Taco Tuesday. It’s basically a standing Tuesday thing for me, and usually ends up being sort of a pot luck taco Tuesday. Whatever I’ve got going on in my fridge ends up nestled into those heavenly crunchy shells. My favorite however, is still the good old ground beef taco. It’s so simple, and yet satisfies all my basic criteria for the perfect taco.
I start with a pound of ground beef, as lean as I can find it. Brown it along with a chopped white onion, in a large skillet, for 5-7 minutes over medium heat. After I drain off any fat, in goes my go-to Custom Spice Blend, Fiesta Taco Seasoning. Usually 2-3 TBS. per pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken. I let the authentic bold Mexican flavors blossom in the pan for a minute, then stir in a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce.
Once the mixture has simmered for 10 minutes, I add about a ¼ cup water so that the taco meat is not too thick or too runny. At this point, I taste for flavor and add a little more Fiesta Taco Seasoning if needed. If I’m feeling like a spicier taco, I add 1-2 tsp. of smoky Chipotle Pepper Powder or fiery hot Habanero Pepper Powder when initially adding the Fiesta Taco Seasoning.
I’m a big cheese lover, so along with shredded cheese on my taco, I also add a couple tablespoons of Cheddar Cheese Powder into my finished taco meat. As the crowning glory to my tacos, and yes, a few shreds of lettuce make an appearance as well, I add a dollop of sour cream and some fresh quick homemade pico de gallo. I simply chop up a tomato, ¼ of a red onion, 2 TBS. cilantro, the juice of 1 lime and mix it all together with ½ tsp. Southwest Spice Blend and ½ tsp. Adobo Spice Blend.
The south-of-the-border flavor, really brings the pico de gallo to life, and rounds out my favorite simple taco—my choice for any taco Tuesday and especially for National Crunchy Taco Day.
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by Chef Stefan
About the Chef: Chef Stefan is the Corporate Chef for The Spice & Tea Exchange®. Currently, co-owner of the San Francisco and Portland locations, Stefan is also a passionate food lover, trained chef, and culinarian. Stefan advanced both his culinary skills and knowledge of global flavors through his passion for traveling (60+ countries around the world). His formal education spans from San Francisco’s Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy to San Francisco Baking Institute and S.F. Cooking School.