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Photos of all things food and drink from The Daily Meal
The Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco is available starting March 6.
The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.
Today's Snackshot is of the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco from Taco Bell. We got a sneak peak of the most sought-after item a couple of weeks ago, but today is the day it'll be available at Taco Bell locations around the country. The original Doritos Locos taco, released almost exactly a year ago, became a sensation with, well, everyone. It was only a matter of time until people started wondering when we'd get another flavor option, and the day has arrived for Taco Bell and Doritos to renew their vows.
Read more about The Daily Meal's Snackshot feature. To submit a photo, email jbruce[at]thedailymeal.com, subject: "Snackshots."
Follow The Daily Meal's photo editor Jane Bruce on Twitter.
Taco Bell delay of Cool Ranch Doritos Locos tacos irks fans
Taco Bell has angered some fans who couldn't get their hands on the chain's new tacos made with Cool Ranch Doritos shells a day early. Taco Bell apologized, and the new Doritos Locos tacos will be available nationwide Thursday.
Some Taco Bell fans are angry after they couldn't get their hands on the chain's new tacos made with Cool Ranch Doritos shells a day early.
The fast-food chain had announced on Facebook this week that fans would be able to buy its highly-anticipated Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos on Wednesday, a day earlier than planned. But then some fans began posting on the Facebook page complaining that their local restaurants didn't have them yet. They said they were told by local employees that the tacos wouldn't be available until Thursday.
"VERY disappointed!" one fan wrote. "Boo to you," wrote another. One fan posted a letter to the chain online, detailing how he and a friend made a trip to their local Taco Bell after midnight Wednesday to get their first taste of the new tacos. He said they ended up getting the regular Doritos Locos Tacos because they were "basically committed anyway."
Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum Brands Inc. of Louisville, Ky., apologized in a statement and said it was humbled by the overwhelming response. The chain said it wanted to assure fans that Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos will be available nationwide Thursday. It also said it was working to have all participating restaurants honor the early release for the remainder of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, other posts on Taco Bell's Facebook page mocked those who were complaining. "Oh my god all of you shut up, it's just a taco," one person wrote.
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Taco Bell introduced its Doritos Locos Tacos in Nacho Cheese flavor a year ago. CEO Greg Creed has said the tacos have been a runaway hit, accounting for about a quarter of all taco sales. The chain plans to keep rolling out new flavors, including a spicy "Flamas" flavor later this year.
A Doritos Locos Taco costs $1.39, while a regular taco costs 99 cents.
- For the &ldquoCool Ranch&rdquo shells
- 1 tablespoon tomato powder
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cheese powder
- ½ (1-oz.) package ranch dressing mix
- 6 crunchy taco shells
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- For the &ldquoNacho Cheese&rdquo shells
- 1 ½ tablespoons cheese powder
- ½ tablespoon buttermilk powder
- 1 teaspoon dehydrated sweet bell pepper (such as Zatarain's brand)
- ¾ teaspoon cheesy taco seasoning mix (such as McCormick brand)
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon tomato powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 crunchy taco shells
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- For the taco filling
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ cup beef stock
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 ½ pounds 85% lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoons cheesy taco seasoning mix (such as McCormick brand)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ¼ cups shredded lettuce
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
To make the &ldquoCool Ranch&rdquo shells, preheat oven to 325°.
Place tomato powder and next 6 ingredients (through ranch mix) in the bowl of a food processor pulse until well combined. Transfer spice mixture to a medium bowl. Working 1 taco shell at a time, brush the exterior of the taco shells with canola oil using a pastry brush sprinkle the exterior of each shell evenly with the tomato powder mixture, tapping against the side of the bowl to remove any excess. As you finish coating each shell, arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
To make the &ldquoNacho Cheese&rdquo shells, place cheese powder and next 7 ingredients (through garlic powder) in the bowl of a food processor pulse until dehydrated bell pepper is ground and all ingredients are well combined. Working 1 taco shell at a time, brush the exterior of the taco shells with canola oil using a pastry brush sprinkle the exterior of each shell evenly with the tomato powder mixture, tapping against the side of the bowl to remove any excess. As you finish coating each shell, arrange in a single layer on the same large rimmed baking sheet with the &ldquoCool Ranch&rdquo shells.
