The No Fuss, No Stove Strategy for a Weeknight Taco Feast

April 27, 2017

Recreate your weekend taco feast on a Tuesday night like it's, you know, no thing. We partnered with Sharp Home Appliances to show you how to reheat each component like it just came off the stove.

You spent the better part of a very relaxed Sunday cooking a pot of delicious, fall-apart meat low and slow, all for piling onto tortillas and covering in a smattering of toppings like pickled onions and cilantro, arguing about spice levels with friends. There were beers, the back door was wide open, and the light was somehow just perfect, all idyllic like one of those websites you frequent. This leaves plenty of leftovers for weeknight tacos for when you're inevitably feeling rushed after work the next week.

But when it comes to leftovers, don't get caught eating cold pork straight out of the pot at midnight on a Tuesday, like yours truly. Skip the weirdly-textured rice and limp tortillas, and recreate that weekend vibe with just a few simple tips for reheating everything successfully—all with minimal lift and clean-up, using just the microwave.

Here's what we're talking about—and don't forget to watch the video above to see these tips in action:

  • Add a little water to your meat before you reheat it—the sauce may have thickened while in the fridge.
  • Cover dishes where steam could lead to a better texture (like rice) with a moist paper towel.
  • Speaking of paper towels, put one over splattery things. (Those leftovers were kept in an airtight container, right?)

Diana Kennedy, in The Cuisines of Mexico, advises the use of a microwave and plastic wrap (even she seems a little scared to be making the suggestion): "I never thought I should be recommending a microwave oven but it is very handy when you have a large number of tortillas to reheat in a hurry." Wrap a dozen tortillas (no more!) in plastic wrap and heat for about 1 minute. Then turn the package over and heat for another 30 seconds. Done.

Rick Bayless also votes microwave (but omits the plastic wrap): Drizzle a clean towel with 3 tablespoons of water and wring it out so that it's evenly damp. Use the towel to line an 8- or 9-inch casserole dish with a lid, then pile on a dozen (no more!) tortillas, lay the towel over top, cover with the lid, and microwave at 50% power for 4 minutes. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before eating.

  • Break up the heat—stirring every so often means a more even reheat.
  • Don’t pile your food up (besides the tortillas)—reheat it in a dish that has more surface area.
  • Remember to grab the bowl with a kitchen towel or mitt! (That’s the one we always forget.)
  • Perk things up with quick-pickled onions—they only need a few minutes in the microwave.

We partnered with Sharp Home Appliances to show you how to recreate your weekend taco feast on a Tuesday night. Read more about Sharp's high-quality, everyday cooking-appropriate appliances, like their Microwave Drawer, here.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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1 Comment

AntoniaJames April 27, 2017
Great tips here! I have a Sharp microwave which I positively adore and use all the time - a key factor in getting dinner on the table easily, especially for those of us who do a lot of advance prep on the weekends. I cannot imagine achieving the efficiency I do in my weeknight - and weekend -- cooking without it. Looking forward to more microwave ninja content! ;o) P.S. I really like the microwave for making rice. I have a super-low tech "microwave rice cooker" that operates a bit like a rudimentary pressure cooker (one that takes almost no space in the cupboard, which can also be used for microwaving other things); it produces absolutely perfect brown rice in less time, every time, effortlessly -- and the cooker can then be popped in the fridge to store leftovers.