Eat

Otto’s Tacos: Carve the… Taco?

That was bar none the best fuckin’ taco I have ever had in my entire life.

Story by Teo J. Babini - teo@citizenbrooklyn.com Photos by PDW Photography Video by Citizen Brooklyn

Otto’s Taco for Thanksgiving from Citizen Brooklyn on Vimeo.

Otto is the new kid on the block, slingin’ LA style street tacos with ol’ Joe on the culinary ones and twos. Being Italians, Joe and I have a similar appreciation for simple dishes with solid ingredients, which is the case with Mexican cuisine. Otto’s delivers just that, from succulent shrimp to crispy carne, it all starts with a fresh pressed tortilla and ends with good ol’ fashion cilantro (Don’t forget the awesome aioli dip). Not to mention a welcoming staff, comfortable décor and vegan friendly options.

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Our menu del dia was a seasonal special, a CBK exclusive if you will. Joe got all festive on the grill makin’ gravy in which he cooked up some cubed Turkey, seasoned with stuffing inspiration. He laid that delectable bird atop a yam tortilla with black pepper, and topped the mini platter with cranberry chutney and three potato hash. A few crispy shallots for crunch and a fried sage leaf “cherry on top” and you have the first Thanksgiving taco I’ve ever seen.

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Now, I’m not gonna sit here and go on and on about the beautiful flavor balance, perfect presentation, texture combination, theme execution, etcetera; but what I will say this… That was bar none the best fuckin’ taco I have ever had in my entire life. Gastronomical orgasm, as dramatic as that sounds, still doesn’t quite capture the “taco neck” ecstasy, nay, gustatory Nirvana! I won’t go further as this bad boy won’t be available to the public for some time, if ever; but holy homemade horchata, that was one hell a thanks given!

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Turkey marinade
1 lb turkey
¼ tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbl minced shallots
1 tsp salt
3 tbl oil

Place all ingredients except the turkey into a small mixing bowl and mix ingredients well to perfume the oil.

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Cranberry chutney
5.5oz cranberry ( Whole Raw)
3oz sugar
2oz Sweet dried cranberries
.2oz orange peel fine Juilenne
10oz water

Place all ingredients into medium sauce pot.
Turn to medium high heat.
Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat.
Cook for approximately 15 minuted until almost all of the water has evaporated.

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Gravy
1oz butter
1oz flour
10oz chicken or turkey stock
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Melt butter into medium saute pan.
Add flour and whisk until fully incorporated.
Cook until a blonde roux has been formed.
Add chicken stock while rapidly whisking.
Turn heat to low and add salt and pepper.
Reserve gravy for turkey cookery.

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Yam Tortilla
8oz yam puree
.2oz sugar
.6oz yellow masa
¼ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. with a wooden spoon mix until a firm ball of dough has been formed.
Place 1.2oz dough balls between two sheets of wax paper and place into tortilla press.
Press tortilla firmly forming an approximately 6″ tortilla.
Toast the tortilla in an iron skillet that has been preheated on medium high heat for 30 seconds each side.
Place tortillas on sheet pan to cool and reserve for taco build.

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Fall Hash
5oz purple potato diced
5oz sweet potato diced
5oz yams diced
1/4 tsp minced rosemary
1oz sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbl unsalted butter

Preheat medium sized skillet
Add butter to fully melt and get hot
Right before butter browns add all three sweet potatoes and gently mix until combined.
Season with salt, pepper and rosemary
Allow potatoes to caramelize and brown slightly before adding sugar.
Once sugar is added further caramelize the potatoes until a slight smell of burnt sugar is present.
Remove from heat and reserve for taco build.

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Photo © PDW Photography

Check out Otto’s Tacos at:

141 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
b/t St Marks Pl & 9th St in East Village

One Response to “Otto’s Tacos: Carve the… Taco?”

  1. Andrew S. says:

    Awesome video guys! Miss cooking with you Joe but it’s good to see you are always coming up with even more innovative and delicious foods. I think what I told you before still applies in that your methodology of cooking can bring top chef quality food available to everyone.

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