December 14, 2009

Navajo Tacos




This is one of my favorite meals. Navajo Tacos were a staple while growing up. Everyone back home has their own version, but since I had a mom that grew up on the Navajo reservation, and a dad that served an LDS mission to the same reservation (long story, and their meeting is not what you might think), the one thing that we couldn't do without was homemade fry bread. I think it was just the purist in my mom. I know lots of people use the frozen roll dough, or even refer to the bread as a scone, but to each her own.

As I've been growing a family of my own, Navajo Tacos have become a staple in my house as well. It's one of the few things that not only will my kids eat, but they can't get enough of. Thank goodness for that! I've taken a few shortcuts, but I still never budge on the fry bread. It's so easy, it would be silly not to make it! :-)

I don't have step-by-step photos to go with the instructions, but this is the recipe I follow:

Chili mixture:
1 lb. ground beef
1 can Hormel chili w/out beans
2 cans pinto beans or small red beans, drained*
*(I had leftover pinto beans from this recipe and it gave the entire chili mixture a little somethin' extra.)

Cook beef, add cans of chili and beans; heat together on low until ready to serve. The longer it sits, the more the flavors have a chance to get to know each other. Season to taste.

Fry Bread Dough
3 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Warm water

Add dry ingredients and then gently mix as you add water. DON'T WORK THE DOUGH TOO MUCH! It will make for very tough bread. Add as much water as you need to get the dough to come together, but is not overly sticky. Let it rest for a bit.

Once it has rested, pull off handfuls of dough, then roll the dough out until it's about 1/4" thick, depending on what you like. I like my dough a little more "pillowy," so I don't roll the dough out any thinner than that.

Next comes the frying. I use a 1:1 ratio of vegetable oil and butter shortening. The shortening gives it more flavor. Add just enough to the pot to make it 1"-1 1/2" deep, and heat on medium-high. Drop the flattened dough into the oil and cook until it is cooked through and slightly golden. *Note: The whole fry bread thing has taken me a while to get the hang of, and I'm still not perfect. I hope you fare better than I have in the past! :-)

Toppings:
Cheddar cheese
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Green chilies
Salsa

Let me know if you try this! I'd love to know how you liked it/how it turned out. Happy Eating!

5 Happy Thoughts:

Alice said...

Almost like making tortillas. I will try this and I will report back. Thanks for sharing!

Cyd said...

Not even mom makes it like the Navies on the Res though. Oh I could go for some fry bread and honey from that place we used to stop and get some when I was little. Mmmm

Erin said...

Funny what the staples are. I would NEVER have thought to make these. Never never in a million years. But, a nice idea... I may have to try your recipe.

denverallens said...

We make these too, yummy!

Michelle said...

You are making my mouth water! I have never attempted Navajo Tacos, and I'm not sure Chris has either, maybe I will....wish I could just eat yours instead!