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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Faster Foods: Homemade Tacos

I was at Trader Joe's a couple of months ago and somehow came out with a box of hard taco shells, something I normally would not get.  They were organic and wholesome, but you know, in a box.  Whatever.

I decided to make use of the shells, so tacos it was.

If you prefer tacos in a soft tortilla, make your own tortillas, they are easy and taste way better.  

My mother's tortilla recipe is listed at the bottom of this post.

Back to my tacos.  I got some organic ground meat from Trader Joe's, and the rest was in my fridge.  Super easy.


Ground meat (beef or lamb, doesn't matter really)
Teaspoon tomato paste

1 tomato
Some lettuce
Grated cheese (honestly, whichever cheese you like will do, I used that swirly cheddar/Monterey Jack one)
Sour cream

Pour a little olive oil into your pan, and some smashed and chopped up garlic.  Let it simmer on medium for a bit, then add the ground meat.  While the meat is all juicy, add the teaspoon of tomato paste.  If you notice that the meat is too dry, you can add a little bit of water.  As the meat simmers and cooks, add the cumin and cinnamon, and then the salt and pepper.  Set aside on medium to cook.

Chop your tomato into little cubes, grate your cheese (please don't buy pre-grated cheese, it honestly isn't worth it and they add so much crap to keep it "fresh"), and chop up your lettuce.

Turn your oven on to about 400 degrees, and heat up your shells for about 3 minutes.  

Once all of that is done, make your tacos, and eat them up.

Bon Appétit!

Sharon's Tortilla recipe:

Makes about 10

2 cups flour (whole or white)
2 tsps baking powder
Pinch salt
4 tbsps butter or ghee (clarified butter)
1/2-3/4 cups hot water
Oil for frying

Note: If you have a new flat stove top, this may sound crazy, but we always just dropped the tortilla onto one of the elements and let it puff up.  This made for a way less greasy tortilla.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Rub in the butter or ghee until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add water, mixing until absorbed.  Knead gently and add more flour if dough is too sticky.  Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into ten even-sized pieces.  Roll into balls on a floured surface, cover and leave to stand for 20 minutes.  Pat out each ball on a lightly floured surface to a circle 7 inches in diameter.  Cover the finished tortillas while patting all the remaining dough.  Place the lightly oiled frying pan over high heat.  Fry the tortillas individually on both sides until bubbles form on the surface.  Stack them as they are cooked and set them aside until ready to use.

All photos by Sarah Alisdairi

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