Recipe: Soft Tacos With Roasted Meat

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Shredded meats, slow-cooked or roasted, warmed in their juices make perfect fillings for soft tacos, for a satisfying and quick meal, snack, or breakfast. I usually eat these at the stove, one by one as they come out of the pan. If I have a guest, I'll fire up two skillets so that two tacos will be ready at the same time. This is less a recipe than a rough method, distilled from several trips to Mexico, that can be made with whatever you have on hand.

Corn Tortillas

Leftover slow-cooked or roasted meat, such as pot roast, roast pork, or chicken, shredded and with their juices (figure about a quarter to a third of a cup meat per tortilla). Shredded meats can also be warmed with some prepared mole sauce, mixed with a little water, or broth.

    • sour cream
    • avocado slices
    • cilantro sprigs, rinsed, and dried
    • chopped red onion or sliced chives
    • lime slices

In a small saucepan, heat the shredded meat in some of their juices, covered, over moderate heat until warmed through.

Heat one or two cast iron skillets or a griddle over moderate heat. Throw in a corn tortilla or two, flip it when it begins to get spotty, then put it on a plate. Spoon some warmed meat down the center, topped with sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and onions. Squeeze some lime over all, roll up the taco, and eat.

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Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.
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