Cook's Corner

Taco Tuesday Isn’t Just Another Day On The Boat

The Taco John’s restaurant accredited “Taco Tuesday” as a slogan in 1989. Who doesn’t love the unique flavor that Taco John’s is famous for? We’re all trying to recreate it, whether it is at home or on the boat.

Tacos can be mild or spicy. It’s the combination of these foods with spices, ground beef and cheese that makes them taste so good. You may know that tacos come from Mexico, but here’s an interesting fact: the word “tacos” means little explosives in Spanish. The workers used explosives called tacos in the silver mines of Mexico.

Taco Tuesday on the boat is nice because of the change in flavors from what we normally make. Jalapeños, green chilies, red peppers, hot sauce, oh my! So I make lots of this on Tuesdays. However, I tend to get carried away and want to ensure everyone on the crew has plenty to eat. This leaves me with leftovers. Your cooked taco meat, whether it is hamburger or chicken, can stay in the refrigerator up to four days. You can also freeze the cooked meat. Luckily, there are loads of recipes on the internet to choose from. One of mine is a deep-fried burrito, also known as a chimichanga.

Have a great day, and remember taco means small explosive. Don’t put too many jalapenos in your fried burrito!

Fried Burrito or Chimichanga

Ingredients:

(Woot! Woot! All you need is your leftovers.)

Flour tortillas

Taco meat (chicken or hamburger)

Refried beans

Rice, if you made it

Shredded cheese

Jalapenos

Optional toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream

Directions:

Use a deep fat fryer to heat up your oil. This can be done in a skillet with a little less than 1 inch of oil, but a skillet can get messy from grease splatters. The highest concern is overheating, which could cause a fire, so I strongly suggest using a temperature-regulated fryer.

Build your burrito. Get a soft, warm flour tortilla and small bowl of water. I like to roll my edges in the water lightly so the flour tortilla will stick together when closing. Have fun filling your burrito. Don’t overload it because you will need to close it. I would not fill it with lettuce, tomatoes or sour cream. However, these will be great to serve with your fried burrito afterwards. Next, fold in the sides and roll. All that is left to do is fry it in your fryer a few minutes or until it is crispy golden brown. All done.

Use Your Gloves
In The Galley

Do you keep a couple of boxes of latex gloves in your galley? You should. Your crew members will appreciate knowing you are taking extra care to keep their foods safe. Take note that wearing gloves does not eliminate you from washing your hands when handling food. Hand-washing is paramount before wearing gloves.

When handling foods, gloves are a one-time use for each task. This is why you change your gloves often. Any time gloves become contaminated, they need to be changed. With the concern about coronavirus, the main risk of transmission is human contact.

Did you ever see an employee prepare your meal without a glove? I don’t know about you, but I really want to know that all safety and sanitation practices are being used when food is prepared, especially with the threat of coronavirus upon us. Our crew lately has been wearing gloves when unpacking and putting away groceries. The threat of this virus may be carried in. Remember to always wash your fruits and vegetables. i Infected persons who may not have known they were  carriers of this virus could have handled your groceries.

Or on the other hand, you may not be able to get all your groceries. You’re panicking. You will have to think quickly how to stretch your foods. Use your perishables first. Here’s a quick, sweet treat. This one will make you feel like you’re not low on sweet treats. Plus, you’ll be proud of yourself for coming up with something easy when you’re low on supplies. This recipe was given to me by a crewmember. His name is Lenny. You can also find this on the internet with different fillings.

Cinnamon Rollups

Ingredients:

12 slices white bread

2 apples

2 Tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

(Or a can of apple pie filling may be substituted.)

1 stick butter

½ cup sugar, divided

1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Directions:

Remove crusts from bread with a serrated knife. Roll each slice of bread flat with a rolling pin. Next, peel, core and chop your apples into small, bite-sized pieces. Mix 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in with your apples. Melt your butter in a container about the size of a slice of bread. In another container about the same size, add the remaining ½ cup sugar and cinnamon.  Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper. If no parchment paper, line the pan with foil and spray generously with a non-stick cooking spray.

Put about two tablespoons of apple filling on each slice of flat bread and roll up. Dip filled bread into melted butter, and then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place roll (seam side down) on sheet pan. Bake 15 minutes or until browned and crispy. It is a little tricky to roll in butter and sugar without falling apart. Go slow and be careful you do not oversaturate your roll with butter. Enjoy!

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