The Cheesy Tortilla Dusting Your Tacos Have Been Missing All Along

freshly fried hard shelled tacos with beef and pico de gallo
freshly fried hard shelled tacos with beef and pico de gallo - Guajillo studio/Shutterstock

Tacos may have originated in Mexico, but they're just as popular and beloved in the U.S. where they've evolved into countless nuanced versions. One of the most popular iterations of tacos in the U.S. is the hard-shelled taco, thought to have originated as a riff on Mexican tacos dorados, or "golden tacos," made by rolling fillings inside a flour or corn tortilla and deep frying them. While hard shells are sold packaged and processed at any grocery store, making them from scratch results in fresher, more texturally exciting tacos. Plus, frying your own tortillas allows you to try a cheesy tortilla dusting that will bring your tacos to the next level.

A viral TikTok hack, the cheesy tortilla dusting involves sprinkling parmesan cheese over freshly fried tortillas hot out of the frying pan. The hot oil will help the cheesy dusting adhere to the tortilla and bloom the underlying nuttiness of the parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese seasons the savory tortillas with equal parts saltiness and nuttiness while also giving their bubbly crips an extra layer of texture. Considering the popularity of Taco Bell's cheese-dusted Doritos locos tacos, you know a DIY parmesan cheese dusting will be a hit.

You can use powdered parmesan cheese for a uniformly grainy crust, or shredded parmesan cheese for a slightly chewier, melted texture. While parmesan may hail from Italy, it's a common addition to Mexican street corn, so it'll taste delicous with the earthiness of corn tortillas and as a seasoning for flour tortillas.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Cheesy Tortilla Taco Pairings

hand sprinkling parmesan cheese
hand sprinkling parmesan cheese - Anton27/Shutterstock

Parmesan cheese won't just complement the flavor of a fried tortilla, but will also make a delicious pairing with any filling you have in mind. If you want to go the extra mile, you could dust the fried tortillas with a blend of parmesan cheese, chili powder, and lime zest.

Parmesan cheese's saltiness will work really well with umami-rich fillings like beef and fish. Consequently, authentic Mexican cuts like arrachera, carnitas, and picadillo are prime candidates for a cheese-dusted tortilla. You could use the hack on these ground beef tacos from Tasting Table, dusting the tortillas with parmesan cheese and sprinkling the ground beef, cilantro, and onions with it instead of crumbling cotija cheese. You could also apply the cheesy tortilla hack to birria tacos, dipping the tortillas first in the rich birria broth, frying them, then sprinkling them with parmesan cheese.

Flakey white fish or shrimp would also work well with parmesan and corn. If you are battering and frying the seafood, like these beer-battered fish tacos, you could incorporate the parmesan into the batter as well. For a vegetarian option, sauteed mushrooms are a great umami pairing for parmesan cheese-dusted corn tortillas. They'd also add a salty complement to sweet garnishes like corn and tomato salsa or mango habanero salsa and rich creamy garnishes like Mexican crema and guacamole.

Read the original article on Tasting Table