Get ready for TACO TUESDAY!!!!!! This might be one of the more coveted recipes in my collection. I am often asked how I make my tacos. It is also a frequent request for Family Supper night by daughter, son-in-law, and the grandkids. It’s one of my husband’s favorite dinners, and really one of my favorites too!!!! Quick and easy!!!!
Let’s start with the meat…
I use 2 lb. of quality ground beef (to feed 4 adults and 2 kids) – a good organic, grass fed, angus beef. I break it apart in a frying pan and toss while cooking over medium high heat until browned. Drain off and discard the fat . I then sprinkle 2 packets of Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Mix over the meat, and then I fill the empty packets with water and pour the water over the seasoning and stir it well into the meat, with the heat turned down to medium low. To this I add about a half cup of salsa (fresh or canned) and stir that altogether. I then let the meat simmer on low heat until the tacos are ready to assemble.
The meat will become drier the longer it simmers. I personally like it dry so that it doesn’t make the bottom of my tacos soggy. I don’t like when they fall apart and all the stuffing falls out.
Pico de gallo
I use about 1 1/2 cup of chopped sweet cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped fresh jalapenos, and 1 cup chopped green onions (or a small sweet white onion if I don’t have green onions on hand), then add about 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic minced, the juice of two limes, and a sprinkle of salt to taste. If the jalapenos are really mild, I sometimes add a pinch of cayenne for some kick.
I chop one whole bunch of Romaine lettuce into small shreds.
I like to shred my own cheese (pepper jack) when I’m feeling ambitious, but often use a Mexican cheese blend that is pre-shredded already.
I buy the small Old El Paso brand taco shells (2 pkgs to feed my family of 4 adults and 2 kids because the men will easily eat 6 tacos apiece or more).
I preheat my oven to 360*F, and set the shells in a baking pan. When the oven is ready I pop the pan of shells in for about 6 minutes, or whatever time is recommended on the package. This is an important step because it makes the shells nice and crispy!!!
I actually use a variety of sauces. I like to try new ones. The green tomatillo Herdez or La Costena hot sauces (medium) are both really good standbys. I like the Taco Bell hot sauce (Diablo), and the DelPrimo sauces are all good. But my favorite of recent is El Gallo flame roasted Jalapeno. It comes in a bag with a little screw top spout (medium).
To assemble the tacos I remove the shells from the oven and quickly fill them with meat, dispersing it evenly among the shells. I sprinkle cheese over the meat in each shell, and then add the lettuce. They each then get a spoonful of my fresh Pico and a generous pour of tomatillo taco sauce. That’s it! Mmmmmm…. let’s eat!!!!!!
Now some people might like to add chopped black olives, maybe some sour cream, possibly some sliced avacado, and that’s all good, but personally, I can’t bear to mess with perfection.
If you’d like to add a couple of sides, I love charros or refries and Mexican Rice. And you can never go wrong with Sopapilla Cheesecake for dessert!!!!! Hubby washes his meal down with a good Modelo cerveza! I just like iced tea. Gracee will take a Margarita, if I make her one, and the kids like horchata.
Hey, while we are enjoying our Family Supper, may I share with you from the book One Year of Dinner Table Devotions & Discussion starters by Nancy Guthrie (published by Tyndale)?