Posted on Apr 14th, 2010 in Food Gold by Elliot Aronow
Creating your own taco seasoning mixes is one of the small joys of being a home cook. You can basically throw in whatever you have in the house and experiment liberally without nervous consequences. Plus, all those pre-made mixes are filled with enough chemicals to stock a meth lab and are relatively expensive when you think about what you are paying for.
For this week’s Food Gold, we are kicking Old El Paso to the curb and going in on some house party-style beef tacos and lime slaw. This recipe serves four, but you can easily double or triple it if you are throwing that kind of a party.
Tablespoon or so of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt, maybe a few pinches more
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper
dash of dry oregano
1 lb ground beef
2 tablespoons of salsa, for deglazing
Cup or so of thinly sliced pre-chopped cabbage (seriously, do not waste your time prepping cabbage)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Tablespoon of cilantro, finely chopped (be sure to chop well. No one likes a mouthful of cilantro)
Salt/Pepper to taste
1. First, gently mix all the dry ingredients together so they are combined. As a bonus beat, you can lightly toast all the spices over medium heat for about 40 seconds to wake their asses up.
2. Season ground beef with spice mixture. You can be pretty liberal with the amounts of the spices. Feel free to improv and go where the mood takes you, just remember that stuff like cumin is powerful. A little goes a long way.
3. In pre-heated skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. This should take about 13 minutes or so because you need to cook out all the water to achieve a nice, golden exterior.
4. Once beef is browned, reduce heat to medium low and add your salsa. Be sure to scrape up all the brown bits (“the fond”) from the bottom of the pan. Add a little water if the mixture looks too dry. After deglazing, simmer for about 10 minutes or until excess water is cooked off.
5. As taco filling is simmering, chop up your cilantro and cabbage. Add fresh lime juice and finely chopped cilantro to cabbage, season with salt and pepper and toss.
6. Using a non stick skillet, crisp up flour torillas over medium heat. They only need to cook for about 90 seconds per side.
7. Top each tortilla with filling and lime slaw and EAT! I don’t really need to tell you how to assemble a taco but things like ratio of slaw to meat to tortilla can help to improve the general experience.
8. For bonus flavor add a dollop of crema or sour creme and another shot of lime juice.
Fork The World,