Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tacos with Homemade tortillas

Have you ever had one of those nights that you have absolutely NO idea what you are going to make and you have an hour to get dinner on the table and cleaned up? Well, tonight was one of those nights for me! I've had a crazy day, to say the least! So after going thru the freezer and my brain, I decided to go for TACOS!!! Now wait a minute---- these aren't the average soft-shelled taco. You'll make these once and never want to go back!

First of all, if you're anything like me, when you go to the grocery store, you stock up on seasoning packets, of course TACO seasoning being one of them... well I often forget that I am out. I have come up with a solution for this dilemna that happens often in my kitchen.... HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING!

So, first go get that ground beef browning on your stove! I used 2 lbs of ground beef because I like to make sure we have left overs for tomorrow's lunch :-). While it's browning, go to the SPICE CUPBOARD!

In a small jar, combine these spices together:

6 tsp chili powder

4 1/2 tsp cumin

5 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground oregano

1 1/2 tsp onion salt

2 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/8- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

STORE IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER... I like to use a small jelly jar.

FYI: 1 tsp of this mix is equal to 2 tsp store-bought mix. 1 pouch of store-bought mix contains approximately 12 tsp.

Now, once your ground beef is browned, drain it well! I like to place my ground beef in the strainer and rinse it under hot water. I don't like any extra grease. I also rinse my pan out before putting the drained ground beef back in it. Now turn your burner on low heat and add 6 tsp of seasoning and 1/2 cup water per pound of meat prepared. Stir and simmer...

Now it's time to make the star of the meal! HOMEMADE FLOUR TORTILLAS! YuMmY!

In a mixing bowl, combine:

1 cup water

3 cup flour

1/3 cup oil

1 Tbsp baking powder

shake of salt

Mix well until soft dough forms. I throw all the ingredients in my kitchenaid and let it do all the work for me until the dough cleans off the sides of the bowl. I have also mixed it by hand. Just knead it until its well mixed. This is simple. Don't overthink it!

Now, divide the dough into 12 equal balls. They should be close to golf-ball size. On a floured surface, take one ball at a time and roll it out, rolling from the center out. You want it to be about 10" in diameter and thin... Don't worry if it's not a perfect circle... I promise they won't care! However, if you are a perfectionist or trying to impress a certain someone, go ahead and take a dinnerplate out of your cupboard and use it as a template for your perfect circle using a knife or pizza cutter to cut around it.

<---- when it's thin enough, the outer edges will look like this...

Place the rolled-out tortilla into a warm frying pan.. I use medium heat. You will start to notice bubbles, then turn it over. You want it to be golden brown. Don't cook too long or it will be able to be used as a frisby :-) 1-2 minutes on each side should be plenty of cooking time! I place the cooked tortillas between paper towels on a plate and cover them with a dish towel while I'm cooking the rest.

Of course, now all you have to do is grate cheese, cut lettuce and tomatoes, and prepare whatever other toppings you like for your soft-shelled tacos....

Simple and easy to clean up! This is my kind of a meal for a day like I've had!

*Using 2 lbs of ground beef, this meal cost about $5.00. It served the 4 of us tonight and will serve us lunch tomorrow and we'll still have left-overs in the fridge! These tortillas also work great for breakfast burritos, cheese snacks, wraps, etc...*


Happy Cooking!


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