Sunday, June 3, 2012


I grew up in a family that never cooked anything but frozen pizzas and boiled pasta.  my mom, was cooking inept. Not to mention, that her diet consisted of ice cream, cinnamon rolls, pies, and cheesy fries. No joke (she was tony too). Except for one thing my dad would make. Tacos. When my dad said he was making tacos, we would all scramble to be home, no matter how far or how old. It was alway a big deal. I remember the first time I tried to replicate them. Not successful. Apparently, the tacos were more unique than I thought. Now, I can make them, and I thought it'd be nice to put this down in writing for a change.

Baked Tacos.

12 Corn tortillas (hard shell)
1 lb lean ground beef
2 Packets El Paso reduced sodium taco seasonings
1 lb mexican blend shredded cheese
Chili Powder
Garlic powder
Dried minced onion
Black Pepper
Cajun Seasoning
Anything else you might want to add to your tacos

In a medium sauté pan, cook the meat over medium heat.  Break it up, and turn it over constantly, so as to cook all of the beef and not to burn any. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. Once the meat is cooked, I drain the fat, but you don't have to. I just like to pretend I am healthy. If you do decide to drain the fat, just put a lid over the top of the pan but leave a small crack for the fat to drip through, hold it over something disposable for the fat, tilt and drain away. 
Once the fat is or is not drained, add water to the pan, so that all the meat is submerged.  Place it back on the stove and lower the heat to medium low. Add the 2 packets of seasonings, mixing into the water. For the rest of the seasonings, it's really up to you. I love spicy anything, so I add at least 3 Tablespoons of chili powder. That may be overkill for some of you. I would at least add three tablespoons of both the minced onion and garlic powder. And, if you really wanted to get fancy, you could even add 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder. And you can feel see to add a real onion instead of the minced onion. And a red pepper too. I've tried that as well. Here's all my seasonings....haha.....

Once you've added all your seasonings and mixed them into the water and meat, you have to wait until all the water is absorbed. Anywhere from 20-45 minutes. You can turn the heat up high to speed it up, or lower, if you want to make something else in between or whatever you want to do. Though, at this point, you do want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the shells up in a baking pan, usually 9 x 13.   
When the water is completely absorbed into the meat, spoon the meat into the taco shells. you can use all of it, or you can save some and make a dip out of it. Once you've put the meat in the shells, put the cheese on top until you can't see the meat anymore, or until the top of the shell. Place the tacos in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted. And voila! Tacos baked in the oven! You can serve them with whatever you want: sour cream, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, taco sauce. 
They're best the night they are served, but if you don't finish them, you can put them in the fridge in a n airtight container and refresh them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 325 degrees.

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