Taco Bell at Home

Taco Bell has seen me through some times. I ate it growing up. That umami-packed queso and deafening crunch was my salvation. My dad and I would get it together when my mom was still working and while my brother was at piano lessons (which I gave up on, myself). Dad would occasionally bring a 10-pack in a convenient carrying case for dinner. I used to think that I would get ‘taco neck’ like Shaq in those commercials.

There was a Taco Bell on the UC Davis campus, near the Bike Barn. I’d love having classes near there because I could get my cheap combo of a hard-shelled taco and chips with nacho dip—less than two dollars!

I experimented with it early on in life. I remember melting the plastic cup to heck when I wanted to reheat the cheese in the microwave. The burnt, cheese scab stuck to a plate remains vivid in my mind. I’d leave it to soak and my mom would grumble, scrubbing it after a long day of work. First, you need to transfer the cheese to a small dish or ramekin, then 5 seconds at a time, heat it up and stir each time.

Despite my newfound chef-dom, I still get Taco Bell. After rousing nights of Pulsewave or any activity near 14th Street and 6th Avenue. It’s a requirement if I’m in the vicinity, even if I already ate.

Here are all the dishes that I’ve re-created and remixed at home.

Mexican Pizza, my first love

In my early years, I tended to get the blasphemous “Mexican Pizza,” refried beans and savory beef product sandwiched between two ‘pizza shells,’ doused heartily with a simulacrum of enchilada sauce, chopped tomato, and shredded cheese. Why pizza shells and not tostadas? Their texture was crisp and bubbly, not unlike the Italian cannoli shell.

I’ve made my own version and for extra flair, fried an egg into the center.

I went deep on Crunchwraps

To this day, I still have not purchased a crunchwrap. I just really like the idea of it: mysterious no-drip, portable packaging.

Learn how to make the supreme at home as well as a few variations ranging from breakfast benedict to seared tuna.

What else should I make? Tweet me @Randwiches.