I’ve been so looking forward to making this American Indian Fry Bread Taco! The recipe comes from famous author of Southwestern fiction, Anne Hillerman. She got the recipe from a little Indian cafe in Arizona (that has since closed) which she uses in her latest novel.
When I saw the photo of it with the golden brown fry bread and layers of spiced ground beef, beans, lettuce and tomato, I knew this was the recipe for us. And I was right!
The fry bread is so flavorful and delicious, chewy and a little crunchy on the edges (almost like naan), and then is loaded with all that good stuff. It took all my strength not to devour it before the photos were taken.
I adapted the original a bit – halved it and left out the chopped onion, added a drizzle of sour cream – and you can make it with what you like best. You can also make it as spicy or not as you’d like. I used mild green chilies and it still had a little kick.
It’s a wonderful new recipe, what with the fry bread so easy to make and everything else thrown together so quickly, and we’ll be having it a lot. But, oh that fry bread! It would be great right out of the fryer, drizzled with honey and eaten as a dessert. Sorry, I need a minute….
****Outstanding fry bread, loaded with seasoned ground beef, beans, lettuce, tomato and whatever else you want to pile on.
- Fry Bread
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 C warm water
- Canola oil for frying
- 1/2 lb ground beef,
- 1 small can diced green chilies
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans
- 1 C diced tomatoes
- 2 C shredded lettuce
- salsa, sour cream
Prepare the fry bread: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the water, starting with a half cup, and mix. Add the rest of the water as needed to create a soft dough (not sticky). Throw a little flour on the counter and turn the dough out on to it. Gently knead the dough for a minute.
Divide the dough into four pieces and gently pull and shape each into a 6-7" disk, making it the same thickness all the way around (edges will puff on frying).
Put about 1" of canola oil into a heavy skillet and heat to about 400°. Place several paper towels on a large plate and set aside. Fry one at a time, turning after 35-40 seconds on each side, when golden brown. Move bread to the paper towels to drain a little. Cover with a towel to keep warm.
For the tacos: Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet and when browned, add the green chilies. Stir to heat, then set aside. Salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the pinto beans in a small colander and shake dry. Put the beans in a small microwave-proof bowl and heat for 1 minute. Dice the tomato and chop the lettuce.
Assemble the tacos: Arrange the fry bread on plates and layer with ground beef mixture, followed by pinto beans, lettuce and tomato. Garnish with warm sour cream and/or salsa if desired (recommended!) Serve immediately
Tips and Stuff:
I halved the original, so if you need more, just double all ingredients except for chilies.
The original recipe called for 1/2 C diced onions and shredded cheddar cheese. Add 'em if you want.
For a nice dessert, fry smaller pieces, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then drizzle with honey.
Plan on eating this almost immediately after it's made. If you let it sit (say for several hours or overnight) it would be tough and not very tasty.