Brent T.Frei 0000-00-00 00:00:00
A taco renaissance is taking the nation—and its schools—by storm. After all, virtually everything tastes better folded inside of a crispy or soft tortilla! The notion that the most popular U.S. menu trends are always born in the lofty realm of fine dining used to be true. As with the Caesar salad (which debuted in a posh Tijuana restaurant nearly 90 years ago), conventional wisdom said that any concept with enough legs could emerge from the sanctity of the ivory tablecloth to one day grace the menu at McDonald’s. But then came the wrap sandwich. From humble origins in the quickservice Mexican segment, the wrap’s skyrocketing popularity trickled <i>up </i>rather than down, forever expanding where we look for the next “big thing.” Today, even ritzy Ritz-Carlton hotels capitalize on the appeal of wraps at lunch. And the precursor of the wrap? The taco. Granted, the line between what constitutes a wrap versus a taco these days can be decidedly gray. But the classic taco’s south-of-the-border familiarity coupled with a touch of not-made-in-America exotic elicits excitement among diners frequenting operations in all industry segments—to the same degree as if tacos were invented only yesterday! Feeding the current taco revolution from coast to coast is the latent realization that just about anything tastes better and is more fun to eat when it’s nestled in a folded tortilla. <b>Gourmet Goodness </b> More often than not, the ingredients and flavors in any taco are still Mexican, but by no means are chefs and foodservice operators limiting themselves only to inspiration from our southernmost neighbor. Who had heard of a Korean taco five years ago? Today, bulgogi-barbecue tacos, the darling of many a food-truck menu, represent just one incarnation of a cross-cultural fusion that’s driving unprecedented mania over so-called “street” foods, of which the once-unassuming taco is a clear leader. Most foodservice operations capitalizing on the taco craze, if they’re tweaking the traditional at all, are doing so by just one or two comfortable degrees. That might mean simply introducing to an American palate a taco variety that’s already familiar in Mexico. Let’s start by taking a look at how some restaurant chefs are taking this approach to heart with gourmet taco dishes. Guests at Mercadito, which serves more than 3,000 tacos every week among four taquerías in New York, Miami and Chicago, can enjoy any of a wealth of taco varieties from the Carnitas de Puerco (Michoacán-style braised pork, chile de árbol coleslaw and toasted peanuts) to the Estilo Baja (crispy beer-battered mahi-mahi, Mexican-style coleslaw and chipotle aïoli) to the Rajas (black-bean hash, roasted poblanos, onion, crema fresco and crispy potatoes). “People love tacos,” says Mercadito Corporate Chef Patricio Sandoval. “They’re easy to share among friends, and you can put some really fun twists on traditional recipes.” On National Taco Day last October 4, SOL Mexican Cocina in Newport Beach, Calif., asked patrons to judge the better of the restaurant’s two signature tacos: the Grilled Taco “Al Pastor,” featuring flash-grilled pork loin in ancho chile-garlic recado in a corn tortilla with Oaxaca cheese and fresh pineapple, and the Crispy Crab’Tinga Taco, consisting of two crunchy tacos filled with sautéed crabmeat, chipotle, onion and red peppers. “Pork won hands down,” says Chef/Owner Deborah Schneider. “I think because it was a soft taco with a piece of meat. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.” Schneider also points to her best-selling carne-asada street tacos featuring Kobe beef and skirt steak grilled with garlic and coarse salt and served with pico de gallo, avocado sauce and onion. “My approach is traditional Mexican food with the best possible ingredients. The meat is delicious, and I charge a premium for it.” Tacos generate 50% of food sales at SOL Mexican Cocina, a fact “which came as a complete shock to all of us” when the restaurant opened in 2009, Schneider recounts. “We thought we’d sell more seafood entrées and ceviches because we’re [located by] the