Monday, November 15, 2010

Viva El Taco!

Hola Amigos!

I simply refuse to believe it has been 2+ months since I posted. To be honest, I have considered quitting the blog. It's just not that rewarding anymore, and I can't explain why. I'm frustrated by Typepad (like now, when it keeps changing the font size on me). Anyway, we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

One of my favorite meals ever is tacos. And I don't mean fancy, Oyamel tacos, though those are delicious too. I mean the type 10 year olds like. Crispy shells, ground meat, cheese, etc. I do make mine a little more adult-friendly by using ground turkey breast (gotta watch that cholesterol), but otherwise, it's pretty much the same I ate as a kid. Except I skip the iceberg lettuce because I can't be bothered.

Being a child of the 80s, it never occured to me that seasoning could come from anything but a packet.  Literally, until I was 30-something, this never occurred to me. It was only when I was looking for something with less sodium that I found out a little secret: taco mix is just spices. (Well, unless you buy those packets in which case you're getting a lot of strange chemicals too).

So, I started making my own. There are many varieties on the Web, and really you can play with it until it's how you like it. And, that is the wonderful thing about it--it's customizable. I personally like ones that incorporate corn starch, because it then thickens into a sauce like the packets mom used to make. I based mine on a recipe from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas (a really kick ass book). I did make some adjustments.
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Taco Seasoning

2 T Chili Powder (pick a heat level that works for you)
2 t Paprika
1 t Cayenne (again, adjust the heat)
1 1/2 t Dried Oregano Leaves
1 T salt
1/4 t Black pepper
2 T Cornstarch
1/4 t. Garlic Powder
1 t. Ground Cumin
A few dashes of Ground Chipotle

Mix it all together. Store in a jar. Add about 2 T with about a cup of water and cook for 5 min after browning meat. If you feel it's too thin, add a wee bit more.
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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!