When my dashing husband and I first moved to San Francisco, lo these many years ago, one of the first things we did was take a little road trip down to L.A. He had lived there for a few years and his younger brother had just moved back after an unpleasant stint at grad school in upstate New York. I was going to meet his friends, meet a member of his family, and explore his old haunts. On the long drive down the coast many promises were made and delights proffered. Towards the top of the list was turkey tacos. There was this taco stand, my dashing husband told me, that made turkey tacos and they were amazing and unlike any other taco he’d ever had.
So one day for lunch we headed this taco place. We perused the menu posted above the counter while we waited to order, scanning it for turkey tacos. No such option was listed. In fact, no turkey was listed anywhere. We got to the counter and asked: “What happened to the turkey tacos?” No such tacos had ever been served there, we were told. There weren’t any other taco places nearby and we never did figure out what happened with that. Years later I think my dashing husband had salbutes, Yucatecan-style tostadas, traditionally made with, yes, turkey. They are topped with pickled onions, cabbage or greens, and super-duper hot sauce: right up his alley and, indeed, completely unlike other tacos. Where did he have it? We have no idea.
We were left, however, with a craving for these “turkey tacos.” I came up with this recipe and for years – years I tell you! – we ate these as often as once a week but at least once a month. I’ve passed the recipe to friends and family, I’ve even pitched it for easy weeknight dinner stories (no takers on that – whatever!), but somewhere along the line I stopped making them. I’m thinking it happened around the time I developed a salbutes recipe for Sunset and we ate a lot of turkey taco-like things for awhile. And, truth be told, salbutes are better and far more interesting than my rather pedestrian – yet still delicious! – turkey tacos.
Yesterday morning I casually asked if anyone had any ideas for dinner. “How about turkey tacos?” my dashing husband asked. How about indeed. Now we just can’t remember why we ever stopped eating them so often: they are delicious.
You can use your favorite guacamole – recipe or store-bought – but I really like this chile & cilantro guacamole I developed specifically for these tacos.