best taco seasoning
I live in the Northeast, and some of the other regions of the country must carry better brands of packaged taco seasoning in their supermarkets, than the major brands we see here. I'd like to look for them when traveling. Chowhounds from more taco-intesive parts of the US, please recommend your favorites. (The only one we really like around here is Bearitos from Whole Foods, which is based on rice flour instead of maltodextrin.) California (LA and SF) supermarket references would be particularly helpful. Thanks.
We make our own taco seasoning:
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
Mix ingredients well. Sprinkle 4 Tbs of mix over
1-lb ground meat (beef or turkey), mix well and
fry loose meat in skillet until done.
Taco seasoning is an evil corporate invention - DO NOT USE IT!
Likewise, only chains and some Tex-Mex style restaurants that should know better use ground beef for taco filling. DO NOT USE GROUND BEEF!
I recommend that IMMEDIATELY you should obtain/borrow a decent cookbook by Diana Kennedy, Rick Bayless or someone who is actually familiar with traditional Mexican cuisine.
For starters, slow cook some pork shoulder, beef chuck or roast some chicken (or buy precooked). Plan ahead, no problem.
Search CH and the internet for some basic salsas made from scratch (uncooked ones are quick and easy).
Shred the meat, steam some freshly made corn tortillas and make some soft tacos that will be better than 99% of that chain junk.
PLEASE, Just Say NO to taco seasoning.
We, the Chowhound community, are here to HEAL you :-).
If you insist on seasoning your meat, go light. Fry garlic, add meat, sprinkle cumin and maybe chili powder. If it seems dry, add water & lemon juice. Then be done. Flavor it w.fresh salsa instead as DiveFan mentions below
Sorry hounders but I love ground beef tacos the 70's way my mom used to make them. Lawry's Burrito Mix is my favorite. Fill commercial shells (egads!) halfway and bake for 10 minutes to prevent breaking.
Yes, I love to make my own shredded beef, fry fresh shells etc. but nostalgia is nostalgia and these are yummy. Don't forget the grated Tillamook and a dollop of Daisy!
re: Oh Robin
Here, here (or hear, hear?) Oh Robin. In fact, I go back and forth between taco and burrito (yes, with Lawry's they *are* different). I actually now like the Lawry's Hot Taco packet better than just plain taco. And I haven't been able to approximate it with spices on my own...believe me, I've tried solo and w/ the taco seasoning from MarketSpice in Seattle. It just ain't the same.
Do I like a carne asada or carnitas burrito a heck of a lot better than a Lawry's? Well, of course I do, but I can't do 'em justice, unless I plan ahead.
I love Tex-Mex and ground beef tacos. I also own Bayless' cookbooks and have made many of his dishes It is a different cuisine, not a substitute for my beloved Tex-Mex. In no way is a pork taco of stwed meat a substitute for Tex Mex gorund beef.
I don't use a mix either. I fry onion, then add garlic. Stir in at least 2-3 TBS chili powder (I use a mix of commercial, ancho, and chipotle, sometimes some New Mexico), 1 t cumin, 1 t ground corinader, 1 t oregano, 1 t salt. Saute a couple minutes, then add 1 lb ground beef (9%). Brown well, add a 1 sm can tomato sauce and a spoon of vinegar, and cook 10 min or so. You can add a lot less tomato and use some broth, but I like the tomato.
The advantage of this over the packets is that I always have these spices in my pantry.
I also like to fry my own taco shells from corn tortillas.