Sunday, July 10, 2011

Taco Seasoning

I have long looked to tacos as a super-quick and comforting meal. Grab your chosen protein (beef, chicken, pork, turkey, or tofu), some taco shells, toppings, and a packet of taco seasoning. Done. Or so I thought.

Recently, my longtime friend Sarah told me how she and her family make their own taco seasoning. They control what goes into it, which means it is gluten-free and tweaked to their tastes. This intrigued me, but I had forgotten about it until I was wandering the aisles at the grocery store and found myself lingering in front of the taco fixins. I grabbed a pound of ground beef (93% lean and organic, as well as local), some Horizon organic Mexican cheese, and some soft taco shells, and I decided that I would make my own seasoning. I was salivating as I left the store!

I found a suitable recipe on AllRecipes.Com, and I read the comments for suggested tweaks. The original recipe is from Bill Echols. I tweaked it according to a couple of commentors' suggestions, and it was delicious!! Here is the recipe with my tweaks, as well as what I think I will do with it in the future.

Taco Seasoning:
  • -1 tablespoon chili powder
  • -1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • -1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • -1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I think that next time, I will use 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 1/8 teaspoon of chipotle pepper powder)
  • -1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • -1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • -1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • -1 teaspoon sea salt (I think you could use about a 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon)
  • -1 teaspoon black pepper
  • -2 tablespoons cornstarch

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (a small plastic container with a tight-fitting lid works well).

When you go to make your tacos, cook your protein, then add 3 tablespoons (approximately) of seasoning per pound along with a half cup of water, more if needed. Bring to a simmer and let everything reduce. Serve immediately. This should serve about 3 people, fewer if you're really hungry!

Play with this according to your liking, and please let me know what you come up with!