Gluten-free, Shiny New Excitement!, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Open Faced Mini Taquettes: Big Excitement from Tiny Tacos!

  1. andreaskluth says:

    You would get a huge kick out of another foodie blog:
    http://elegantsufficiency.typepad.com/

    It’s by Stephanie Wood, an Aussie friend of mine whom I met in Hong Kong (I was already at The Economist, she was at the Wall Street Journal).

    She loves food, and is, I believe, right now working on her book proposal about that very topic.

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