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Puffy Taco Shell Tacos

----- Original Message -----
From: Debi
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 18:56
Subject: Puffy taco shell recipes

> Phaedrus
> While in San Antonio, Texas I visited a restraunt by the name of El
> Tipico.  They had terrific dish called puffy tacos.  The shell was a
> very delicious fried puffed dough.  I have never been able to find a
> recipe for this.  Could you help??
> Thanks
> Debi 

Hi Debi,

I was able to find a recipe for making the puffy taco shells, but no special filling. Hope this is what you want. I had no success finding a recipe or a copycat specifically for El Tipico's puffy tacos.


Puffy Tacos
2 cups fresh masa OR instant corn flour (Maseca or Quaker masa harina)
1 1/3 cups warm water (if using instant masa)
1/4 cup lard
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons Bolners fajita seasoning
tortilla press
comal or flat griddle heated to 375 degrees
hot oil (375) for frying

Mix the fresh masa or masa harina corn flour with the baking powder and
fajita seasoning Add the warm water to form a soft dough.  Work in the
'warmed' lard. 
To warm the lard, microwave 10 seconds at a time until it is soft but 
not melted.
If the mixture seems too crumbly, add more water a little at a time. 
If the dough sticks to your hand, it is too wet and you will need to add 
a little more masa.   When the dough feels 'just right'- not too wet and 
not too crumbly, then put into a plastic bag, seal, and let stand, for 
20 minutes.
Pinch off a piece of the dough about 1 1/2 inches  and form into a smooth
ball with the palms of your hands. Keep the remaining dough in the plastic 
bag to prevent from drying out.

Open the tortilla press and lay a piece of plastic wrap or sandwich bag 
on the bottom half. Next, place a single ball of dough on the plastic in 
the center and place another piece of plastic wrap (or sandwich bag) on 
top of the ball and flatten slightly with your hand.
Close the press firmly, then open. Dampen your hands with a little water 
and peel the top bag off the tortilla, then lift the bottom plastic bag up 
with the tortilla still on it. Transfer the tortilla, dough side down, to 
your dampened hand. With your free hand, carefully peel the bag off the 
Place the tortilla that is approximately 1/8 inch thick carefully onto the 
hot comal and let cook for 20-30 seconds.  Turn over and cook for another
20-30 seconds.  With a spatula, remove from the comal and gently place in
the hot oil.

Let fry for about 20 -30 seconds, then with a metal spatula or slotted 
spoon gently flip the flat tortilla over in the hot oil. Using a pair of 
metal tongs or the back of a large metal slotted spoon, place in the middle 
and gently push down to form a 'V' with the tortilla.  Let fry for a about 
1 minute, but not until completely crisp.
Remove and drain on paper towels. Fill with your favorites including
refried beans, chicken or beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and grated cheese.

Top with your favorite salsa.

Peppermint Taffy

----- Original Message -----
From: Pat
Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2000 06:32
Subject: Recipes

> Hi! I,ve been looking for 2 recipes with no luck. One is for homemade mint
> candy I know it takes water and sugar and mint extract and you have to
> pour it on a marble slab and pull it like you would taffy. That,s all I know.
> My aunt use to make it, but has passed away and no one knows the recipe. 
> If you could find these I really would appreciate it . Thanks, Pat

Hi Pat,

The first one sounds like ordinary salt water taffy. Below are several recipes for peppermint taffy, including a Swedish one that is a little different.


 Peppermint Salt  Water  Taffy

 Ingredients :
 1 c. sugar
 3/4 c. light corn syrup
 2/3 c. water
 1 tbsp. cornstarch
 2 tbsp. margarine
 1 tsp. salt
 2 tsp. vanilla or 1/4 tsp. oil of

 Preparation :
   Butter square pan, 8 x 8 x 2 inches.  In a 2-quart saucepan,
 combine sugar, corn syrup, water, cornstarch, butter, and salt.
 Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to 256 degrees on candy
 thermometer.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour into pan.
 When just cool enough to handle, pull taffy until stringy, light, in
 color and stiff.  If taffy becomes sticky, butter hands lightly.
 Pull into long strips 1/2 inch wide, cut with scissors.  Wrap
 Taffy  Twists

