We all love this dish.
I try to balance the sin of the deep fried tortilla by using ground turkey for the seasoned meat and a bunch of salad ingredients on top. I mean, how many calories can there really be in a deep fried tortilla? I’m not looking it up, that’s for sure. I like being delusional.
But if calories are not a concern and you want to be creative, you can top this with Mexican rice, re-fried beans, grilled meat…the sky is the limit.
I like raw tortillas. I never really buy ready-to-eat tortillas anymore. You can use ready-to-eat tortillas in this recipe if you prefer, or if you can’t find raw tortillas. It’s up to you. I’ve included a picture of a couple of brands. I get the one on the left at the grocery store and the one on the right at Cosco. I always have raw tortillas on hand. They get used a lot.
First, brown the turkey into relatively small crumbles. Then add the onion and garlic and coconut oil.
Why turkey? I always used to use ground beef. Then one day I didn’t have any and used ground turkey. Everyone loved the taste and texture, so I stuck with it.
I started using coconut oil because it has health benefits I believe in (but which I will avoid listing because this blog is not about preaching health), it has a hint of coconut taste (which gives a real Caribbean flair to this dish), and because turkey is so lean that a little bit of added fat really ups the taste factor. You can use canola or olive oil instead, or no oil at all. But I think adding a little good fat back in makes a difference.
Add the seasonings right after the onion, garlic, and optional oil.
After stirring all of the spices in, add the beef stock. Mexican-seasoned ground meat really benefits from stewing so that all of the flavors get elevated.
You want to reduce the sauce until it is almost all gone. This will take abut 15 minutes or so. There is just a hint of sauce under the meat if you stir it.
Leave the meat on a very low flame to keep warm (you don’t want it to cool) and then fry your tortillas.
I like to use a heavy cast iron skillet. Use just enough oil to deep fry the tortillas. You can gently puncture the air bubbles if you are really adamant about a nice, flat fried tortilla, but then you risk the oil filling in the middle layers. Or you can be like me and say, “hey, the flaky, crusty air pockets make the dish”!
I lay the fried tortilla on a base of paper towels, then put a sheet of paper towel between each tortilla, stacking them up as I fry them.
Then start layering the toppings.
This was a Lori-sized portion. My guys a STACK IT UP!
Oh, yeah, I’m pretty happy right now.
- 1¼ pounds ground turkey
- 1 large garlic clove, finely diced
- ½ cup chopped sweet onion
- 1½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut, canola, or olive oil (optional)
- 2½ cups unsalted beef stock
- 2 cups frozen corn, cooked
- 2 cups lettuce, sliced to ¼ inch or less
- 1½ cup canned black olives, halved
- 1½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup sliced green onions
- 4 raw tortillas or 4 ready-to-eat tortillas
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Fresh salsa
- Chipotle crema
- Canola oil for deep frying
- Brown the ground turkey on a non-stick skillet without any oil or seasonings.
- Add the onion, garlic and coconut oil (or other oil, or none) and stir. Adding healthy fat makes a difference in this dish.
- Add the chili powder, cumin and salt, stir in.
- Add the beef stock, stir in.
- Cook over medium heat until the liquid is almost completely reduced. Then turn the heat to keep warm.
- While the meat sauce is reducing, slice the lettuce, cook the corn, cut the black olives and cherry tomatoes in half, cut up the green onions,
- When the meat mixture is reduced and on keep warm, pour just enough canola oil into a cast iron skillet to deep fry the tortillas and heat to medium high.
- Test for oil heat by dropping a mere drop of water off your finger tip to see if the oil sizzles. If so, fry the tortillas until golden brown on both sides.
- Drain well before removing from frying pan.
- Stack fried tortillas on paper towels with a layer of paper towel in between each to absorb any excess oil.
- Layer toppings on the fried tortilla; first meat, a handful of cheese, then the other toppings. Drizzle salsa and then chipotle crema.