Tucker Carlson's Taco Tantrum: 'It’s An American Food! ... Those Are My Tacos. Mine!'

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Tucker Carlson likes his tacos to be American.

The Fox News host went on an odd taco tangent during a discussion of a Mexican restaurant in Houston facing criticism for posting an image of Attorney General Jeff Sessions eating there last week and saying it was an “honor” to serve him.

The restaurant, El Tiempo Cantina, deleted its social media accounts as the backlash grew and some called for a boycott.

The restaurant’s owner has said he regrets the post, which was made without consulting him.

But in a clip posted online by Raw Story, Carlson was perplexed by the controversy, seemingly feeling as if his right to eat tacos was under attack.

“I’m totally opposed to illegal immigration. I think that our legal immigration should be lower because the country is getting too volatile. Those are my sincere views,” Carlson told his guest, Univision anchor Enrique Acevedo. “I also like Mexican food, since I grew up on the Mexican border. Should I be allowed to eat Mexican food?”

Acevedo said critics of the restaurant and Sessions were pointing out the contradiction between “attacking someone’s culture and story and then celebrating their food.”

Carlson interrupted.

“What do you mean ‘their food’? It’s American food,” he cried out with a giggle as his voice rose in pitch. “It’s American! What do you think, you own tacos now or something? I love this, it’s so crazy!”

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Acevedo said “of course not” and added that “no one” owns tacos.

“Oh, really?” Carlson shot back. “Because it sounds like you feel like you own tacos. I feel like I do. I feel like they’re an American food, and I’m going to keep eating them even though I agree with Jeff Sessions.”

Acevedo said it’s fine to celebrate each other’s cultures, but Carlson wouldn’t play along.

“No! What do you mean each other’s cultures? It’s an American food! It’s an American food! You’re not going to appropriate my culture,” he said. “I’m from San Diego, man. Those are my tacos. Mine!”

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Shift Your Salsa

It's hard to imagine a taco without a chunky, tomato-based sauce, yet too often we don't give much thought to the red (or green) stuff. Making your own salsa can be as simple as chopping tomato, onion and some jalapeño -- and making minor tweaks to the formula can yield massive results in the flavor department. Try adding tomatillos (<a href="http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Chipotle-Tomatillo-Salsa-and-Avocado-Recipe" target="_blank">this recipe uses them exclusively</a>) or, as chef Alex Stupak, author of <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tacos-Recipes-Provocations-Alex-Stupak/dp/0553447297" target="_blank">Tacos: Recipes and Provocations</a></i>, suggests, use roasted onion, for a subtly sweet flavor.
It's hard to imagine a taco without a chunky, tomato-based sauce, yet too often we don't give much thought to the red (or green) stuff. Making your own salsa can be as simple as chopping tomato, onion and some jalapeño -- and making minor tweaks to the formula can yield massive results in the flavor department. Try adding tomatillos (this recipe uses them exclusively) or, as chef Alex Stupak, author of Tacos: Recipes and Provocations, suggests, use roasted onion, for a subtly sweet flavor.

Go Beyond Iceberg

Many of us were brought up with chopped iceberg lettuce, says Stupak. Yet for that light, vegetal crunch, he prefers lettuces with flavor. Watercress, cabbage and arugula leaves all make incredible, interesting toppings for tacos.
Many of us were brought up with chopped iceberg lettuce, says Stupak. Yet for that light, vegetal crunch, he prefers lettuces with flavor. Watercress, cabbage and arugula leaves all make incredible, interesting toppings for tacos.

Use A Burger Condiment

Stupak may run some of <a href="http://www.empellon.com/" target="_blank">New York's hottest high-end Mexican restaurants</a>, but he turns to a surprisingly basic dressing whenever he's eating seafood-based tacos: mayonnaise. Try it on a fish taco and tell us that sweet tang isn't a welcome contrast to fried seafood.
Stupak may run some of New York's hottest high-end Mexican restaurants, but he turns to a surprisingly basic dressing whenever he's eating seafood-based tacos: mayonnaise. Try it on a fish taco and tell us that sweet tang isn't a welcome contrast to fried seafood.

Take A Granola-Like Turn

Nuts and seeds may seem a little out there, but they're an unexpected way to bring a savory snap to any taco. In Pati Jinich's new book, <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Today-Rediscovered-Contemporary-Kitchens/dp/0544557247" target="_blank">Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens</a></i>, she cooks sliced scallions and chopped jalapeño in a bit of oil, then incorporates chopped walnuts, hulled raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and fries them for a few minutes, until they're lightly toasted. The mixture is terrific on vegetarian plantain tacos, as well as on chicken or pork tacos. <br /><br /> <strong>Get the recipe: <a href="http://www.oprah.com/food/Walnut-Pepita-and-Sunflower-Seed-Crunch-Recipe" target="_blank">Walnut, Pepita and Sunflower-Seed Crunch</a></strong>
Nuts and seeds may seem a little out there, but they're an unexpected way to bring a savory snap to any taco. In Pati Jinich's new book, Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens, she cooks sliced scallions and chopped jalapeño in a bit of oil, then incorporates chopped walnuts, hulled raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and fries them for a few minutes, until they're lightly toasted. The mixture is terrific on vegetarian plantain tacos, as well as on chicken or pork tacos.

Get the recipe: Walnut, Pepita and Sunflower-Seed Crunch

Add Bacon (But Not Like You Think)

Yes, crumbled bacon bits taste great on tacos, but we love this tip from Jinich: Crisp bacon in a skillet, then stir in pieces of beef and cook them in the bacon fat. It'll make your taco filling taste unbelievably rich and smoky.
Yes, crumbled bacon bits taste great on tacos, but we love this tip from Jinich: Crisp bacon in a skillet, then stir in pieces of beef and cook them in the bacon fat. It'll make your taco filling taste unbelievably rich and smoky.

Crisp Your Chicken

As you've probably figured out by now, a great taco has both soft and crisp elements. Here's one way we never thought to add crunch: chicken. Stupak recommends fried chicken wrapped in a supple, warm tortilla for the perfect textural combo. He also likes to roast a whole bird with oil, salt and pepper; once it's cooked and cooled, he pulls the meat from the bones. He then lays an assortment of white and dark meat, plus some of the crackled, roasted skin, into a tortilla.
As you've probably figured out by now, a great taco has both soft and crisp elements. Here's one way we never thought to add crunch: chicken. Stupak recommends fried chicken wrapped in a supple, warm tortilla for the perfect textural combo. He also likes to roast a whole bird with oil, salt and pepper; once it's cooked and cooled, he pulls the meat from the bones. He then lays an assortment of white and dark meat, plus some of the crackled, roasted skin, into a tortilla.

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