Monday, May 25, 2015

Taco's

Taco's are my go-to, can't think of what else to make today, always welcome dinner.
Taco's

Did that make sense?

All I know is, I can make Taco's once a week or even more often and it is always welcomed.

I usually keep all the ingredients on hand or in the freezer, cause you never know when inspiration won't strike.

And you know you need to get dinner made whether you feel like it or not.  Especially when there aren't a lot of restaurants around or even fast food for that matter.

So...

I make Taco's.

I recently bought one of the main ingredients while we were on a business trip, cause I can't get the exact sauce we like here.

And I've tried other sauces, but they weren't quite right, in fact some of them were downright sweet. ugh

Here's how I do it.

First off...
Take out one pound of ground beef or ground turkey.  Depending on the price of the meat, it could be either kind.   This time round, I used ground beef.  

Brown the meat, it just tastes better when it's got a little browning on it.  
Ground Beef, browning in pan.

Then add about 1/2 the 12 oz. bottle of La Victoria Taco Sauce, or if you're cooking two pounds of meat, use the whole bottle.

Stir it around a little, then add about 1/2-3/4 cup of water and simmer until the water is reduced.
Taco mixture, simmering in pan
I'm not too sure of the science behind this, I just know it tastes so much better than if you just add the taco sauce and heat it through.
Then as it's cooking down, chop your tomatoes, onions, black olives (if you like them), the lettuce and grate the cheese.
Chopped Tomatoes

Lettuce

Grated Cheese

Toppings for Taco's
And get them all ready.

And don't forget your bird, well, I'm not allowed to.  She likes a piece of meat or two, lettuce and cheese.  She also gets her own dish.  If you don't give it to her, she complains and then raids your plate.
That's never a  pretty sight.  She doesn't know how to share, politely.

After you get all the toppings chopped, sliced and grated it's time to fry the taco shells.

Yes, I said fry the taco shells.    You can also use the commercial taco shells here if you choose, but we don't like them real well.

I like yellow corn tortillas and use Mission brand Yellow Corn Tortillas. Extra thin, please.
Mission Corn Tortillas
 I have my totally disreputable looking tortilla fry pan.  It started life as a egg poacher, but over time, it became my de facto taco fryer.  It was the perfect size for a tortilla, and that's all I use it for.  It does go through the dishwasher as well.  I've been using this pan for over 30 years and I'm not about to give it up.
Taco Pan
Add just enough oil to the pan, about a 1/2 inch or so, you don't need a great deal.   Heat it to about 350 degrees.  I like peanut oil but you can use a good quality vegetable oil here as well. 
Taco Pan with Tortilla
Add the first tortilla to the hot oil, the tortilla will bubble up a little, turn over with a pair of tongs as soon as the edge gets a little firm.  Just poke it with the tongs, you'll be able to tell quite easily.  And if it gets too hard, too fast, just turn it over and make it into a tostada later on.  I usually make one tostada shell for myself. 
Grasp the edge of the turned over tortilla and fold it a little, holding onto the tortilla, and letting it continue frying in the oil.
Taco Pan with Tortilla
As soon as it firms up a little,
Taco Pan with Tortilla
Hold it into the oil on the opposite side.  By this time, it should have a taco shape.  I like to continue frying them til they are crisp and just a touch browned.
Taco Pan with Tortilla
Remove from oil and place into a pan to drain.  Sometimes I put them onto a couple of coffee filters, or paper towels or just like this.   And I don't salt them either at this point, although you can if you like.
Taco Pan with Tortilla
Continue until all the tortillas you want for the dinner are finished.
Taco Shells
In my case, I wanted one taco and one tostada and my dinner companion wanted four tacos.

Now the fun begins:
For the tostada (which was just one tortilla fried flat until crisp), spread a little refried beans on top, then add some cheese.
Tostada with cheese
Then some chopped onions and black olives.  The olives aren't all that necessary, but I like them. 
Tostada with Cheese, Onions and Olives
I then zap them for about 45 seconds in the microwave or place them under the broiler until the cheese melts.
Then I put my taco together.
Tostada with Cheese, Onions and Olives

 A little meat
 Some cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, with just a sprinkle of onions and black olives for topper.
Tostada with Cheese, Onions and Olives and a Taco

 And that's my dinner, at least once a week.
Best of all, I take the leftover meat, freeze it and I've got a start on Nachos for another meal.


BTW, I once saw Alton Brown demonstrating how to fry a taco shell, using a cylinder of aluminum foil.  It just looked like too much work for me.  I've been making my own taco shells for over 30 years now, and if it ain't broke, I'm not fixin it.
Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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