Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cooking the Web – Homesick Texan – Tacos & Uncle Richard’s Salsa

Outside of Texas, a good taco is hard to find. Even growing up, my family’s version of tacos involved a bag of taco mix bought at the Kroger. Needless to say, I was never a fan. However, since I started reading the goldmine that is The Homesick Texan, I’ve been meaning to try her recipe for tacos.

In addition to a recipe for taco meat, the Homesick Texan even tells you how to make your own puffy taco shells. While that sounds delicious, I’ll save that for another time, after I buy my own tortilla press. For now, I decided to give her taco recipe a try.

Everything on the ingredient list seems pretty straightforward. There are the usual suspects of ground beef, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, but I’m a little surprised to see that the recipe calls for “½ cup of your favorite salsa.” Knowing that much salsa could make or break the tacos, it seemed fitting to use one of the Homesick Texan’s salsa recipes.

Uncle Richard’s Salsa couldn’t be easier.

¼ cup of diced onion and 2 minced cloves are garlic are first in the food processor.

Next is a cup of cilantro leaves and then the peppers. The recipe calls for 2 serranos or 2 jalapenos.

Figuring that 3 is almost always better than 2, I diced up 3 jalapenos and threw them in the processor.

The main ingredient to the salsa came next, one 28 ounce can of tomatoes

After that it was 2 tbs of chili powder, salt to taste, a dash of sugar and the juice of ½ lime.

This looks awfully familiar. After tasting, it needed a little more salt, some pepper and the juice of the other half of lime.

With my jar of salsa ready, I could move on to the tacos.

In no time at all, I had everything ready to go.

Clockwise from the bottom, I had ½ onion chopped with 3 chopped jalapenos, 3 cloves of garlic minced, 2 tbs of fresh cilantro, and 1 tbs chili powder, 1 tbs cumin, 1 tbs Mexican oregano, and ½ tsp of cayenne pepper.

First in the pan with ¼ cup of oil was the onions and peppers.

It took 10 minutes on medium before I was ready for the next step.

The garlic was next in the pan and then 2 more minutes of cooking.

Now it was time for almost everything else to join the fun.

I couldn’t forget the ½ cup of salsa. With everything added, I lowered the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Once I added the final tablespoon of lime juice

I had a pan full of delicious taco meat.

Of course I only had crappy premade taco shells on hand, but with a little lettuce, cheese, and salsa, I had a good looking taco. Once again, the Homesick Texan comes through. I’m honestly wondering if there’s a bad dish on her site.

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