PLEASE NOTE: THESE ARE MAKE-AHEAD TACOS. YOU MUST FILL THEN FREEZE TACOS BEFORE FRYING FOR AUTHENTIC RESULTS. PREPARE MY "COPYCAT JACK IN THE BOX TACO SAUCE" RECIPE (RECIPE #423994) BEFORE ASSEMBLING DEEP-FRIED TACOS.
POUR 3 cups cold water into a medium bowl; ADD the remaining SEASONING MIX ingredients (1 cup texturized soy protein, 2 tablespoons defatted soy grits (or soy flour), 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 4 teaspoons dried onion flakes, 1 tablespoon plain chili powder, 1 tablespoon masa corn flour, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon Accent seasoning, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 dash ground black pepper, 1 dash cayenne pepper, 1 dash citric acid); WHISK mixture well until dry ingredients are thoroughly dissolved; SET aside.
BROWN the ground TACO BEEF in a skillet over medium-high heat while stirring without overcooking (drain ground beef if necessary); POUR the blended SEASONING MIX into the 1 lb browned TACO BEEF in skillet; RAISE heat to high and BOIL mixture for one minute, stirring; REDUCE heat to medium and COOK mixture, stirring occasionally, until very little liquid remains and ground beef is moist yet not soggy.
COVER beef mixture and reduce heat to low; SIMMER for 5-7 minutes to steam and tenderize meat, and for flavors to infuse fully (ADD more water to refresh consistency if needed); TRANSFER filling to a food processor and process until fairly fine in texture: RETURN to skillet on lowest heat to keep warm.
DIVIDE enough needed American cheese slices diagonally; SHRED enough needed iceberg lettuce; HEAT 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil in a skillet over low heat; TURN corn tortillas one at a time in a skillet on both sides until moistened and pliable (this helps tortillas from tearing); STACK prepared tortillas between paper towels to blot.
SPOON about 1 tablespoon of warm beef filling mixture into each tortilla; FOLD tortilla in half so bottom is curled; PRESS bottom filled half carefully without tearing tortilla using a taco press or makeshift mold ); LEAVE taco tops open by about 1 inch; CAREFULLY arrange filled, formed tacos into Ziploc bags without crowding or touching; ARRANGE sealed tacos in a resealable plastic container, to protect them from breakage; FREEZE overnight or until ready to deep-fry.
SLOWLY preheat deep-fryer with manufacturer's recommended amount of oil to 365°F .
FRY tacos one at a time for 55 - 65 seconds at 365 °F while supporting each taco with a taco press or tongs; PLACE cooked tacos on absorbent paper to drain slightly (I recommend one person frying and one person assembling for better efficiency and fresh, hot tacos!).
TO ASSEMBLE TACOS: OPEN each fried taco carefully; POUR 1 teaspoon prepared Jack in the Box Copycat Taco Sauce (Recipe #423994); PLACE one cut American cheese triangle into one side; GARNISH with 2 tablespoons shredded iceberg lettuce.
ENJOY your Jack in the Box Tacos and say, "EAT YOUR HEART OUT, JACK!".