While searching for Tex-Mex recipes for our Culinary Quest Event, I found this recipe on Saveur.com and here is what is stated about the recipe: "While visiting San Antonio we stopped in at Ray's Drive Inn for their famous puffy tacos. We couldn't get them to reveal their special recipe, but we came up with something very close indeed in the SAVEUR test kitchen." I kept the recipe as written with one minor change, adding just a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the meat mixture.
1Heat 3 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with the back of a spoon, for 6–8 minutes. Add onions, bell peppers, cumin, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until vegetables are soft, 2–3 minutes. Add potatoes, then stir in tomato paste, fresh lime juice (if using) and 1 1⁄2 cups water. Scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up potatoes with back of spoon, until sauce has evaporated, 25–30 minutes.
2Preheat oven to 200°. Pour oil into a wide medium pot to a depth of 3" and heat over medium heat until temperature reaches 350° on a candy thermometer. To make the taco shells, peel plastic wrap off 1 tortilla, then carefully add tortilla to hot oil. Keeping tortilla submerged in the hot oil, use long metal tongs to gently fold tortilla in half so that edges are about 2" apart. Fry tortilla just so until it holds its shape, about 30 seconds, then gently stir taco until blistered all over and edges are golden and crisp, 2 1⁄2–3 minutes more. Transfer taco to paper towels to drain. Repeat process with the remaining tortillas, keeping tacos warm in the oven as you work.
3To serve, stuff each taco shell with some of the meat filling, tomatoes, and lettuce, in that order. Serve with pickled jalapeños, sour cream, salsa or guacamole, if you like.