 Ingredients :
 2 1/2 c. sugar
 1/2 c. milk
 1/4 oz. paraffin
 1/2 tbsp. butter
 1/4 tsp. flavoring (i.e. peppermint)
 1 c. light corn syrup
 2 tbsp. milk
 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
 1/4 tsp. food coloring

 Preparation :
    Combine sugar, corn syrup, milk, paraffin, gelatin and butter in
 a 3 quart saucepan.  Heat mixture, stirring constantly until it
 forms a hard ball (245 degrees in winter; 260 degrees in summer).
 Remove from pan; add flavoring and color.  Pull.
 Salt  Water  Taffy

 Ingredients :
 2 c. granulated sugar
 1 c. light corn syrup
 1 1/2 tsp. salt
 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
 1/4 tsp. oil of peppermint or cinnamon
 7 drops food coloring

 Preparation :
   Combine sugar, syrup, salt and 1 1/2 cups water in 2 quart
 saucepan.  Cook slowly, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Then cook
 to hard ball (260 degrees) without stirring.  Remove from heat.
 Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into buttered cookie sheet with
 edges.  Cool until comfortable to handle.  Butter hands.  Gather
 taffy into balls and pull.  When candy is light in color and gets
 hard to pull, pull into long strands about 1/2 inch thick.  With
 buttered scissors or a knife snip into bite-size pieces.  Wrap
 individually in plastic wrap.
 Pink  Mint  Taffy

 Ingredients :
 2 c. sugar
 1/2 c. light corn syrup
 2/3 c. water
 Red food coloring
 1/4 tsp. oil of peppermint

 Preparation :
    Combine sugar, syrup and water.  Cook on low heat without
 stirring to very soft crack stage (265 degrees F.).  Add food
 coloring and oil of peppermint.  Pour into greased shallow pan.
 When cool enough to handle, pull until light.  Cool and break into
 Easy  Pull - Later  Taffy

 Ingredients :
 1 c. sugar
 3/4 c. light corn syrup
 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
 1 tsp. peppermint extract
 Few drops red or green food coloring

 Preparation :
    Butter sides of a heavy 2 quart saucepan.  In pan, stir together
 sugar, corn syrup 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add butter
 or margarine.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until
 mixture boils and sugar is dissolved.  Attach candy thermometer.
 Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 248
 degrees. Remove from heat.  Stir in peppermint extract and food
 coloring.  Pour into a buttered 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan.  Let stand until
 cool enough to handle.  With buttered hands, shape into ball.
 Return to baking pan, allowing the ball to flatten naturally.  When
 it is cold, wrap in clear plastic wrap.  Store overnight or up to 2
 weeks at room temperature.
 Taffy  (Swedish  Style)

 Ingredients :
 3 1/3 c. granulated sugar
 1 1/3 c. cold water
 1 tbsp. vinegar
 1 tsp. peppermint

 Preparation :
   Put sugar, water and vinegar into a 3 quart saucepan.  Stir until
 sugar is partly dissolved, then wipe sides down with a damp cloth to
 remove any crystals.  Heat rapidly to boiling and cook briskly
 without any stirring to 270 degrees F. (soft crack stage).
 Immediately pour onto lightly buttered marble slab, shallow platter
 or shallow enamel pan, reserving 1/2 cup.  To the 1/2 cup add a drop
 or two of red coloring to give a red raspberry color.  Pour this
 into a lightly buttered saucer and place over a pan of warm water to
 keep slightly soft.  Just as soon as the edges of the uncolored
 syrup begins to stiffen, draw the edges toward, and work.

Liver Mush or Liver Pudding

----- Original Message -----
From: Pat
Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2000 06:32
Subject: Recipes

> I would like to find the recipe for liver pudding or it,s called liver
> mush. It,s a southern recipe. If you could find these I really would
> appreciate it . Thanks, Pat


My finding is that liver mush is slightly different from liver pudding. I imagine many people call liver mush by both names. Below is a recipe for liver mush and one for old fashioned basic liver pudding. Last is another recipe for liver pudding that's a little different. Just thought you might want to see it.