water.” Considered a pioneer in the gourmet-taco movement and one of the country’s foremost experts on Baja fish tacos, Schneider will take her taco evangelism beyond Southern California when her second restaurant opens in Scottsdale, Ariz., in February. Tacos account for as much as 80% of food sales at Guanajuato, which quickly wowed Chicago’s North Shore with its authentic Mexican fare when the restaurant opened in 2010. Chef/owner Margarita Challenger’s specialty is the barbacoa (goat) taco dinner: three tortillas filled with pulled goat meat that’s been slowly cooked, garnished with onions and cilantro and served with rice and beans. But female diners tend to prefer Challenger’s grilled salmon, tilapia and shrimp tacos, served with chipotle mayonnaise, pico de gallo and avocado, as well as the recently added Santa Fe taco, which replaces the tortilla by using fresh romaine to hold the ingredients. Meanwhile, among the restaurant’s male patrons, steak, chicken and chorizo-sausage tacos reign. <b>Tacos for Niños </b> <i>School Nutrition </i>is sharing these trends in gourmet tacos to give you a sense of the potential scope of this singular menu item. But we know your primary focus is on how this menu trend is growing among kids. For kids dining at Chicago’s Guanajuato, the menu favorite is the Tacos Niños, which consists of three mini soft or crispy tacos (featuring either marinated chicken in tomato sauce, steak or ground beef), served with rice and beans. “Children like their tacos—and they know their tacos,” Challenger asserts. “They want to see what they’re eating.” That’s why Guanajuato serves kids tacos plain with a choice of lettuce, tomato, onion and mozzarella (which is a little lighter than Chihuahua cheese). One surprise to Challenger was children’s preference for soft corn tortillas. “I would have expected flour, but the number of kids who ask for flour tortillas, or even crispy tacos, is maybe 5%,” she reports. “I think it’s a mouthfeel choice first, and then the texture of the tortillas in their little hands.” Another foodservice segment K-12 operators should watch for trends is the college/university market; popular menu items frequently trickle up and down between college and K-12 students. And it may be that slightly bigger hands prefer corn, too, or at least that’s the case among female students at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, who seem to prefer crispy corn taco shells. On the other hand, male students tend to opt for soft flour tortillas, because “They can stuff more into them,” suggests Donald Miller, executive chef of Notre Dame Food Services. Notre Dame serves 15,000 meals daily in two residence dining halls, and tacos appear four times every 11 days at a Pan-American exhibition cooking station at both lunch and dinner. “We practice the stage-cooking concept, as opposed to the old days when everything was cooked in back and brought out front in chafers,” Miller explains. “We’re assembling a lot to order.” Besides ground-beef tacos and chicken tacos featuring marinated and grilled thigh meat, tilapia tacos move fast whenever they appear. (And at the Catholic university, they’re particularly popular on Fridays.) <b>Tacos Rule at K-12 Schools </b> While SOL Mexican Cocina’s taco sporting beer-battered, deep-fried oyster and shiitake mushrooms with red-pepper garlic sauce is unlikely to be served at a U.S. elementary school anytime soon, <i>ground-beef </i>tacos are an unshakeable lunchtime offering at the seven schools in Norwin School District, which serves students in western Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County. The district’s school meals program offers tacos daily at the secondary schools and once per menu cycle at the four elementary schools. At Norwin High School, tacos are served from the line, where students receive two 7-in. flour tortillas and lean ground beef filling, which they may dress to their liking at a refrigerated taco bar displaying traditional accompaniments, like shredded lettuce, banana peppers, sliced black olives, sour cream, salsa and hot sauce. Soft tacos also rule at