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Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails, and More

Written by Sara DeseranAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sara Deseran, Joe HargraveAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Joe Hargrave, Antelmo FariaAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Antelmo Faria and Mike BarrowAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Mike Barrow


List Price: $12.99


On Sale: September 02, 2014
Pages: 212 | ISBN: 978-1-60774-563-1
Published by : Ten Speed Press Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
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Synopsis|Excerpt|Table of Contents


A collection of recipes for fun, accessible taqueria fare--including colorful salsas, tasty snacks, irresistible cocktails, and of course tacos galore--from the wildly popular San Francisco restaurants and acclaimed Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market food stand, Tacolicious.

Tacos may be the most universally loved, happy-making food on earth. After all, who can say no to a juicy, spicy Chile verde taco; a decadently deep-fried Baja-style fish taco; or a gloriously porky Carnitas taco? At Tacolicious, the San Francisco Bay Area’s most popular Mexican restaurant, tacos are a way of life. And now, in this hotly anticipated cookbook, co-owner Sara Deseran shares all of the restaurant’s tortilla-wrapped secrets. Whether you’re seeking quick and easy weeknight meals or inspiration for a fabulous fiesta, Tacolicious has you covered. With recipes for showstopping salsas, crave-worthy snacks, cocktails and mocktails, and, of course, tacos galore, this festive collection is chock-full of real Mexican flavor—with a delicious California twist.


Roasted tomato–mint salsa
Served with chips, this is the salsa that greets you when you sit down at Tacolicious. We make others, of course, but this is the one that seems to hit home with everyone. Although the ingredients are mostly expected, the uplifting note of fresh mint keeps diners guessing. The recipe was inspired by a chef whom Joe came of age with—Reed Hearon, one of San Francisco’s former greats who cooked at Restaurant LuLu and Cafe Marimba. In our house, Hearon’s cookbook, La Parrilla, is well worn and loved. Don’t just limit this salsa to chips. It also pairs wonderfully with Three-chile bistec adobado (page 110), Carnitas (page 124), and Achiote-rubbed grilled chicken (page 134).

Makes about 2-1/2 cups

6 small Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 small jalapeño chile, stemmed
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons packed chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Position a rack on the top level of the oven, about 4 inches from the broiler. Turn on the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the tomato halves, cut side down; the onion slices; and the chile on the prepared baking sheet and broil for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and a bit charred. Let cool to room temperature.

In a food processor, combine the roasted vegetables and any juices from the pan with the vinegar, cilantro, mint, and salt and pulse until the mixture is almost, but not quite, smooth. If necessary, add up to 1/4 cup water to achieve a consistency similar to that of a thick soup.

Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Serve now or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Table of Contents

How to cook from this book

Salsas, Pickles + More    
Roasted tomato–mint salsa  
Tomatillo-avocado salsa   
Just-hot-enough habanero salsa   
Lazy salsa, two ways   
Smoky chipotle–tomatillo salsa   
Grilled tomato–habanero salsa  
Guajillo chile salsa  
The legendary orange sauce  
Cal-Mex corn salsa with tomatoes and basil  
Cumin-lime crema   
El Jefe’s glove-box recado   
Tamarind-habanero glaze  
Pickled red onions   
Pickled cauliflower, carrots, and jalapeños   
Lime-cured cucumber, habanero, and onion   

Snacks + Sides
Mexican party mix   
Chile con queso   
Classic guacamole  
Melon, mango, and cucumber with chile, salt, and lime   
Grilled corn on the cob with glove-box recado   
Donnie’s halibut crudo with citrus and capers   
A summer’s night shrimp cocktail  
Aquachile with avocado and cucumber  
Shrimp cakes with corn-basil salsa  
The ultimate torta 
Tuna tostadas, Contramar style   
Cheater’s panucho   
Quesadillas with squash blossoms, sweet peppers, and goat cheese   
Flaky potato-and-greens empanadas with salsa verde   
Ms. Reyes’s most awesome tamales   
Albóndigas in tomato-chipotle sauce   
Spicy tamarind-glazed pork ribs with jicama salad  
La hamburguesa, DF style   
Bacon-wrapped hot dogs with jalapeño-cucumber relish  
Not really refried beans   
Frijoles borrachos   

Tacos, Tacos + Tacos    
Guajillo-braised beef short rib taco   
Telmo’s taco de lengua   
Potato and homemade chorizo taco   
Everything you need to know about corn tortillas   
Three-chile bistec adobado taco with cebollitas   
Old-school taco   
Birria de chivo taco   
Lamb adobo taco with spices and orange   
Off-the-spit pork al pastor taco   
Carnitas taco   
Cochinita pibil taco   
Mama Virginia’s chile verde taco   
Shot-and-a-beer braised chicken taco   
Spring booty taco  
Tangy achiote-rubbed grilled chicken taco  
Baja-style fish taco   
Puerto Nuevo–style lobster taco   
Lone Star breakfast taco   
Butternut squash, kale, and crunchy pepitas taco   
Nopal, egg, and tomato taco   
La Taquiza   
Twenty 20-minute (max) tacos del día  

Cocktails, Aguas Frescas
+ More    
Syrups, salts, and infusions  

Agave syrup  
Cinnamon-and-chile agave syrup   
Pink peppercorn salt   
Chile salt   
Toasted-coconut salt   
Chile vinegar   
Apple-ginger cocktail salsa   
Cucumber juice   
Hibiscus tea   

Infused tequilas   
Habanero-infused tequila   
Pineapple-infused tequila   

The Tacolicious margarita   
Margarita picante   
Lolita squeeze   
Mucho gusto  
If Honey could drink   
La siesta   
Mexican traitor   
Flor de Jamaica  
El sangre   
Bloody Maria  
Tequila: the CliffsNotes   

Agua frescas and other G-rated drinks   
Cantaloupe-ginger agua fresca   
Cucumber-mint agua fresca   
Mango agua fresca   
Pineapple-coconut agua fresca   
Kiwi agua fresca   
White nectarine–blueberry agua fresca   
Homemade  horchata   

Ingredients glossary  
Mail-order sources  
Restaurants we love  


“The restaurant Tacolicious doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love it for that. From delightfully non-traditional recipes such as chile con queso to Yucatán salsas with serious street cred, Tacolicious unapologetically combines Californian and Mexican influences. It may not be ‘classic’ Mexican, but who cares? It’s tasty stuff.”  
Jake Godby, co-owner of  Humphry Slocombe

“Tacolicious makes consistently delicious Mexican food and solid cocktails, and now with this book, home cooks can do the same. Things I crave: their deliciously minty salsa, carnitas tacos topped with bright cilantro and white onion, and—true confession—their chile con queso dip. Let’s call it my guilty pleasure.”
Michael Tusk, chef/owner of Quince and Cotogna

“Tacolicious is my favorite after-work snack and tequila stop, and this cookbook lets readers who aren’t lucky enough to live in the neighborhood recreate the restaurant experience in their own homes.”
Craig Stoll, chef/owner of Delfina

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