By Maegan Brown
Now this is taco night, done right! What better way to bring people together than with a big board covered in colourful fillings for each person to fix their own tacos? With flour tortillas, hard shells, beef, chicken, shrimp, and an amazing selection of vegetables and fillings, there is truly something for everyone. And you can’t have a taco bar without margaritas, so that’s excuse enough to make this board. Taco ’bout fun and yum!
Build-Your-Own Taco Board
Serves 8-10 people
Use a 20×15-inch (51×38 cm) board
1 pound (454 g) ground beef
1 package (1 ounce, or 28 g) taco seasoning
1 pound (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
1 package (1 ounce, or 28 g) chicken taco seasoning
2 tablespoons (30 ml) cooking oil of choice, divided
1 pound (454 g) mini shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 package (1 ounce, or 28 g) shrimp taco seasoning
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced and sautéed
½ orange bell pepper, thinly sliced and sautéed
½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced and sautéed
10 street taco–size flour tortillas
1½ cups (360 g) guacamole
⅓ cup (40 g) shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese
⅓ cup (40 g) crumbled cotija or queso fresco cheese
⅓ cup (5 g) chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup (240 g) pico de gallo
1 cup (140 g) canned Mexican corn blend, drained
⅓ cup (50 g) chopped red onion
⅓ cup (80 g) salsa
⅓ cup (80 g) sour cream
12 small taco shells
5 butter lettuce cups
1 cup (90 g) chopped purple cabbage
1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 large lime, cut into wedges
1½ cups (360 g) refried beans
1 // To make the ground beef, brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the fat, stir in the taco seasoning, and follow any additional instructions on the
2 // To make the chicken tenders, toss the chicken in the chicken taco seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until completely cooked through and no longer pink. Chop up the cooked chicken.
3 // To make the shrimp, toss the shrimp in the shrimp taco seasoning. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or just until the shrimp turn pink.
4 // Keep the cooked beef, chicken, shrimp, and bell peppers warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
5 // Wrap the flour tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm while you assemble the board.
6 // Place 4 medium serving bowls on the board for the refried beans, beef, chicken, and shrimp. You will fill these bowls with the warm foods just before serving the board.
7 // Put the guacamole, shredded cheese, cotija crumbles, chopped cilantro, pico de gallo, Mexican corn, chopped red onion, salsa, and sour cream in serving bowls and place the bowls across the board.
8 // Fan the taco shells down the middle of the board.
9 // Place the lettuce cups, chopped cabbage, sliced jalapeño, and lime wedges in open spaces on the board.
10 // Heat the refried beans and spoon them into one of the empty serving bowls already on the board or heat them directly in the serving bowl if it’s microwave or oven safe.
11 // Place the warm sautéed bell peppers on the board, then fill the remaining empty serving bowls on the board with the beef, chicken, and shrimp.
12 // Arrange the warm flour tortillas around the top of the board near the refried beans.
Images and text from Beautiful Boards by Maegan Brown, photography by Jerrelle Guy, Rock Point Gift & Stationery RRP $24.99