Norwin District’s elementary schools. “Last year we offered hard and soft taco shells, but the hard shells weren’t a big seller,” reports Rod Stewart, Norwin’s director of food and nutrition services. “I don’t know what it’s like in New Mexico, but students here prefer a soft taco, because it’s easier to eat. Tacos are one of the few items we serve [that doesn’t provide a whole-grain bread serving], because I haven’t come across a whole-grain tortilla that I like. You can get [whole-wheat] shells, but they drastically change the appearance of the tacos, and the flavor is different. It’s the flavor profile and mouthfeel of our tacos that our customers like.” Soft tortillas also are preferred at all 52 sites that make up Norfolk (Va.) Public Schools. But Helen Phillips, SNS, senior director of school nutrition (and SNA president), <i>has </i>found a whole-grain flour tortilla that her students enjoy. Groundbeef tacos are served once a week at the district’s 16 secondary schools and every three weeks at the elementary schools. In 2010, Phillips added a fish taco to the mix, and today it’s on the three-week menu cycle at every school in the district. “It’s become pretty popular,” reports Phillips of the taco, which features par-fried, Southwestern-seasoned, breaded Alaska pollock fillet that’s baked off before being snuggled into a flour tortilla with a dab of lightly dressed coleslaw. “We introduced the fish taco, because it’s a whole concept that is growing in popularity as a restaurant item,” she explains. “We wanted to offer more fish, so we’re very pleased” by the reception it’s had with students. Phillips initially preferred to use a soft corn tortilla, so that it would more closely resemble the Baja-style fish tacos “spawning” delight among restaurant patrons nationwide. But she opted for the flour variety, because it does double duty with the ground-beef tacos, thus easing procurement and inventory control. And now that Norfolk’s students of all ages have begun to embrace fish via a taco, Phillips anticipates experimenting with unbreaded pollock— a high-quality fish that, since being approved as a commodity, has become a more affordable option for school meal programs. Dennis Littley, executive chef at Mount Saint Joseph Academy near Philadelphia, believes that tacos are popular among his students because it’s a flavorful and fun menu item to eat, but seldom served at home. Plus, Mexican cuisine is as entrenched in school foodservice as in any other market segment. Traditional tacos are offered at this college-prep high school for girls once a month. Served from an “action station,” students have a protein choice of seasoned ground beef or diced seasoned chicken breast. For those who want to go meatless, seasoned beans are an option. But beans don’t inspire much awe, Littley says, which is why he also provides a taco-meat substitute that he says is virtually indistinguishable from beef. Students may choose between corn and flour tortillas; he estimates that they prefer the crunchiness of corn over the chewiness of flour by a 10 to 1 ratio. <b>Sparking a Revolution </b> The love of tacos also has generated a slew of taco-inspired offerings at Mount Saint Joseph. According to Littley, students are embracing taco pizza with fresh tomato slices (the brainchild result of too much leftover taco meat one day), taco salad (featuring multi-colored corn chips as a base), nachos with cut-up chicken breast and melted cheese and a “walking taco” (crushed corn chips topped with traditional taco embellishments akin to a Frito pie). Because of their tight fit within nutrition guidelines, most of these dishes are menued infrequently. But when they <i>do </i>appear, they fly, Littley reports. And because he believes girls’ palates are more adventurous than boys’, Littley is looking forward to testing Indian- and Asian-inspired tacos, as well as another vegetarian taco—this one with lentils and chickpeas. He predicts that all of these will be hits. Why do kids like tacos? “Because of the taste,” asserts Norwin’s Rod Stewart. “And because tacos are handheld and easy to eat. Tacos have the same appeal as a hamburger—if you have to use a knife and fork to eat one, that’s a turn-off. Kids are on the go, and tacos fit that bill.” Besides, he adds, given that kids are adding hot sauce to virtually any dish these days, it just seems more <i>right </i>on a taco. <b>Brent Frei</b> <i>is a freelance writer based in Schaumburg, Ill.