No matter how you celebrate Día de los Muertos, whether it be with friends and family, a big feast or just watching “Coco,” make sure that your celebration includes these Tex-Mex-inspired tacos.
I am not Mexican, but as someone who grew up in Texas, Mexican food is never far away in my house. As I grew up, I began to love Mexican food and the culture more and more, especially when I began cooking. So, when I stumbled across these revolutionary tacos at Torchy’s Tacos a few years ago, I knew I had to figure out how to make them at home.
3-4 medium, just-ripe avocados, thickly sliced
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Black pepper and salt to taste
3 large eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 15-ounce can refried beans, black or pinto
1 cup olive oil
Put the flour in a shallow baking dish with the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix.
In a second shallow baking dish, whisk the eggs until smooth. In a third mixing bowl, put panko and shake to create an even layer of breadcrumbs.
In a medium saucepan, cook the refried beans over low heat with about one tablespoon of unsalted butter. In a large skillet, place the oil and heat over medium. The oil should come up about an inch in the pan.
Place the avocado slices in the flour mixture. Press the flour onto the avocado to get it to stick, then put the slices into the eggs. Turn until evenly coated. Next place the avocado in the panko and press the breadcrumbs into the slices to get a nice coating.* Once all the slices have been coated, place them on a baking tray.
Fry the slices in the oil until golden brown, three to four minutes. When the slices are fried, place them on a cooling rack on top of a baking tray or a plate coated with paper towels to drain the oil.
Heat the tortillas on a griddle or directly over a flame if you have a gas stove or grill. When the tortillas are heated, spread a thin, even layer of refried beans over the tortilla. Place 2-3 fried avocado slices on each taco, depending on the size of the slices.
Serve the tacos with your favorite topping and sides — lettuce, cotija, tomatoes, your favorite salsa, rice, beans, etc.
If you have never breaded anything before, there is a technique called wet-hand dry-hand. This simply means that as you transfer the thing you’re breading from the flour to the liquid, keep one hand wet (liquid) and one dry (flour). This keeps you from turning your hand into a papier-mâché crafting project and keeps your counter clean.
Image caption: Graphic by Neako Hallisey.