Friday, August 25, 2006

Taco Night

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.
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  1. I owe my taco-frying success to you! Thank you! And SP thanks you!

  2. I'm glad he has seen the error of his ways where corn tortillas are concerned! LOL!!!

    I have a menu set up (not including sides) for all next week and the week after!! I'm soooo esssited!

    We are having breaded pork chops again next week and the following week I will be making a new chicken dish!

    It's kind of tricky because I think we will need leftover nights even though we've been taking our lefties to lunch the next day. I guess this will be another part of the learning curve. I'll be making more food because Chloe will be home so maybe that will make a difference? I dunno, we'll play it by ear. I'm esssited!!!

  3. He has definitely seen the light! I just realized that I made at least 9 taco shells last night (judging from the above picture) and not one remained when we were finished with dinner. I know I had 4, which means he probably had 5, maybe 6. He was even breaking them apart to use as tortilla chips!

    That's great about the menus! I can never go beyond a week, so that's mighty impressive. And yes, you'll figure out leftovers as you continue making dinner. Sometimes I count on leftovers for lunch AND dinner, and we only have enough for lunch. Or I only count on there being enough for lunch and we have waaay more than we need. When you factor in Chloe, depending on what and how much she eats, that will change your leftover situation as well. This is why I always keep peanut butter, frozen meals and sometimes lunch meat on hand!

  4. She eats like a bird you know. :) It's going to be FUN navigating though!!!


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