</i> <b>POLLOCK TACOS </b> YIELD: 10 servings* PER SERVING: 332 cal., 14 g pro., 41 g carb., 1 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g sat. fat, 14 mg chol., 521 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Flour tortillas, 8-in.*—10 Pollock, once-frozen, 3.6-oz. hoagie portion—10 Cabbage-and-carrot mix—2 ½ cups Sour cream, fat-free—optional Salsa—optional Jalapenos, sliced—optional Tomatoes, diced—optional Cheese, shredded—optional <b>DIRECTIONS </b> 1. To prepare the pollock: Prepare a few fish portions at least one day prior to serving to test the cooking time and temperature to assure optimum product quality. 2. Cook the fish according to the temperature and time indicated on the package. Note that the fish is raw prior to cooking. Adjust time as necessary for your oven to obtain the proper temperature and crispness. 3. To assemble the cabbage-and-carrot mix: Use a shredded cabbage mix and add shredded carrots and combine. Refrigerate until serving. 4. To prepare the tacos for each serving: Keep the tortillas warm, but prevent them from drying out. Portion ¼ cup of the cabbage-and-carrot mix onto a tortilla. Place one hoagie fish portion on top of the cabbage mix. 5. Serve the tacos with sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, tomatoes and cheese as optional condiments. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, www. greatfishforgreatkids.org *Notes: For the tortillas, you can use a combination of green (spinach), red (sun-dried tomato) and/or plain tortillas. The hoagie-style portions of the pollock can be substituted with 30 1.25-oz. cornmeal-breaded strips; use 3 strips per serving. If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, adjust the quantities for batch preparation. The nutrient analysis above does not include the optional condiments. <B>SPICY VEGETABLE TACOS </B> YIELD: 48 servings INGREDIENTS Vegetable oil—¼ cup Chopped onion—2 qts. Carrots, diced—1 ½ qts. Garlic, finely chopped—3 Tbsps. Chipotle in adobo, canned, finely chopped—3 Tbsps. Chili powder—¼ cup Cumin, ground—2 Tbsps. Salt—1 Tbsp. Zucchini, diced*—1 ½ gals. Tomatoes, canned, diced—1 gal. Rice, long-grain, brown*—1 ½ gals. Cilantro, finely chopped—1 ½ cups Taco shells or soft tortillas, 6-in., warmed—96 <b>DIRECTIONS</b> 1. Heat the oil in a braiser or tilting skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until tender (about 6-7 minutes). 2. Stir in the garlic, chipotle, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for 1 minute. 3. Add the zucchini and saute until crisp tender (about 6 minutes). 4. Add the tomatoes and cooked rice and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes and until the mixture reaches a temperature of 145°F or higher. Stir in the cilantro; keep warm. Hold at 135°F or higher. 5. For each serving: Use a #4/8-oz. scoop for the rice-vegetable mixture. Serve two taco shells or tortillas per serving. Recipe: USA Rice Federation, www.menurice.com *Notes: You can substitute all or some of the zucchini with yellow squash. You may use whole-grain rice or a seasoned rice blend or parboiled rice in this recipe. If a protein addition is desired, 6 lbs. of diced chicken, pork or beef may be sauteed after the onions as an option. If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, conduct a nutrient analysis. KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • Consider omitting the chipotle when serving this item to younger students. • Salt can be omitted for all age groups. • Cooking the ingredients in a steam-jacketed kettle worked well. • Some kids preferred the fi lling as a side dish rather than in a taco; as a side dish, it could go well with quesadillas. <B>SOFT SOY-ENHANCED TACOS </B> YIELD: 24 servings PER SERVING: 149 cal., 10 g pro., 16 g carb., 2 g fiber, 5 g fat, 16 mg chol., 560 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Water, boiling—1 ½ cups Texturized soy protein—2 cups Beef, lean, ground—1 lb. Onions, chopped—1 cup Soybean oil*—1 Tbsp. Tomato sauce—2 cups Chiles, green, canned, diced—1 cup Chili powder—1 Tbsp. Salt, garlic—2 tsps. Pepper, ground—½ tsp. Tortillas—24 <b>DIRECTIONS </b> 1. Pour the boiling water over the texturized soy protein. 