Old  Fashioned  Liver  Mush

 Ingredients :
 1 fresh hog liver
 1 1/2 lbs. fresh fat pork
 2 c. cornmeal
 Red pepper
 Black pepper

 Preparation :
    Cook liver and fat pork until tender.  Remove from broth the
 liver only and grind.  Add meal, peppers, and sage to taste.  Add
 enough of the broth to soften mixture.  Cook in saucepan until meal
 has cooked, stirring constantly.  Put in mold.  Press down until
 cold.  Slice and serve cold or broil.
Basic Liver Pudding

1 lb. pork liver
1 large thick pork chop with bone
black pepper
red pepper flakes

Trim pork liver of all membrane, fat, veins, etc. Leave fat on
pork chop. Simmer pork liver and pork chop in water until both
are fork tender. Reserve cooking liquid. Cut liver and meat from
pork chop into 1" cubes and put both through the coarse blade of
food grinder (food processors don't create the proper texture).
Put through grinder a second or third time until mixture is as
smooth as you like. Put ground liver/pork mixture in large mixing
bowl and season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red pepper

Moisten mixture with some of the reserved cooking liquid. Press
finished mixture into lightly oiled glass loaf pan, cover surface
with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 24 hours for flavors
to blend. Slice to serve. May be kept refrigerated 4-5 days.
 Liver  Pudding

 Ingredients :
 2 c. water
 1 tsp. salt
 1 c. raw rice
 1 sm. onion, chopped
 Butter or margarine
 1 1/2 c. milk
 1 lb. raw liver, minced
 1/4 c. molasses
 1 tsp. ground ginger
 1/4 tsp. white pepper
 1 tsp. dried marjoram
 1/2 c. seedless raisins
 1 egg, beaten
 1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

 Preparation :
    Bring water to boil, add salt and gradually pour in the rice.
 Cook, covered over low heat for 15-20 minutes until water is
 absorbed.  Cool slightly.  Brown onion in 1 tablespoon butter.  Add
 milk, liver, onion, molasses, spices and raisins to the rice.  Mix
 in egg.  Pour into well-greased casserole.  Sprinkle with bread
 crumbs and dot with butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or
 until firm.  Serve with lingonberry or cranberry sauce or jam and
 melted butter to pour over.  4-6 servings.

De-Gassing Pinto Beans

----- Original Message -----
From: R.A.
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 22:44
Subject: Pinto Beans

> Hi--i've been trying to find what to do to a pot of "pinto beans" to
> lessen  the proverbial 'GASSY' affects, that come after eating them! 
> Some say it's as simple as "soaking them in cold water over night", 
> yet others have stated, "when you soak the pinto beans over night in 
> the cold water, add a Tablespoon of 'baking soda' to the pot & this is 
> supposed to total eliminate ALL the 'gassy' affects"... Have you got any
> suggestions? I'm really bum-fuddled!! 
> Thanks in advance--R.A. from Cleve.,OH
> P.S. Please email my answer to me, i had trouble finding your website &
> i'm new to this "computer" thing!! :~) thx, 

Hi RA,

Well, soaking is the answer, but soaking alone is not enough. The key lies in changing the water often. Soak the beans for several hours and change the water at least twice during soaking. Then, drain & rinse before cooking. Finally, as an added measure, change the cooking water after they've simmered for 30 minutes. Have another pot of water already boiling on the stove - drain & rinse the beans - then pour them into the already boiling water.

I found this about the baking soda:
"Some experts advise adding 1/8th teaspoon baking soda to the soaking water. This advice is not universal; about as many experts claim this will harm the nutritional value of the food. Others claim it does not actually help."

Personally, I have found that those little Beano tablets really do work...


De-Salting the Ham

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2000 21:44
Subject: Ham

> My daughter was telling me to cook a ham and reduce salt in it use cloves.
> How does this reduce the salt.  she had baked one brought it ton us and it
> is not salty as if you were just to bake it


Well, making a ham taste less salty is one thing, but actually removing the salt from the ham is a different thing altogether.

It's also said that if you put a sliced raw potato in soup that's too salty and simmer it for 10 to 15 minutes - then remove the potato - the potato will have absorbed a lot of the salt.

I doubt that the potato actually absorbs a significant amount of the salt, and I find no reason to believe that cloves would remove salt, either. Nowhere on the web nor in any of my cooking references did I find any mention of using cloves to reduce salt in ham or any other dish.

Cloves is a strong-tasting spice, and it masks a lot of the salty taste, is what I think the truth is.

I wouldn't bet my blood pressure on either the potato or the cloves.



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