Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Homemade Tacos

Deborah asked me for my recipe for tacos. Somehow she knew I wasn't going to say "add a packet of Old
el Paso to a pound of browned ground beef." How did you know that Deborah?

Well, her instinct was correct. I don't use a packet of anything. Everything you need for tacos is in your spice cabinet. And then you don't get too much salt and preservatives (what
is maltodxtrin and ethoxyquin anyway? Well they're not in my spice cabinet.)

I make up a recipe of seasoning and keep it in a mason jar in my spice cabinet. Then I use it for tacos and Mexican rice, and anything else I like a Mexican flavor for.

For my meat, I use three pounds of ground chuck. Brown it and drain the grease. Then add 1/2 cup of the seasoning mix and 1 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes and adjust seasoning if necessary. I usually also add one tablespoon of tomato sauce for each pound of meat. The tomato sauce makes the meat more saucy (duh!), so if you like a looser meat, just skip the sauce. You can certainly cut the recipe in half or thirds, but I make the whole three pounds and freeze the leftovers for another meal or nachos for lunch.

For my Mexican rice I bring 3 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice (or brown), 1 T. Taco seasoning and 1/2 T. chili powder. Stir and cover; reduce heat and cook until rice is done and water is gone (usually about 20 minutes). Salt to taste. You can also add up to 1/2 c. salsa with the rice and seasoning, but my guys like "no chunks."

My Mexican sister-in-law taught me that cabbage is better with tacos and she's right. It's also less expensive and I think it's more nutritious, but I could be wrong on that.

We use
refritos out of the can (sorry to disappoint you on that, Deborah). Doug and I are the only ones who eat them, and while the canned refritos are a little salty, I don't salt my rice as much and it evens things out (we eat the rice and beans together).

I make my shells from fresh corn tortillas -- fried to crisp in just a little oil and then folded in half.
Sometimes we use ready-made shells, but we really prefer the home-fried ones. I keep a big bag of tortillas in the fridge, so it's really more economical that way, too.

Taco Seasoning

1/4 cup flour
2 T. chili powder
3 T. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. salt
4 t. paprika
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
2 t. sugar
2 t. cumin
2 t. oregano
1/2 t. black pepper

Mix in a glass jar or other container and store at room temp for up to six months. Use about 3 T. for every pound of meat.



Matilda said...

Yeah! I am so glad you posted this. I usually make my own seasoning too it's just more along the lines of "a little of this and a little of that" etc... I wouldn't have thought to add oregano! I'll let you know how we like it.

Deborah said...

Thank you Barbara - I love that you make your own seasoning. I will definitely be making this. What a cool tip about making your own shells too! DH finishes work for two weeks on Saturday so we can move and I KNOW tacos will now be on the menu next week. Thanks so much for sharing. The rice sounds delicious too!

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Enough said!


A former consumer of El Paso Taco Seasoning

Helena>38 said...

Now I'm hungry! Tacos are a great meal to make not only because they are nutritious but low in cost as well. On top of that they are sooo yummy. Thank you for this recipe :)

Elly said...

Thank you for the recipe for the taco seasoning! It's terrific! We used it for our chicken fajitas the other night and it was scrumptious. I'm enjoying so many of your recipes. I will be commenting on those soon too. Thank you again!