When many people mention they had tacos, or are having tacos, the immediate thought is that they are having tacos, most likely with flour tortillas, or store bought hard shells, loaded with crummy ground beef and a taco seasoning packet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is anything bad with that, but, yes, to me that is not a taco. My first suggestion to all of you is to visit a local Mexican restaurant, one that is not loaded with white Americans, and try their tacos. In particular, try the al pastor, which is marinated pork in chilies, onion, and pineapple, that is super tender, loaded with flavor, and topped with cilantro, onion, tomato, avocado, and fresh lime, all bundled in a couple of warm corn tortillas. To me, al pastor is the quintessential meat for a taco, especially in corn tortillas. To me, this is a perfect taco. You have two options when making al pastor, buy it from your local Mexican supermarket in their butcher department, or make it yourself.
I’ve had al pastor on my mind for some time now, and so I decided to take those traditional flavors of an al pastor taco, and instead of folding that into corn tortillas, I decided, well, to load them up into some potato skins. Good? Yes. Great? You better believe it.
- 2 small to medium sized russet potatoes, rinsed clean
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup of cooked al pastor
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 3 tbsp onion, minced
- 1 lime, quartered
- 3 tbsp pineapple, diced
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Poke the top of each potato with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Once cooked, remove from the baking sheet, and place on a plate to let cool for about 15 minutes.
Once your potatoes are cooled, use a sharp bread knife and you will cut lengthwise, into three segments of one potato, long slices. So each potato will yield two skins, right? Discard the middle slice and reuse for breakfast the following morning, or heck for that matter, add some butter, salt, and cream, and make some rustic mashed potatoes.
Next, melt your butter in the microwave. Get your broiler heated to high. Brush the butter on the inside and outside of each potato skin and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season the inside of each skin with some salt and pepper.
Place them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter.
Remove them from the oven and prepare everything for the next step.
Add in approximately 1/4 cup of the cooked al pastor into each potato skin. Top that with some tomato, avocado, onion, pineapple, and shower with some of the cilantro. Squeeze just a bit of lime over the top. Repeat, and serve.
These al pastor potato skins were freaking delicious. They were everything you would expect in what I define as a perfect taco, but with the corn tortilla. Instead, a really awesome potato skin housed the awesome balance of flavors.
If you are looking for something fun, exciting, and different to make, give these a try, and happy Cinco de Mayo!