Thursday, June 7, 2012

Awesome taco filling/nacho topping

I have a very special guest blogger for you all today! The famous Matt Hawkins! Yup, the guy I'm always talking about in my blog posts / my wonderful husband. Matt likes to cook too and last night he made these amazing tacos. It was so good he was saying how he needs to remember this recipe. So I was like, why not blog about it! So readers, I'd like you to meet Matt!:

You will need:

For the meat:
2.5-3lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Smoked paprika
Chili powder
Onion powder
Salt, pepper

For the veggies:
3 medium tomatoes (seeded, diced)
1 medium red onion (diced)
1 bell pepper (diced)
1 lime (split in half)
Cilantro (to taste) diced

Cheese of choice (I used a blend of cheddar and Queso Gran (which is like manchego))
Corn tortillas (deep fried, so start heating the oil now)

First make the veggie topping, combine the bell pepper, red onion (why are they called red onions, anyone can see they are purple onions!), tomato (I like to remove the seeds and “juicy” parts for 2 reasons: 1) I don't like the taste, and 2) It will turn your little salsa into a mushy mess) and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the lime juice on top and add salt to taste. Mix it up well and put in the fridge while you prep the tortillas and beef. 

For the ground beef, sauté the garlic in a little bit of olive oil for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Next season the beef with salt and pepper and add it to the pan, separate the clumps so you can mix it up well in the pan (or pot). Now add the chili powder, onion powder,and paprika. You're aiming for a ratio of about 3:1:1 for these three seasonings,but feel free to adjust to your personal taste. Once the meat is browned, drain off the grease and set it aside until your chips/tacos are prepared.

Make sure your oil is nice and hot 350 degrees or so. You can either make tacos or nachos with your corn tortillas. If you're going for nachos then slice the tortillas into triangles and fry them in batches. Be careful of the rising oil, you don't want it to spill over and make a mess or worse, burn you. The nachos at the hospital aren't as good as these.Alternatively, you can make tacos from the shells. If you have a fancy-pants taco frying device, use that! Alternatively you can use tongs to hold them in a taco-type shape. One of the best methods I found was to drop the tortilla round in the oil, when it starts to rise up and float, press down in the center with the tongs. Hold it like that until it is nice and crispy (chewy tacos aren't very good) about 1-2 minutes. You can also use a dual-wielding technique with two sets of tongs to hold both ends of the shell in a taco shape. You're tacos might come out slightly misshapen, that's okay; just like the ugly duckling,these shells taste a million times better than the ones you get out of the box.

Alright, now you're ready to build! You really shouldn't need directions for this part, but just in case:
1) Take a shell/chips
2) Pile on some meat!
3) Stack it with cheese!
4) Add the veggie mix!
5) EAT!
6) Repeat as desired

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