Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Best Taco Night So Far

Allow me to completely do a recipe blog wrong by offering you no pictures whatsoever to prove I made these tacos or what they look like.  All I can tell you is that after a few weeks of making tacos, being super disappointed to discover the taco shells we had bought were all broken, and experimenting with seasonings, Jak declared these tacos so good that I better write the recipe down, even if I thought I remembered it.  So while I was writing it down, I figured I may as well share it.

Best Tacos So Far

Ingredients:

  • White corn tortillas (we used 10, feel free to make as many as you want to eat)
  • approx 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium and 1 small jalapeno
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 small sweet onion
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • heaping tbsp minced garlic
  • taco toppings (lettuce, cheese, sour cream, whatever you like)


Instructions:

  1. Prep your jalapenos, onions, and bell pepper for putting into a food processor, chopper or ninja blender.  I keep a bit of the ribbing and seeds for the jalapenos because we like a bit of heat.  If you have cloves of garlic rather than pre-minced, stick that in there too.  Pulse like crazy.  I was trying to get some of the pieces that were stubbornly trying not to get chopped up, and ended up making it all borderline mushy.  This does not look appetizing, but I sense may be part of the reason this came out so good.
  2. Put your pan on low medium heat, spray it with nonstick spray and dump those veggies in there.  Stir them around to spread them out, and make some space to dump your ground meat.  Start breaking it up furiously with a spoon.  When it's broken up nicely, bring the heat up to medium high and continue to break it up and stir it together with the veggies.  Starting with the lower heat got me as close to Taco Bell consistency of meat as I've ever gotten with ground meat.  Keep stirring and cooking until your meat is nicely browned and everything smells incredible.   
  3. Make sure your oven racks are nice and clean, then preheat your oven to 375.  Wrap your tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 30 seconds, or put them in a hot pan and turn them once just to loose them up.  When the oven is fully preheated (seriously, do not put them in early or you will end up with unpleasantly chewy shells) drape your tortillas between the bars in your oven rack.  Unless you have skinnier bars than me, you're going to end up with wide mouth stand on their own shells, but that's okay because you want to put a lot of that awesome meat on them anyway.  If they seem like they are bowing out too far, don't worry, they'll fall straight downward as they cook and even start to bow in a little eventually.  Keep them in there about 11 minutes, adjusting accordingly if you know your oven is stronger/weaker. You're basically looking for them to start to brown a bit.  Carefully use some tongs to take them out of the oven.
  4. Load up your shells with meat, and top with whatever toppings you like on your tacos.  

I'm referring to these as "so far" because I figure inspiration may lead me to change them somewhere down the line, but for now I'm sticking as close to this as possible.

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