Bake the &ldquoCool Ranch&rdquo and &ldquoNacho Cheese&rdquo shells at 325° for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly toasted.
To make the taco filling, whisk together flour and next 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk in beef stock set mixture aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef to pan cook the beef, stirring and &ldquochopping&rdquo with a wooden spoon to break it up, until the beef begins to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat and stir in beef stock mixture cook 1 minute. Stir in cheesy taco seasoning cook stirring often until beef is cooked through and liquid has thickened. Remove from heat.
To assemble tacos, spoon ¼ cup beef mixture into each of the 12 shells top meat evenly with sour cream. Evenly layer lettuce, tomato, and cheese onto each taco.
Taco Bell’s Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco
Jewel-studded stiletto heels, rainbow-fringed leg warmers and sultry sequined gowns vie for my attention as I head to my local Taco Bell near Santee Alley in downtown L.A.’s fashion district. But I’m on a mission: to try the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco supreme. Is that an unwieldy name or what?
Making a Doritos taco shell could actually be genius, I think, as I step up to the counter at the fast food joint (which shares space with a Pizza Hut Express). It’s a first for me.
OK, I’ll go with the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco supreme ($1.79), and I’ll add another new item, the steak Cantina burrito ($4.99), just in case. Retreating to a table near the door, I inspect the goods. The taco shell is rigid geometry, a perfect circle folded over to leave a two-inch slot for the filling. I break off a piece of the shell. It doesn’t taste much like a Doritos chip. It’s thinner, doesn’t have the same emphatic corn flavor -- or the salt.
Then I wonder: How do they make the shells? With a spray gun? (I’ll see if Google has the answer. Bingo! I find the story describing just that.)
Inside our taco shell is a gruel of crumbled indecipherable meat and gravy faintly scented with chile, wan diced tomatoes, fat yellow strands of marigold-colored cheese-like substance -- and plenty of shredded lettuce or, as we say in the fine food biz, “julienned.” And a drizzle of cool reduced fat sour cream. (Reduced fat?)
I wish this taco thing tasted like something. A few bites and it crumbles to bits. And I’m pretty sure you’d need at least three of them to mute all but the smallest hunger pang.
I’ve dined on some great tacos in Mexico, at taco trucks here and at Guisados Tacos in Boyle Heights. The Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco is like a sixth cousin twice removed.
As for the steak Cantina burrito, designed by Venezuelan-born Miami chef Lorena Garcia, it’s black beans, al dente rice, guacamole, a corn and roasted pepper salsa and bits of charred, marinated steak all rolled up in a flour tortilla. If Garcia had stopped there, her steak burrito would be a definite upgrade. But then she flooded it with creamy cilantro dressing. Save that for a salad. Please.
On the other hand, the whole thing has an impressive density. Order two and you can use them to exercise your biceps as you walk back to work.
DORITOS TACO CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS
For this delicious taco casserole with Doritos, you’ll need these ingredients:
- GROUND MEAT: We chose ground beef for this recipe, but you can use ground turkey as well.
- TACO SEASONING: It wouldn’t be a taco recipe without the perfect seasoning!
- DORITOS: This is what makes this taco casserole recipe perfect – using both cool ranch and nacho cheese Doritos.
- CHEESE SAUCE: The cheddar cheese sauce really gives this recipe a delicious cheesy twist.
- SALSA: Grab your favorite chunky salsa at your preferred heat! We opted for a mild chunky salsa.
- SHREDDED CHEESE: Cheese is the best part, isn’t it? This recipe is topped with lots of your favorite cheese!
- TOPPINGS: To finish it off, grab your favorite toppings such as tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, olives, onion, and sour cream!
Taco Bell is killing the wrong taco
We’ve seen a number of fast food chains pare down their menu of late— most famously McDonald’s —and this seems like a smart idea, as we’re proponents of accentuating the positives and hiding the negatives.
Now comes word via Nation’s Restaurant News that Taco Bell will be trimming down their menu in what the chain describes as “decluttering a closet.”
