Quick + Easy ~ Tacos

Nothing fancy here, just a basic recipe for tacos that we use on a weekly basis. It is full of flavor and saves well as leftovers – it is perfect for making Mexican Pizzas during busy weeknights when you need an easy meal. I say this recipe is quick and easy and it is but I noticed as I added more optional ingredients and toppings that it didn’t look so quick anymore – I tend to get carried away, apologies. Most taco nights we do the basics without the optional add-ins and it only takes about 20 min start to finish. You can also make this fast if you prep a lot of your ingredients (like on a weekend, you can wash veggies and herbs – chop onions, radishes, peppers -make spice blend and store them properly until taco night).

 

Beef Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • Olive Oil or Other
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • Poblano Pepper, diced finely (Optional)
  • Potato, peeled + diced (optional)
  • Taco Seasoning Blend
    • I make my own blend (you might not need this entire amount – save the rest in an airtight container):
      • 1 tsp Cumin
      • 2 tsp Chili Powder
      • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt or Sea Salt
      • 1/2 tsp Paprika
      • 1 tsp Oregano
      • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
      • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
      • 1/4 tsp Cayenne (optional)
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped fine
  • Fresh Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • Black Olives, Sliced
  • Radishes, diced (optional)
  • Shredded Romaine Lettuce or Shredded Cabbage -seasoned w/ lime juice and pepper
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese Block, Shredded or Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • Sour Cream, Optional
  • Lime Wedges (Optional – lime goes well with Queso Fresco + Shredded Cabbage)
  • Flour Tortillas, We love TortillaLand Fresh Tortillas – a lot! OR Corn Tortillas, my bff crisps them in oil – I could eat an entire batch, they are amazing.

Instructions:

  1. Heat skillet to medium-high heat. Add about 1 tbsp oil, let it get hot then add garlic and onions.
  2. Saute veggies 1-2 minutes, stirring and turning. Add optional potatoes, cook 1-2 minutes. Season veggies with about 1 tsp of the taco seasoning blend + stir.
  3. Add ground beef, break up and brown. Add about another tsp of seasoning mix and blend into the meat. Cover in between stirring to retain some moisture in the meat- cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. While waiting for meat to cook, heat or cook raw tortillas and keep warm in oven or tortilla warmer.
  5. Remove from, heat + keep covered until ready to serve.

Tips:

  • We usually prep all the ingredients first and put the toppings in small dishes with spoons – buffet style so everyone can walk down the line and build their tacos as they go – helps keep everybody’s food warm and fresh.
  • The potatoes are a great filler to bulk up the meat, if you are on a tight budget or if you just love them. Not so healthy but they are a pretty traditional addition to taco meat, making tacos even more of a comfort food.
  • You can make this much spicier, if you prefer, by adding a small jalapeño )or way hotter by adding a small serrano pepper) diced very finely in place or along with the poblano pepper.
  • This can be a messy affair – even for coordinated adults – you can make these into quesadillas easily by folding the tortilla in half and heating in a pan or in the microwave. This is a great option for kiddos or a clumsy husband 🙂
  • If you are not a fan of ground beef, you can sub for cheap cuts of skirt steak or similar. Season the meat prior to cooking – better yet, marinate it (dry rub) all day before you cook it. You can cook it as one large steak, let it rest, then slice it up and add it back to the pan or slice it into bite sized bits and cook it for less time (probably will not need to cook the smaller pieces much longer than 1-2 min to achieve med-rare) letting it rest covered when done.

 


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