Fast forward about 6 years to 2011, and I am living in Philadelphia, PA. I continue to eat indiscriminately, with a much greater focus on healthy foods. I continue to enjoy dining out, but I have learned to lower my expectations (for other people's cooking) after far too many bland meals as a pescetarian. Now, imagine the vibrant neighborhood of South Philly where The Italian Market is located along with the East Passyunk Avenue Business District and the iconic cheesesteak institutions of Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks. If it matters to you, numerous sources along with Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic, say that the cheesesteaks at John's Roast Pork are the best in the city. Check out Craig's 2002 Cheesesteak Report. Now, imagine the most mundane, no frills Mexican restaurant sandwiched between all this action. That would be La Lupe. I went there
This fried cheese taco is a recreation of the masterpiece I had at La Lupe during the winter of 2011.
Fried Cheese Tacos (Queso De Freir)
1 1/4 cups Queso De Freir, shredded
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons pico de gallo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 corn tortillas
In a mortar or bowl, mash the avocado until slightly chunky. Add the pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, and fresh ground pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Heat canola oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the shredded cheese and cook 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, separate the cheese into two distinct patties. Continue cooking and allow to brown on both sides by flipping the cheese patties. Remove from heat and sprinkle sparingly with sea salt. Queso De Freir is naturally salty so be careful not to over salt.
Heat tortillas for 1-2 minutes in the frying pan, until warm. Then, place the warm tortillas on a dinner plate and add the fried cheese patties and guacamole. Enjoy with crudites such as radishes and cucumbers.
Notes: This guacamole recipe is my easy, weekday recipe for quick guacamole. Guacamole is even better with freshly chopped vegetables and a little lime juice if you seek a more traditional taste.
If you are extra sensitive to the taste of salt, eliminate the sea salt in the recipe.