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kunalv

Confused about carrying Tacos with me in the car

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Hey guys, this is my first post here, so please be kind if this sounds a little stupid :)

 

I am planning to make Tacos for my girlfriend for her birthday as she loves Tacos. We live about an hour away, so I will be carrying the Tacos with me in the car.

 

I am going to make the Chicken filling, Salsa & Guacamole along with Lettuce base. I couldn't get any Tortilla wraps, but I did get those crunchy Taco Shells so I'm gonna have to make do with those. I have a few queries :-

 

1. How long will the Chicken, Salsa & Guac remain fresh? I mean I can cook them and carry them immediately, but ideally I would like to cook tonight and keep them in the fridge. But how?

2. The Taco Shell box is advising me to pre-heat them in the oven. I have a microwave, so how do I do that?

3. And if I preheat in the microwave, when would be a good time to do that? Tonight and then store in an airtight box, or tomorrow just before I set out?

 

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks :)

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Hello, and welcome!

 

You can definitely cook those taco shells in the microwave instead of the oven; in fact, I've had better luck with microwave. Unfortunately I can't remember for how long I microwaved them. 30 seconds? if the package doesn't say (mine did) then I'd start with 30 seconds, check, and if they don't seem crisp enough then try another 30 seconds, and so on. If you have a shell to spare I'd use one as a test case to figure out the right way to do it.

 

Does your girlfriend have a microwave, and is it feasible to heat the taco shells at her place just before serving? To me, having them warm is the best way to go. I personally like the contrast between the warm shell and filling, and the cold lettuce, salsa and guac. If you can't reheat anything at your girlfriend's place, then heating the shells and the chicken filling just before you leave and then storing them in something that will keep them warm for transport is the way I would go. (Got a cooler?)

 

You can cook the chicken filling tonight, but if you do that you'll need to refrigerate it tonight and reheat just before you leave, for food safety purposes. The salsa can be made any time. The guacamole is better fresh so it doesn't discolor. The lettuce is more likely to stay crisp if you shred or cut it the day of her party.

 

I have a vision of your arriving with two coolers: one carrying the cold items (quacamole, salsa, lettuce, drinks?) and one carrying the warm taco shells and chicken filling. Assembly at her house is part of the fun. If you don't have coolers or insulated bags you can improvise by putting them in containers and separating into a "hot" shopping bag and a "cold" shopping bag. 

 

You have a lucky girlfriend!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Not really going to be a party due to strict lockdown rules here in India. We're planning on having them in the car 😂

 

Does that change anything?

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3 minutes ago, kunalv said:

Not really going to be a party due to strict lockdown rules here in India. We're planning on having them in the car 😂

 

Does that change anything?

 

Ah! Then it sounds like you need to have them assembled as much as possible before you head out! :D You still need to make sure the chicken doesn't sit warm for too many hours. Either cook and refrigerate it tonight, then reheat before you go, or cook it in the morning just before you start assembling the tacos.

 

Incidentally, I just looked at the instructions for the type of crispy taco shells I've used. They say that for microwave reheating you should fan them out so they aren't overlapping much (take them out of their package first) and microwave for about 45 seconds. 


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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3 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Ah! Then it sounds like you need to have them assembled as much as possible before you head out! :D You still need to make sure the chicken doesn't sit warm for too many hours. Either cook and refrigerate it tonight, then reheat before you go, or cook it in the morning just before you start assembling the tacos.

 

Incidentally, I just looked at the instructions for the type of crispy taco shells I've used. They say that for microwave reheating you should fan them out so they aren't overlapping much (take them out of their package first) and microwave for about 45 seconds. 

I can still assemble them in the car upon reaching though right? Assembling all the filling in the Taco shell might make it soggy by time I reach, wouldn't it?

 

heating the shells and the chicken filling just before you leave and then storing them in something that will keep them warm for transport is the way I would go

I don't have a cooler, but I'll try to see if I have any airtight boxes I can use for this purpose. Cooking them tomorrow in the morning seems a bit more practical to me (I may be wrong)

 

Guess I;ll just make everything in the morning.I have seen how they store Guacamole in a box and cover it with 1/2 inch of water. That sounds quite doable. 

 

How many hours after cooking in the morning do you think I have before all this goes stale? 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, kunalv said:

I can still assemble them in the car upon reaching though right? Assembling all the filling in the Taco shell might make it soggy by time I reach, wouldn't it?

