Friday, August 25, 2006
After the success of the fried corn tortillas last week, SP requested we have tacos again this week. Ground beef was on sale at the supermarket and I certainly had plenty of tortillas left over. I cooked the ground beef Wednesday night so we just had to heat it up on Thursday, fry the tortillas and prepare the fixings.
For my taco meat I use a recipe from Gourmet Magazine. It is super simple to season ground beef for tacos without relying on those taco seasoning packets, which contain an obscene amount of salt. All you need is freshly minced garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, tomato paste, salt and pepper. The best part - when you season the meat yourself, you can control the amount of salt, which makes the whole meal a bit healthier (and means you can eat more tacos!)
To a large skillet add a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add a large onion that's been finely chopped, a few cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of ground cumin and 2 teaspoons of chili powder. Cook until the onion is soft (about 3 minutes) and then add one package of ground beef (about 1 1/4 pounds). Cook, breaking up the meat, until the meat is no longer pink. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, salt and pepper and cook until the meat is fully cooked. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
I fried the tortillas in a few inches of vegetable oil just like I did last time, but this time I made sure I got the oil hot enough before I added the tortilla. I also tried using tongs instead of two forks, which didn't work as well. This batch was perfectly cooked - nice and brown and extra crispy. I still have to work on the shape of the taco shells, but at least I've got the actual cooking method figured out.
We served our tacos with shredded Romaine lettuce, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and Tapatio (as per The Anti Chef's recommendation). I would have liked some salsa, but we didn't have any on hand.
And the best part of taco night - leftovers for lunch the next day. Since I was home I opted to make three tacos instead of a taco salad. This time I used the forks and I think these shells were almost perfect.