Tacos for dinner tonight...3-pronged question
So I'm making some gr. beef tacos for dinner tonight, and I'm sick of buying the taco seasoning packets when I have a huge spice rack at home. So the question is: What's your favorite homemade taco seasoning?
Prong 2: Is there a way to achieve a crispy corn tortilla shell in the shape of a taco without frying. I have baked tortillas before, but always for tostatadas; Is there a way to achieve the taco shell without the grease???
Prong 3: What's the best version of michelada? I've made a few, but am dubious to the addition of Worcestire (it also doesn't theme as authentic) Anyone have one they love on nice summer days?
Any input is welcome, I'd love to hear some opinions on any of these topics. Happy chowing! ; o
If you don't want to fry the tortillas, they don't need to be "shaped" like a taco. Just heat 2 tortiallas on a dry griddle or cast iron pan and fold them around the filling. This is the way local taquerias and taco trucks make them (in CA).
Most Mexican cooks don't use much ground meat, although I like something called picadillo, which can be made with ground meat (although traditionally if would be cubes of meat, stewed, then shredded). It isn't usually spicy hot, most people add heat at the table, since everyone's taste is different. The version I make has onions, cumin, cinnamon, a little vinegar, raisins. Some people put olives and some chile in it. I know it sounds terrible, but it is really delicious. I'm sure you could google a recipe.
Use a mix of varietal chiles, not a supermarket mix. In our area it is dead easy to get cel packets of powdered ancho (pasilla) and de arbol.
If you haven't picked up the meat yet :-), consider going the carne asada route.
Get a smaller piece of sirloin or tri-tip, slice thinly across the grain, pound flatter if necessary, cover with spice rub, marinate for a minute or two, then sear for 30 seconds a side in a hot cast iron pan.
To crisp the corn tortillas, rub them on both sides with cooking oil then cook in a hot, lightly oiled skillet for a minute on a side. When they just start to stiffen up, remove and fold onto paper towels.
Michelada is a taste that I hope not to acquire; good beer should not be abused. I like the horchata or fruit smoothie suggestion.
mine is approx 1/2 tsp of cumin, coriander, Penzeys mild chili powder, Mex oregano, dried onion and garlic powder, plus 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat.
I don't have a method for corn tortillas, and I prefer either Horchata, or tropical fruit smoothies over michelada.
I forgot about Mexican oregano - good call.
Do you mind passing on your horchata recipe? I'd love to learn to make it at home (and would prefer one from a fellow Hound).
Lastly, to the OP, dkenworthy is right about ground meat - save for chorizo. I usually do the asada style route and/or chicken, and used different chiles primarily for the different meats. More sultry and deep for beef, lighter with higher notes for chicken. Oh, and I usually cook the meat with carrots and onion wedges, too.
The one place I won't go authentic is with the chicken - often it's boiled and shredded - yech.
re: Dennis S
1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
2 quarts water
1 Mexican cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup white sugar or less
In a large saucepan, combine rice, water and cinnamon stick. Set aside for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
Puree rice mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Flavor with vanilla and sugar to taste. Chill, and serve over ice.
I usually make a double batch, as it is so easy and popular.
For seasoning I go a number of ways, but definitely always cumin seed, toasted in the skillet prior to adding the meat. Garlic and onion, and some chili powder(s) - and that's where the differences really lie (I also don't add too too much). Cilantro near the end. The more authentic tacos I've had (taco trucks in the DC area), the meat isn't overly done like what you get with those seasoning packets - it's the fresh veggies and sauce on top that bring the heat and flavor.
For #2 - Not entirely what you're asking, but close, I heat the oven at 350, put some cheese on wheat tortilla and bake until the cheese is just past bubbly. The tortilla comes out crisp. This is the healthier version.
The corn tortilla version is again from the authentic places, taking two and frying each in a very light coat of oil in the skillet. You fry first one, then add one on top and flip, and put your stuff on top right there, scoop it up and you're off to the races. They don't come out hard, but the last one on the bottom should have a light crisp - the other one mainly just warm.