"The way I look at tacos is like the new American sandwich," the former Las Cruces restauranteur said. "You take a tortilla — corn or flour — and you can put anything into that tortilla to create a taco."
Coffeen believes experimentation with taco cooking techniques, fillings and toppings will continue.
"Worldwide, people want to experience new levels of flavor combinations," she said.
Coffeen picked three recipes from her cookbook to share with Fronteras Desk: the traditional Shredded Beef Folded Taco, the Americanized Grilled Fajita Steak and Shrimp Taco, and the truly unique Asparagus, Artichoke and Feta Taco.
Coffeen's book has ten tips for a perfect taco. Among other tips, she suggests using a six-inch tortilla and taking care to not overstuff it. A good taco should contain the highly flavored filling, a quality cheese, fresh produce and, "the crowning glory is the salsa or sauce on top."
In addition to the flexibility of the dish, Coffeen also pointed out another advantage of tacos: they're cheap.
"Corn tortillas are a very economical staple for American families," she said. "They're low in calories and you can make amazing meals very economically."
Recipes from "300 Best Taco Recipes" by Kelley Coffeen are courtesy of publisher Robert Rose Inc.