Indian Tacos (with Navajo fry bread)

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indian fry bread taco
  • ServingsServings

Ingredients

For the fry bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (and maybe a little more)
  • oil for frying (3/4" deep in a big skillet)

For the sauteed topping:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 onion, fine dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound yellow summer squash, bite-sized cubes (about 3 medium)
  • kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 4 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips (rajas) (use rubber gloves to avoid burning skin)
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • salt

For Assembly

  • 3 cups tender cooked pinto beans (homemade or canned)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup minced white onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups killer guacamole or your favorite recipe
  • homemade hot sauce (but with morita and California dried peppers) or your favorite brand

Preparation

For the Fry Bread

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the milk and mix with a fork until you have a shaggy mass, adding a little more milk if needed. You want a dough that is just barely not-sticky-enough to roll out. With floured hands, knead for just a few seconds to make a ball. Oil and set aside until you are ready to fry.
  2. When ready to fry (just before serving, they are best fresh), bring a skillet filled with 3/4" of oil to 365 degrees F. Divide the dough into 4 balls and roll each one out to about 9" in diameter. Fry one at a time until medium golden brown (not as dark as the photograph), flipping to cook both sides. Be careful when flipping – they are big enough that if you just flop over with a spatula it can cause a dangerous splash. I used a spatula and a spoon to control them. Remove to paper towels to drain.

For the sauteed topping:

Heat the oil in a big skillet over a medium-high flame. Fry the the onion and garlic for 1 minute, then add the summer squash and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until browned; add the corn and cook 2 minutes; add the poblanos and oregano and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For assembly:

Put a fry bread on each plate, and top with generous portions of beans, the squash saute cheese, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole and hot sauce. Serve immediately.