2. Saute the ground beef and onion in the oil until the beef is no longer pink. Add the rehydrated texturized soy protein, tomato sauce, chiles, chili powder, garlic salt and pepper. Mix well. 3. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 4. Wrap the tortillas in a clean towel and microwave on high (100% power) for 20-25 seconds. 5. For each serving: Place a tortilla on a serving plate, then spoon ⅓ cup of the heated meat-soy mixture in the center of each tortilla. Top with ¼ cup lettuce, 2 Tbsps. of tomatoes and 2 Tbsps. of cheese. Fold in half. Serve with 2 ozs. (or ¼ cup) of salsa. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: United Soybean Board, www.soyconnection.com *Notes: Vegetable oil can be substituted for the soybean oil. To recalculate the recipe for a larger number of students, visit www.soyconnection.com/recipes/soy-soft-tacos-recipe and type in the desired number of servings, then select “click here.” <B>EXCELLENT EGG TACOS </B> PER SERVING: 198 cal., 10 g pro., 15 g carb., 1 g fiber, 11 g fat, 4 g sat. fat, 222 mg chol., 663 mg sod., 1 mg iron, 112 mg ca. YIELD: 100 servings INGREDIENTS Eggs—11 lbs.* <i>or </i>100 large Taco seasoning—~3 ozs. <i>or </i>½ cup* Cheddar cheese, shredded—2 lbs. Onion, diced—8 ozs. <i>or </i>2 cups Corn taco shells (4- or 5-in.)—3 lbs., 6 ozs. <i>or </i>100 shells Salsa, thick and chunky—~12 lbs. <i>or </i>1 ½ gals. <b>DIRECTIONS </b> 1. Heat a conventional oven to 300oF. 2. Beat the eggs. Cook and scramble the eggs in small batches in a spray-coated or buttered pan over medium heat until firm throughout, with no visible liquid egg remaining. 3. Stir in the taco seasoning, cheese and onion. Keep warm. 4. Portion about ⅓ cup of the egg mixture into each taco shell. Transfer the tacos to baking pans. 5. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until the tacos are heated through. 6.<b> </b>Serve each warm taco with ¼ cup salsa. Serve immediately. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: American Egg Board, www.aeb.org *Notes: If using frozen or liquid whole egg product, 11 lbs. of this product may be used. Less seasoning may be used, if desired. Do not let the uncooked egg mixture remain at room temperature for longer than one hour (including preparation service time). KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • Flour tortillas make a good substitute for corn taco shells. • Cook eggs in a steamer for 4 minutes instead of on a stove top to speed up the cooking time. • Use your own taco seasoning mix, if you have one that you prefer. • Depending on local student acceptability, green peppers and/or red peppers can be added to the recipe. <B>TUNA TACOS</B> YIELD: 30 servings PER SERVING: 189 cal., 14 g pro., 17 g carb., 2 g fiber, 7 g fat, 5 g sat. fat, 38 mg chol., 416 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Taco seasoning mix—⅓ cup Water—⅓ cup Albacore tuna—1 43-oz. pouch Cheese, Mexican-style, shredded—5 cups Onion, chopped—4 cups Cabbage mix—5 cups Tomatoes, chopped—5 cups Tortillas, corn, heated—30 Salsa, fresh—optional Limes, cut in wedges—optional <b>DIRECTIONS</b> 1. In a large skillet, combine the taco seasoning with water. Cook on medium heat until heated through. 2. Flake in the tuna and heat until hot. Drain and set aside. 3. For each serving: Evenly divide 1 ½ ozs. of the tuna mixture, 1 ½ ozs. of cheese, 1 oz. of onions, 1 ½ ozs. of cabbage mix and 1 ½ ozs. of tomatoes per taco. 4. Serve immediately with optional salsa and lime wedges. