If you have ever been to a Mexican Restaurant and looked at the menu, you must have immediately recognized one of the most desirable meals in Mexican cuisine: Tacos! This simple dish has become a staple in the Latino food culture and uncountable recipes have popularized it around the world, making Tacos an accessible but delicious plate to enjoy with your family.
Made out of corn or wheat tortillas, Tacos are topped with different ingredients like beans, meat or cheese and then folded to keep the filling inside. For the final touch, they are then garnished with various toppings including sauces, vegetables or the very familiar Guacamole. What makes Tacos so special is their adaptability and easy to prepare nature, since there are endless options to include in this meal and even different ways of cooking the tortilla, the best part: You can eat them with your hands.
Tacos can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and never get tired of them. Continue reading to know how you can make homemade Tacos and get the same delightful feeling a Restaurant-made dish can bring.
Different regions make for different ingredients
Just like with any popular dish, there are many recipes out there that use a variety of ingredients to complement their meal according to their taste and location. Just to name a few we have:
- Pork, grilled and sliced beef (also called carne asada), shredded chicken, Spanish-style sausage or Chorizo. Usually paired with onion, cilantro, Guacamole or other variations of sauces.
- Grilled or fried shrimp or fish. Accompaniments include lettuce or cabbage, sour cream and the popular Pico de Gallo, a traditional Mexican sauce made from finely chopped tomato, onion and Serrano pepper with lime juice, salt and cilantro.
Variations also include the tortilla base. A couple of options are:
- Hard-shells, widely known mostly in the USA, due to their crispy texture.
- Soft-shells, usually cooked to this state by steaming and grilling. Wheat tortilla is commonly used for these.
Hard shell, crunchy Tacos were largely commercialized by the Taco Bell franchises, an American-based, fast food Restaurant chain inspired on Mexican food. If you are wishing to get your hands on this special Mexican delish without the need to travel to a food court or spend time out, try this recipe and you can be sure all your family will want to repeat Taco weekends every other day. Here is what you need:
- 1 olive oil.
- 1 small, diced onion.
- 1 lb. of lean ground beef.
- 2 tbsp. of tomato paste.
- ¼ cup of water.
- 12 -14 hard taco shells. You can get this at your local grocery store, just try to buy the most organic type possible to make sure you are keeping it simple and healthy.
- 2 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese. You know the saying: “It ain’t going down easy, if it ain’t cheesy!”
- 1 tbsp. chili powder.
- 1 tsp. ground cumin.
- 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt.
- ½ tsp. garlic powder.
- ½ tsp. onion powder.
- ½ tsp. paprika.
- ¼ dried oregano.
Extra (and optional) toppings:
- Shredded lettuce.
- Diced tomatoes.
- Sour cream.
How to: Classic Hard Shell Tacos
We will start by mixing all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl, thoroughly combining the chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and dried oregano. Once you finish, set aside.
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat and pour the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until they soften.
- Once the onion is near translucent, add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it up into smaller chunks (a normal spoon will be OK if you are not using a nonstick skillet, just be careful with the heat!).
- Stir for about 6 to 8 minutes until the beef is completely browned, make sure it is cooked thoroughly.
- Add the small bowl of taco seasoning we set aside at the beginning and pour the tomato paste. Mix until tomato paste is completely combined with all the meat.
- Pour the water and mix to combine the ingredients.
- Remove the meat from the heat.
- According to the package instructions, heat up your Taco shells.
- You are almost done! Use the meat mixture to fill the Taco shells and garnish with your choice of toppings.
You can make it a self-serve Taco night and everyone can enjoy some fresh off-the kitchen Mexican meal to their own taste!
If you liked this hard shell Tacos recipe, try this soft shell Tacos next! See here: https://mahatmarice.com/recipes/rice-and-beans-tacos-dorados/.