Except: They’re making a critical error in eliminating one of its tacos. On Sept. 12, nine items will be excised into the Taco Bell menu graveyard, and one of those will be the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. This is a mistake.
Here at The Takeout it’s a subjective fact that Cool Ranch Doritos are the ne plus ultra of salty snacks . As I described lovingly:
There are specks of green and red sprinkled onto the corn chip, and somehow, it seems to amplify its subtle sweetness and tang. It is vaguely reminiscent of Mexican elotes , which has grilled corn with lime juice acid and creaminess from the sour cream/mayonnaise. I’m not saying Cool Ranch Doritos are the equivalent to elotes you find on a Mexico City street corner, just that for a commercially produced snack, Cool Ranch Doritos are more sophisticated than initially thought.
I’m not as devoted to Taco Bell as I am with other chains, but when I patronize the restaurant I’m usually getting a taco with the Cool Ranch Doritos shell. It does augment the genericness of a standard Taco Bell hard-shell taco into that sour cream-ranch-cheesy-tomato powder spectrum. Add some Diablo sauce and, in my humble opinion, it is (and soon, was) the best item on the Taco Bell menu.
According to NRN , the other dishes coming off the Taco Bell menu: the Fiery Doritos Tacos Loco, Double Decker Taco, Beefy Mini Quesadilla, chips and salsa, Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller, Double Tostada, Power Menu Burrito, and XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito.
Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.
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I’m surprised they’re killing off the double decker taco, but I guess their numbers say otherwise.
Chrissy Teigen’s Brilliant Taco Hack Is a Gift to Us All
Chrissy Teigen basically knows how to make everything in life better, whether that includes sharing her signature recipe for beignets or her willingness to call out the haters on social media so she can just liiiiive. We thought we couldn’t stan harder but then she dropped the most major food hack in recent memory to her Instagram story: how to make homemade copycat ranch Doritos Locos tacos with a simple crispy taco shell transformation.
Doritos Locos tacos are a Taco Bell specialty, one so popular that they sold $1 billion worth of them in the first year that they were on the menu. But sometimes we just don’t want to go see our friends at the local Taco Bell drive-thru (for like the third time in one day). Other times, we’re simply not allowed back after that fire sauce incident. UHHH theoretically speaking, of course. Anyway, Tiegen came up with the perfect solution for those times when you’re craving The Bell but just can’t bring yourself to leave the house.
First, she starts with a classic ground meat taco filling.
Then, she toasts some crispy taco shells.
The final touch? She sprays the shells with oil, then sprinkles on some homemade cool ranch seasoning.
Judging by the look on her face as she digs in, it tastes as good as it sounds!
Even if you don’t feel like making your own ranch dressing, you could always pop open a packet of the dried ranch dip seasoning and use that instead, adding extra spices until it tastes just right.
This isn’t the first time Teigen has pioneered new ways of eating tacos. She freed herself from the unnecessary shackles of the human shirt and ate a taco in her bra in 2015, which was honestly the most relatable thing I’ve ever seen a celebrity do.
Here’s hoping she’ll share all of her taco hacks, recipes and otherwise, when her new food website launches.
Taco Bell Flamin’ Hot Doritos Locos Tacos are the ultimate spicy twist
Get the Baja Blast ready. Taco Bell Flamin&rsquo Hot Doritos Locos Tacos are joining the Taco Bell menu. If you love those Flamin’ Hot Doritos, this new menu item could have you ordering a ten-pack for dinner. Will you be able to handle the ultimate spicy twist?
When Doritos launched the Flamin&rsquo Hot version, the brand believed that the flavor would be an instant classic. Although many people are drawn to Cool Ranch, big, bold flavors have captivated snack fans. Even if your tongue is a little on fire, that spicy bite is one that people cannot resist.
Over the years, Doritos and Taco Bell have been a perfect pairing. By using the Doritos flavors in those taco shells, people get the best of both worlds, a favorite snack and a popular fast casual menu item. It is a win win.
Starting on April 16, Taco Bell Flamin&rsquo Hot Doritos Locos Tacos will be available nationwide. The tacos can be ordered via drive through or delivery. The suggested price is $1.95.