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: Chicken of the Sea International, www.chickenofthesea.com <B>CHICK PEA OF THE SEA TACOS </B> YIELD: 60 servings TACOS INGREDIENTS DRESSING INGREDIENTS Chickpeas—2 ½ #10 cans Garlic powder—2 ⅓ Tbsps. Tomatoes, fresh—12 lbs. Oregano, dried—5 Tbsps. Onions, fresh—7 Chile powder—5 Tbsps. Celery ribs, fresh—8 Mustard—5 Tbsps. Pickles—4 cups Olive oil—2 ¾ cups Taco shells—60 Salt—5 Tbsps. <b>DIRECTIONS</b> 1. To prepare the taco filling: Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher.* 2. Finely dice the tomatoes, onions, celery and pickles and add them to the mashed chickpeas. Mix together with a large spoon. 3. To prepare the dressing: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic powder, oregano, chile powder, mustard, olive oil and salt. 4. Add the dressing to the chickpea-and-vegetable mix. Stir well so that the dressing is evenly distributed. 5. Just prior to service, heat the taco shells in a 350oF oven for about 7-8 minutes. 6. For each serving: Spoon ¾ cup of the finished salad into each taco shell immediately before serving. Recipe: Created for the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food’s Project Cool School Food Recipe Contest (www.healthylunches.org) by Chef Rich Landau, Horizons Restaurant, Philadelphia *Notes: To increase efficiency, draining and rinsing the chickpeas a day in advance is helpful. The finished salad will keep well in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container for up to three days. If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, conduct a nutrient analysis. <B>TACOS DE PAPAS CON CHORIZO Y SALSA DE AGUACATE </B> YIELD: 24 servings PAPAS CON CHORIZO INGREDIENTS Potatoes—3 lbs. Salt—2 Tbsps. Mexican chorizo sausage—3 lbs. Onion, white—1 lb., 8 ozs. SALSA DE AGUACATE INGREDIENTS Tomatillos, husks removed—1 lb. Garlic—4 cloves Serrano chiles, stemmed—2-4 Avocados, ripe—2 lbs. <b>DIRECTIONS</b> 1. To prepare the Papas con Chorizo: Dice the potatoes into ½-in. pieces. Remove the casings from the sausage. Finely chop the onion. 2. In a pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and salt. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. 3. In a large, well-seasoned saute pan or griddle, saute the chorizo and onion over medium heat until the chorizo is cooked through and the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Pour off the excess fat. 4. Add the cooked potatoes. Mash and stir the potatoes with a spatula until they begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Cover and keep the potatoes warm until service or chill before use. Yields 16 cups of potatoes. 5. To prepare the Salsa de Aguacate: Chop the tomatillos. Peel and pit the avocados. 6. In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, garlic and chiles. Pulse until finely chopped. 7. Add the avocados. Process until well-blended and the mixture is the consistency of a light mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt. Yields 4 cups of salsa. 8. For each serving: Portion ⅔ cup of Papas con Chorizo evenly in 2 tortillas, folding each in half to make a taco. Garnish with about 2 Tbsps. of the Salsa de Aguacate. Photo: U.S. Potato Board, www.uspotatoes.com Recipe: Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, Chicago *Note: If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, conduct a nutrient analysis. <b>A Taco by Any Name</b> The Del Taco restaurant chain, found in 17 states, put a spin on one of Germany’s most famous events last autumn when it offered daily taco specials in a “celebration worthy of tacos,” which the chain dubbed “Tacoberfest.” Rather than <i>sauerbraten </i>in a flour tortilla, at the center of the promotion was a somewhat traditional item: The Taco Deluxe, featuring seasoned beef, grated cheddar, shredded lettuce, sour cream and pico de gallo for 89 cents. By contrast, when ZED451 in Chicago launched its autumn menu a few months ago, it boasted a melting pot of a la carte offerings. Among them was Executive Chef Patrick Quakenbush’s Moroccan-chicken “taco,” featuring pad Thai slaw, spicy mayo, sambal and cilantro assembled in a rice-paper shell. While more tacos on restaurant menus are transcending their Mexican roots to contain everything from ground Middle-Eastern-seasoned lamb shoulder to chocolate-covered bacon, perhaps no taco is as novel as that offered at Nate’s Taco Truck and Nate’s Taco Truck Stop in Richmond, Va. So enamored is chef/owner Nate Gutierrez of chicken skin that he took the skin left over from roasting chickens, crisped it on his flattop griddle, and offered it to patrons in a taco. As reported in <i>The New York Times </i>last September, the chicken-skin tacos sell out whenever Gutierrez menus them.