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Dover Post
  • Tacos don’t have to come in kits

  • Taco night is the kind of meal that every family needs. It’s something that most kids will eat, it’s quick, it’s easy and it is fairly inexpensive. But it can also be the type of meal that is packed with processed foods and mystery ingredients. That doesn’t have to be the case though. This week, I’ve included three simple staples to start you taco night off right.
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  • Taco night is the kind of meal that every family needs. It’s something that most kids will eat, it’s quick, it’s easy and it is fairly inexpensive. But it can also be the type of meal that is packed with processed foods and mystery ingredients. That doesn’t have to be the case though. This week, I’ve included three simple staples to start you taco night off right.
    I would wager that taco kits are a go-to dinner for most busy families. I ate many of them in my childhood and would probably still be eating them if I hadn’t started to wonder exactly what it was that came in the seasoning packet and turned the ground beef orange. At that point I decided maybe I should start making my own taco seasoning.
    Taco seasoning is really easy to make. You just measure out a few spices and sprinkle it over ground beef like you would with a taco kit. It’s also inexpensive and allows you to know exactly what’s going into the food you eat, so essentially it’s a triple win.
    Salsa sort of seems like one of those dishes that would be hard to get right, but in reality, all you really have to do is prep a few ingredients and toss them into a food processor. However, when you tell people that you made your own salsa, they’ll probably think that you’re a domestic wizard and you’ll be elevated to Martha Stewart status in their mind. Plus, making your own salsa results in a delicious product. The recipe I’m sharing is more like the salsa that you find on a table at a Mexican restaurant than the stuff you find in jars at the grocery store. It’s smooth and flavored with cilantro and lime juice. This salsa has just the right amount of heat, enough to make it warm, but not leave you in search of water. It’s incredibly refreshing if chilled for several hours before serving.
    No taco night is complete without a little guacamole. Making homemade guacamole is probably even easier than making homemade salsa. All you have to do is prep ingredients and stir them together. This dip is perfect served as a side with chips or piled on top of tacos. The rich creaminess of the avocado gets a bit of fresh zip from the cilantro and the onion adds a nice bite. I’m not a huge fan of tomato, but it definitely makes the guacamole pretty.
    I hope these three recipes will inspire you to put down the taco kit and take taco night into your own, capable hands.
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    To contact Sarah Barban email her at sarah.barban@doverpost.com
     
    Taco Beef
    2 tablespoons cumin
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon paprika
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 pounds ground beef
     
    Extras
    Flour tortillas
    Hard corn tortillas
    Shredded lettuce
    Tomatoes
    Sour cream
    Cheese
     
    Mix together all of the spices in a bowl. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and drain off most of the fat, leaving just a bit in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the seasoning over the meat and stir to combine. Serve the beef in tortillas or taco shells, topped with all of your favorite fixings. Serves 8.
     
    Salsa
    28-ounce can whole tomatoes
    1 white onion, chopped
    1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
    1/4 cilantro
    1 lime, juiced
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 tablespoon salt
     
    Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Chill for several hours until cold. Serve with chips or over tacos. Serves 8.
     
    Guacamole
    2 avocados
    1 Roma tomato
    1/2 a red onion, diced finely
    2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
    1 lime, juiced
     
    Using a sharp knife, slice into the avocado lengthwise and then rotate the avocado on the knife so that you’ve split it down the center all of the way around. Twist the two halves so that they separate. Take a kitchen towel and place it in your left hand. Place the avocado half with the pit on top of the kitchen towel. Take you knife and hit the pit with the lower end of the blade, then pull towards yourself slightly to lift the pit out. Repeat with the other avocado. Place the avocados halves in a bowl and mash with a fork, fold in the onion, cilantro and tomato and then stir in the lime juice to prevent browning. Serves 4.

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