Taco Potion #19

April 15, 2013

Taco night, anyone?  Tacos are both a crowd-pleaser and such a comfort food in my eyes.  Customizable toppings, easy to prepare, and being able to eat with your hands?  What could be better than the good ole’ all-American beef taco.  This is a win-win situation that’s perfect for any weeknight or weekend fiesta.  Give me a margarita and it’ll be followed by a brief siesta.  Okay, I’ll quit trying to rhyme…  Let’s get to the bottom of this “Taco Potion”.

Two words, one human:  Alton Brown.  Thank you for always explaining why cooking techniques should be done a certain way and making me chuckle at corny humor, outdated sound effects, and random hands helping you cook.  I only wish you’d bring back Good Eats.  You’ve left me deprived of new food knowledge and mouth-watering recipes.  A girl can dream of season 15, right?

That horrendous confession of appreciation should only be followed by an excellent recipe from Mr. Brown himself- “Taco Potion # 19” and the “All-American Beef Taco”.  Tacos are so simple already, so for heaven sakes, take the time to make this killer seasoning.  You’ll never go back to those ready-made little packets again.  Bleh.  I promise you.


I mean… look at those colors.  I feel like I’m looking at a palette of dried pigments that are just waiting to be mixed and brushed onto a canvas.  Do you want to know the best part?  You can eat these colors.  AND they provide a few health benefits.  Vitamins and minerals?  Yes please, I’ll have more of those.

Taco Potion No. 19 from Simplified Feast 2

I’m taking you to the spice islands… or mountains, rather.  Look at that evening sun shine streaming through my kitchen window.

Taco Potion No. 19 from Simplified Feast 3

There, doesn’t that look familiar?  Combine (shake!) ingredients in a jar with lid; 2 tbs. chili powder, 1 tbs. ground cumin, 2 tsp. cornstarch, 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. ground coriander, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper.

Now that the seasoning is done, we’ll move on to the taco-making portion.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures.  I’ll just assume you know what browning ground beef and taco-assembly looks like.  If not… shame, shame.

Ingredients:

1 package (12 shells) ready-made tortilla shells

2 tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

16 oz. ground sirloin

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 recipe Taco Potion #19

2/3 c. low-sodium beef broth or water

Optional taco toppings; Panela cheese, pickled jalapeno slices, shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream, tomato (seeded and chopped), fresh cilantro leaves

Method:

Preheat oven according to taco shell package directions.  Bake shells accordingly while beef mixture is cooking.

Heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil shimmers, add the chopped onion and cook until softened and lightly browned around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the ground meat and garlic.  Cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, to break up the meat.  Add Taco Potion and beef broth (or water).  Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Assemble each taco with meat mixture, panela, jalapeno slices, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Serve immediately.

Recipe slightly adapted from Alton Brown.  For the full recipe, click here:  Taco Potion No. 19 and the All-American Beef Taco from Simplified Feast

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