<b> TEXAS-STYLE EGG TACOS</b> YIELD: 12 servings* INGREDIENTS Bacon, applewood, smoked—8 ozs. <i>or </i>8 slices Pepper, red, roasted—4 ozs. <i>or </i>1 whole Pepper, jalapeno—2 ozs. <i>or </i>1 large Potatoes, russet—1 lb. <i>or </i>2 medium Onion, red, chopped—4 ozs. <i>or </i>1 small Garlic, minced—1 tsp. Tortillas, flour, 8- to 9-in.—24 Eggs—24 large Salt—to taste Pepper—to taste Cheddar cheese, smoked, white, shredded—12 ozs. <b>DIRECTIONS </b> 1. Dice the bacon. Dice the potatoes into ½-in. pieces. Beat the eggs. 2. Crisp cook the bacon. Drain and reserve 3 Tbsps. of the bacon drippings. Keep the bacon warm. 3. Finely dice the red pepper; reserve. 4. Slice the jalapeno pepper lengthwise, reserving half of the seeds. Mince the pepper. 5. Cook the potatoes in the reserved bacon drippings in a non-stick skillet until golden brown, about 8 minutes. 6. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes until soft. 7. Add the peppers and saute for 1 minute. 8. Stir in the bacon. Keep warm. 9. Add the eggs to the pan. Cook and scramble the eggs until firm throughout with no visible liquid egg remaining. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm. 10. For each serving: Portion about ½ cup of the egg mixture onto each tortilla. Top with ½ oz. of cheese. Roll up the tortilla. Repeat; two tortillas equals one serving. Serve immediately. Photo and recipe: American Egg Board, www.aeb.org *Notes: Whole eggs may be substituted with 2 lbs., 10 ozs. of frozen or liquid whole egg product. If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, adjust the quantities for batch preparation and conduct a nutrient analysis. <B>PICADILLO PEAR OLÉ </B> YIELD: 48 servings PER SERVING: 240 cal., 15 g pro., 16 g carb., 2 g fiber, 13 g fat, 5 g sat. fat, 50 mg chol., 588 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Beef, ground—8 lbs. Onion, chopped—4 lbs. <i>or </i>3 qts. Sugar—4 ozs. <i>or </i>½ cup Salt—3 Tbsps. Cinnamon, ground—2 ½ Tbsps. Cumin, ground—2 ½ Tbsps. Tomato, canned, with liquid— 3 ¾ lbs. <i>or </i>2 qts. Pears, canned—5 ¼ lbs. <i>or </i>3 qts. Vinegar—1 ½ cups Taco shells—48 <b>DIRECTIONS </b> 1. Crush the tomatoes and drain and dice the pears. 2. Brown the beef until it begins to release its fat. Stir in the onion. Cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Drain off the excess fat. 3. Stir in the sugar, salt, cinnamon and cumin, stirring 1 minute. 4. Stir in the tomato, pears and vinegar. Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. 5. For each serving: Portion 1 cup of the mixture into a taco shell. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service, www.eatcannedpears.com *Note: This recipe is recommended as a filling for tacos. If using as such, add cheese and lettuce to complete the menu item, and conduct a new nutrient analysis. <b>Introducing a Little “Kitchen Wisdom”</b> <i>School Nutrition </i>is delighted to debut a new regular feature this month: “Kitchen Wisdom Says…” is a highlighted recipe that has been reviewed, modified and/or tested by members of the magazine’s new corps of “Kitchen Wisdom” volunteers. These SNA members graciously have offered <i>School Nutrition </i>their K-12 operational expertise on the practical preparation and application of selected recipes. Do you enjoy exploring new recipes? We welcome more volunteers to join the Kitchen Wisdom panel! If you are an SNA member and work in a school or district foodservice operation, contact Assistant Editor Cecily Walters, email@example.com or (800) 877-8822 ext. 142, for more information.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/%E2%80%9CViva%E2%80%9D+el+Taco/937567/95372/article.html.