Homemade Taco´s with Chunky Salsa
I´ve been considering writing a food blog for many years now, but have never really found a platform that I considered adequate to blog on. I am fairly new to the blogging scene and so far the only articles I have written have been strictly work related. But Thanks to Bebee, I´ve finally decided to give it a try, there may be a few hiccups along the way, but please bear with me, I will get better at this writing thing ;)
I suppose I should begin by telling you a little bit about me, ever since I was 4 years old, I have wanted to own my own Restaurant, as kids, my friends and I didn´t play the normal games, we played restaurant! We´d serve up imaginary Spaghetti Bolognese or Pizza to our families, slaving over our imaginary cooking stoves as we did. At 12 I started to experiment in real kitchens, teaching myself how to cook. Most was just simple trial and error, much to the rest of my Families dismay as I served overly unique dishes like Bolognese Stuffed Pineapple! don´t judge me, I was 12!
I started working in a local pub kitchen at 13 for some friends of the family, Helping the chef out where needed, washing dishes, waiting tables whatever I could to learn about the business. From that moment, I was sucked in to the Catering industry. My next 20 years where spent working in Restaurants and bars, and while I must admit that a majority of the work I did was Front of house based, I still enjoyed donning the chefs whites every once in a while and jumping behind the pass to show off my cooking abilities. I tried many times to move out of the catering business, but eventually always found myself coming back, until about a year and a half ago when I finally decided I no longer wanted to work for other people.
The Older I´ve gotten, the more I have enjoyed being in a kitchen, losing myself for hours while I let my creativity flow. testing the waters, creating new and exciting dishes, learning what works together and what does not. Don´t get me wrong, there have been many a disaster along the way, but surely that´s how most of us learn best is it not?
So last night I made some home made Taco´s that went down a little too well amoung my friends, So I have decided to share my recipe for all you lovely people out there. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of my dish before devouring it in a big mess that is the joy of Taco eating, so I have poached a picture from the internet for the mean time, but I promise my next post will include a photo! This recipe will serve 3 to 4 People, The measurements are only rough guidelines as I tend to make things to taste rather then follow recipes, so judge accordingly as per your own tastes, here goes:
For The Taco Seasoning:
3 1/2 Teaspoons of Hot Paprika - or you can use half normal paprika, half chilli powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Place in a bowl and mix, Simples ;)
For The Chunky Salsa:
12-14 Cherry Plum Tomatoes, Chunky Diced
1 Small Red Onion, Chunky Diced
1-2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
2-3 Jalapenos Chillies, Chopped (de-seeded if you like) or more if you like it extra spicy
2-3 Teaspoons freshly chopped Corriandor (Cilantro to my American Friends)
1/2 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
1 teaspoon Tomato Puree
Juice of 1/2 Fresh Lime
1-2 Tablespoons Cold Water
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Wine Vinegar (red or White)
Pinch of Sugar
Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a bowl, combine the Chillies, Garlic, Paprika, Tomato Puree, Vinegar, Water, Oil, Lime Juice, Sugar, Salt and Pepper and mix till it forms a thin paste, add more water if needed to losen or more puree to thicken, dependant on tastes. Next add The remaining Tomatoes, Onion and Fresh Corriandor, and mix well.
For The Taco Shells
In batches of no more then 6, take soft Flour Tortillas, and separate each with a damp kitchen towel, wrapping the tortillas. Place in a microwave for 20-30 seconds to steam. Lightly spray the Tortillas with cooking oil on both sides and drape over 2 spokes of the wire rack in your oven to give a flat base to work with. Bake at 190o for 7 - 10 minutes or until crispy and golden.
For The Meat Filling
In a hot Pan, Fry off 750g of good quality Minced Beef, making sure you strain off any excess fat, add the Taco Spice Mix and fry for a 2-3 minutes or until the meat has absorbed the seasoning. Add 250ml (or roughly around) of water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for around 10 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and thickened.
Remove the Taco Shells from the Oven, and divide the meat mixture between them, sprinkle with a good helping of cheese (I used a Spicy Mexicana Cheese, which I think worked really well, but cheddar or any cheese of your choice will do) and place back into the oven to melt. I had the oven off at this point, so as not to burn the tacos and just used the residual heat from the oven to keep it warm and melty ;) Serve with the Chunky Salsa, Soured Cream, Chopped Gem Lettuce Fresh lime wedges and Buttered White Rice.
Well, There it is, My first ever food blog. I hope you liked it guys, it certainly went down well last night. Please let me know if you use this recipe and how it goes down. I also welcome any feedback or pointers, positive or negative, as long as you don´t make it personal ;)