Main Dishes Recipes — By Ben on 08 June 2009
Chicken Alambres Tacos

Foodbuzz dinner

After the taquiza we had last weekend I have been talking about tacos for several posts. But I haven’t talked about the secret for a good taco. Yes, the filling is very important to make a delicious taco, but a taco is not a taco if you don’t use the right tortillas. And that is what made my taco party a true Mexican taquiza. Here in the States I have seen that several places (even Mexican restaurants that call themselves authentic) serve tacos in hard shells. I am sorry (and please don’t hate me for this) but those are not tacos.

The secret to a real, delicious and authentic taco is a soft and warm corn tortilla (or flour tortillas in some cases) This was something new for some of my guests, but they seemed to like it! There were some positive comments about the softness and warmth of the tortillas that, by the way, I didn’t make myself. When I was first planning that dinner I thought about making homemade tortillas, but when the list of guests grew to more than 20 I decided to buy them at a tortilleria close to my house instead. To keep them warm they filled up a little cooler with fresh tortillas that afternoon and by the time we started eating they were still warm. That saved me a lot of work and time!

And continuing with the tacos that were served at the taquiza, here I present to you one of my favorite taco fillings, alambres. There are several schools of thought when it comes to Mexican alambres. The word alambre literally means wire. This might refer to the original Shish Kabobs, but in time this dish has changed in Mexico to become the alambres most people know today.

Like Shish Kabobs, the main ingredients for alambres are  meat (chicken, beef or lamb), onions and bell peppers. These ingredients can be marinated in lime juice and spices or just seasoned and cooked in a griddle or cast-iron skillet before serving. So what’s special about them? This is added when the ingredients are almost cooked:

Queso Oaxaca gives this dish its distinctive flavor, or you could use queso Asadero (a tastier version of the same cheese) like I did last weekend. Once the cheese has melted, serve alambres on soft and warm corn or flour tortillas, top with your favorite salsa and enjoy. This is a perfect dish for your summer parties since it doesn’t require much preparation or cooking time and your guests make their own tacos. They look yummy, don’t they?

Chicken alambres

¡Buen provecho!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(25) Readers Comments

  1. Both my guys would absolutely adore these. And I happen to have a lot of chicken right now. (See my upcoming Wednesday post).

  2. Ack… don’t know where we can get queso Oaxaca… or any of those nice Mexican cheeses!?

  3. Thank you for clearing up that whole “hard taco shell” thing Ben. Soft is definitely the best! The alambres look mighty tasty…bring on the extra cheese please!

  4. Interesting recipe name. I was wondering where the “alambre” would come into play. Would never have thought that it refers to the skewers used for grilling.

  5. I think I’m with you dude on the hard vs soft taco thing. I just find corn ones better than flour though :)

    I really like the idea of kabob for the filling. This is a great idea with grill weather in full swing over here. Now if only I can impress my Mexican co-workers… :)

  6. Oh that filling sounds so good!

  7. They look absolutely delicious. I don’t care if it just turned 11 o’clock in the morning … I could have either of those plates as is right now.

  8. It’s difficult if not impossible to find queso in Greece but it is in my future plans to try making some myself. I wish I had some tacos right now.

  9. That cheese looks good. We are suckers for a good cheese, especially one we’ve never had before.

  10. Now I’ll know what kind of white Mexican cheese to look for when I make alambre. Thanks, as always, for sharing your insight and pointing out what is authentic Mexican and what is not. I love both soft and hard shell, so no hard feelings. Call a spade a spade. Buen Provecho!

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