There is a nexus of food and beer that few people see.
A commonality that’s shared in a small subset of people devoted to either one or the other, and in even fewer cases, both. At their pinnacles both worlds hold a labyrinth of information that any geek can’t help but get lost in.
The same people who will sit for hours in a conference room learning the molecular difference between Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus, furiously scribbling notes in their tattered Moleskin just for a slightly better sour ale are the same strain of humans that will obsessively research the starch content in various types of potatoes and how that starch is affected by sodium.
Yeah, so that’s us. In an almost embarrassing way we can’t just enjoy our food and beer, the questions just spontaneously form like wild fermentation in our brains. What yeast is this? How did they get the malt sweetness upfront and the hop bitterness at the end? Could you lager this? What about matcha, can I brew with matcha? How did the chef get this sauce so thick but still so creamy? How were these vegetables cut? Where does the smoke flavor come in, the salt or the corn?
Most people, most normal people, just want to consume. They know what food they like and what beer they like and they want more of those things. But not us. Even when we know we will absolutely hate a beer or a food, we want to try it if it’s interesting. Even voluntarily signing up for an abusive sip or bite is worth it for the information we now hold about how it tastes.
These tacos are a small slice of that. The beer and salt soak will disrupt the starch in the potatoes leaving you with a fluffy middle and a crispy exterior. I won’t continue, you have tacos to eat and more normal things to think about. But for now, just know that the secret to crispy oven fries is a salt brine.
Enjoy your tacos and I hope you have a much more normal person than myself to engage in dinner conversation.
- 2 large garnet sweet potatoes
- 1 tbs, plus 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 12 ounces wheat beer
- 2 tbs olive oil
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 12 homemade corn tortillas
- 1 cup corn kernels, warmed
- 1 avocado, diced
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup white onion, chopped
- hot sauce
- Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges about ½ inch thick. Place in a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, cover with beer. Add water to the bowl to bring the level of liquid above the potato wedges.
- Cover and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 12.
- Move the oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven, place a rimed metal baking sheet on the rack (this will preheat the baking sheet helping to crisp your potatoes). Preheat oven to 425.
- Drain the potatoes and rinse well. Place on a stack of paper towels and pat dry. Add to a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, toss to coat.
- Add the potatoes to the pre-heated baking sheet, distribute in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the potato wedges over and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the other side of the potato is golden brown. Remove from the oven, add to a stack of paper towels.
- Add two to three sweet potato wedges to a tortilla, top with corn, avocado, cilantro, onion and hot sauce.
The salt brine will help the exterior crisp and the center of the potato to stay fluffy.
I use this homemade corn tortilla recipe, so easy and totally worth it.