 

Oh, sure - you can assemble in the car. I just don't know how much space you have for doing that. I agree that things will go soggy if you assemble them and then transport. Whether they'll go soggy in an hour I don't know. 

 

4 minutes ago, kunalv said:

How many hours after cooking in the morning do you think I have before all this goes stale? 

 

I don't think any of it will go stale (rancid) in less than a day. The cooked chicken will get into a danger zone of bacterial growth after a few hours, but I don't know really how long you'd have. Four? I hope some of the professionals will chime in here with better information. They may have more practical suggestions, too.

 

Incidentally, this (scroll toward bottom of post) is more or less what I'm imagining, with chicken instead of beef. If you have a different mental image, then we're not talking about the same thing! 


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I posted about this local place recently. They serve in an open box (just the "bottom) and fully assembled. Not ideal but your effort is the point. Salsa though in the car and not beforehand. I advise not overthinking. Flowers in addition maybe;)

https://la.eater.com/2020/5/20/21265102/titos-tacos-culver-city-restaurant-reopening-delivery-safety-coronavirus

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Won't hurt the filling to be room temp, or the shells either, though shells are better if warmed. Lettuce, tomato, guacamole, grated cheese all cold; if you don't have to drive far, just prep and refrigerate and pull out before you leave. If you have a long drive, prep and refrigerate and put in an insulated carrier or even wrap in a towel. You can do the same with the filling (heat, container, insulated bag) and shells (heat, paper bag, nothing airtight or steam will condense and they'll get soggy), and an insulated carrier or towel wrap) if the drive is fairly long.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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@kunalv, let us know how it all goes. Pictures of the result will be welcome, if you aren't too shy. 🙂

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Wrap the chicken and taco shells separately in multiple layers of aluminum foil. After a long drive the engine bay should have areas with plenty of residual heat to heat them up like an oven.

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10 minutes ago, MisterKrazee said:

Wrap the chicken and taco shells separately in multiple layers of aluminum foil. After a long drive the engine bay should have areas with plenty of residual heat to heat them up like an oven.

 

There are books about that. But do not forget wrapping traps moisture.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifold_Destiny_(cookbook)#:~:text=Manifold Destiny is a 1989,surface of a car engine.33

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I work on the road a lot. I recently went 11 days on the road, ordered one pizza in, all other meals were off the tailgate of my truck.  
 

@MisterKrazee, definitely an option. 
 

I cooked with gas stoves/grills.  Some a bit heavy, some were my backpacking gear. 
 

Can you “mise en place” so to speak, and cook in place?

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I’ve skipped the most basic question, can you have a fire?

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5 minutes ago, Spork said:

I’ve skipped the most basic question, can you have a fire?

 

Probably not. This post notes some of his constraints.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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1 minute ago, Smithy said:

 

Probably not. This post notes some of his constraints.


 

Thanks, I thought as such. But it can’t hurt to ask.  
 

 

As @MisterKrazee asks, we have options.  

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Personally, even in a car, I would assemble at the destination once ready to eat.  You can do it if you have separate containers (or foil/bags) for the components, and napkins/kitchen towels to catch the mess.  If you must assemble before the 1 hour drive, at least skip the lettuce or add that last minute?  I say skip the lettuce entirely and use cilantro (and chopped onions) instead if possible.  This might be too late and if so, hope you had a lovely time.  I'm sure she appreciated your efforts no matter what. 

 

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Sorry for the late reply guys. The Tacos turned out better than I had expected. Seemed as if I was fretting too much as everything was pretty much intact till the evening!

 

I think I was a little too overzealous and added a bit too much water on top of the Guac as when I finally opened it, the bottom portion had become all watery, but thankfully the upper layer had some consistency left.

 

I've attached a pic (she added the sourcream herself) . . Just that the taco shells seemed a little uncooked despite me blitzing them in the microwave for a lot more than what was asked for. But in all, it turned out well.

 

Can';t thank you guys enough for the advice though! Look forward to troubling you'll again😄

Screenshot_2020-06-18-21-03-01-01.jpg

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Good effort!  I tell my clients all the time that overthinking can be their ruin. 

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Excellent! I hope the young lady was favorably impressed.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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