Taco Bell adds Flamin’ Hot Doritos Locos Tacos. Photo provided by Doritos
Truthfully, the idea of pairing the iconic Mountain Dew Baja Blast with the Flamin&rsquo Hot Doritos Locos Tacos should be tasty. That cool, refreshing beverage will tame the heat for of the Flamin&rsquo Hot Doritos.
Since food delivery has become the norm, people have been finding ways to score free delivery with their orders. In some ways, all that food delivery helps to satisfy a big hunger.
One order that can get you free delivery is a Variety Taco Party Pack. If you want to try the new tacos, order 6 Flamin&rsquo Hot Doritos Locos Tacos and 6 classic Crunchy Tacos. Or, add some soft tacos to the order. The options are many. Just don&rsquot forget an order of cinnamon twists. Every meal ends better on a sweet note.
If you are looking skip cooking tomorrow, why not place an order of Taco Bell Flamin&rsquo Hot Doritos Tacos. It could be the flavor boost to get you excited for the weekend.
Aug 29, 2019
Taco Bell to Stop Serving Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, Double Decker Taco, and More
With an upcoming menu revamp, Taco Bell will be discontinuing quite a few menu items including the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco and Double Decker Taco.
They seem to be going with a simpler, pared down menu (they compare it to "decluttering a closet") with this menu update, which sees the following items on the chopping block:
- Beefy Mini Quesadilla
- Chips & Salsa
- Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller
- Double Decker Taco
- Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco
- Fiery Doritos Locos Taco
- Double Tostada
- Power Menu Burrito
- XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito
The new menu changes (which also includes a new look and color scheme for the menu board) start on September 12, 2019.
Considering that they also got rid of the Caramel Apple Empanada and Gordita Supreme earlier this year and that's a good chunk of the menu that's not going to be there anymore.
When Doritos Met Taco Bell. Again (Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos Reviewed)
It’s been almost a full year since the folks at Taco Bell teamed up with snackmaker Frito-Lay to bring what many hailed to be the crowning achievement in junk food: Doritos Locos Tacos, with the filling of a regular Taco Bell taco spooned inside a crunchy shell made of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Plenty of market research went into this product, and the end result, not surprisingly, was exactly as I described — all placed inside a branded, red-cardboard sleeve that ingeniously prevented the sticky flavor dust of Doritos from making your fingers all orange.
Of course, fast food aficionados rejoiced at this collaboration of two junk food giants, while those who prefer cooking with fresh ingredients winced at the state of humanity. However, the former prevailed in mainstream popularity, and in response, the two companies have teamed up again to give their fans exactly what they’ve wanted: Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos.
The Claim: Taco Bell’s Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos are exactly what you think they are, like it or not: seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheddar cheese inside a hard shell made of Doritos of the Cool Ranch variety (160 calories). They also come in Supreme style (200 calories), with added sour cream and diced tomatoes. Both products go nationwide to the public on March 7, although there are ways to have it before then by following Taco Bell’s social media streams. (I got it at a florist in New York City, by asking for the secret "blue bouquet.")
Just as in March 2012, we have a product that exists merely for the novelty of it — not that I believe that’s a bad thing, especially for the target audience Frito-Lay and Taco Bell are trying to attract. However, as awesome as it is to have a taco shell made of Cool Ranch Doritos, there’s something lost in their flavor when they’re competing with the other ingredients. In comparison, the original Doritos Locos Tacos retained its signature Nacho Cheese Doritos flavor midst the beef and cheese — the tasteless lettuce is for texture — whereas these new offerings have you wondering where the “cool” is. There isn’t nearly as much flavor dust in this new taco shell, although the taste is there when you tear off a piece and eat it by itself. In order to put the “cool” back into Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, they probably should have amped up the flavor dust to retain the “cool” factor with everything else going on. However, what this new product tastes like is the regular run-of-the-mill Taco Bell taco, just inside a fancy, new, blue branded box.
If you’re a fan of Cool Ranch Doritos and Taco Bell, go ahead and buy into the novelty you’ll enjoy it. For everyone else who loves to prepare fresh food: rest assured, knowing quite confidently that you can probably make a better taco at home — with or without a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
Erik Trinidad is a food and travel writer and author of Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended , based off his popular food humor blog .