Makes 1 taco, large enough to serve 8
In this first subscriber-milestone episode, I decided to try to tackle something ridiculous, something so obviously fictional that no one in their right mind would try to make it at home. Doing so yielded a fourteen-inch-long, fifteen-layer-thick deep-fried monstrosity, just barely resembling an actual taco in form. Mixing competing flavors and textures with wild abandon, the Taco Town Taco ended up being consumed almost entirely, with my “dinner” guests describing it as “not as bad” as they thought it would be. Remarkably, there’s only one unfeasible aspect to the cartoonish dish: its inclusion of an inedible corn husk as one of its layers. For shame, SNL staff writers.
Verdict: The Taco Town Taco is a parody for a reason: this Russian doll of a taco is not worth the time, effort, or money spent to create it at home. A few key substitutions (swap merguez and Gruyère for chorizo and cheddar) can make it more palatable, but you’re better off stopping several steps prior to wrapping it up in a blueberry pancake.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Unsalted butter, for greasing
- Blueberry Pancake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
- ½ cup frozen blueberries, thawed
- Pico de Gallo
- ¼ cup chopped tomato
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Beer Batter
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups cornstarch
- 3 (12-ounce) cans lager
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- Southwestern Sauce
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Guacamolito Sauce
- ¼ cup smooth guacamole
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Remaining Wraps and Toppings
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 ounces ground beef
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 1½ to 2 gallons vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 hard taco shell
- 1 tablespoon nacho cheese, warmed
- 1 ounce shredded lettuce
- 1 ounce chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons refried beans
- 1 small flour tortilla
- 2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 medium corn tortilla, toasted
- 1 chalupa shell (I got mine from Taco Bell)
- 1 large corn husk
- 1 large egg, scrambled
- 1 merguez sausage, cooked and sliced
- 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 1 (12-inch) frozen meat lover’s pizza, baked according to the package directions
- 6 (15-ounce) cans vegetarian chili, heated
NOTE: I strayed from the original recipe to discard the corn husk from the taco (because corn husks are inedible), and I recommend omitting the blueberry pancake altogether. To improve on the original further, substitute fresh pork chorizo for the merguez, and Monterey Jack for the Gruyère cheese, then hold the pico de gallo and skip the baking step. Frying this taco is dangerous—make sure to use extra-long/wide tongs, protective gloves, and extreme caution when lowering it into the hot oil. Better yet, just don’t make this thing at all, please.
Combine the eggs, milk, flour, vegetable oil, and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Butter and heat a 13-inch crepe griddle, add ½ cup of the batter, and use a wooden dowel to spread the batter into a thin layer. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions and transfer to a plate. Wrap with aluminum foil to keep warm. Reserve the remaining batter to make more crepes another time.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the milk, egg, and butter and whisk until a slightly lumpy batter forms. Butter and heat a 13-inch crepe griddle, add about ¾ cup of the batter, and spread it to the edges of the griddle. Scatter some of the blueberries over the top and cook until bubbles begin forming all over the pancake, the edges turn glossy, and the bottom has browned. Flip and cook until the pancake is fluffy and thick. Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to make the pancake as flexible as possible. Reserve the remaining batter and blueberries to make more pancakes another time.
Pico de Gallo
Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and toss well to combine.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Transfer the batter to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until incorporated. Set aside until ready to serve.
In a small bowl, stir together the guacamole and sour cream. Set aside until ready to serve.
Remaining Wraps and Toppings
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until foaming. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until their moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned. Transfer to a small bowl and wipe out the pan.
Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and 2 to 3 tablespoons water (or as directed on the package) and cook until thick, about 2 minutes. Fill a very large pot (at least 15 inches in diameter) with vegetable oil to a depth of 3 inches, being sure to leave 6 inches of headroom so the oil doesn’t overflow when you add the taco. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
Meanwhile, begin assembling the Taco Town Taco: Fill the hard taco shell with ground beef, then top with the nacho cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and southwestern sauce. Spread the refried beans on the flour tortilla and wrap that around the taco shell. Scatter the Monterey Jack cheese on the toasted corn tortilla and wrap that around the flour tortilla. Fill the chalupa shell with the guacamolito sauce and place the multilayered taco inside. Transfer the chalupa taco to the corn husk, top with the pico de gallo, and bake for 5 minutes on a baking sheet, or until warmed through.
Meanwhile, scatter the scrambled egg, merguez, Gruyère, and mushrooms on the crepe. Remove the taco from the oven, pull out and discard the corn husk, and wrap the crepe around the taco. Wrap the meat lover’s pizza around the crepe-taco, then wrap the blueberry pancake around the pizza. Press together as tightly as possible without breaking any of the layers and secure with long wooden skewers. Dip the entire taco in the beer batter, letting any excess drip off. Very carefully lower the battered taco into the hot oil, using a metal ladle to baste it with oil if it’s not completely submerged. Fry for about 10 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy all over. Remove from the oil and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the rack.
Fill a canvas tote bag with the chili and place the taco inside. Enjoy?