Home Made Tacos/Banquet

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salindgren
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2008/01/25 01:31:30 (permalink)

Home Made Tacos/Banquet

Well, I never did this before, but tonight I made tacos. They were not bad. I just cooked about a half pound of ground beef, and tossed in a whole package of McCormick Taco Seasoning, intended for 1 lb of beef. My girlfriend thought it was too spicy, but that did not stop her from choking down two of 'em. I think next time I'll back off for her sake, then just bring up the heat on mine separately, with serranos and salsa. She does not want lettuce, but I actually like really finely sliced iceberg. Now, the McCormick package calls for simmering in water, but I decided to use beef broth. Why not? They suggest simmering for five minutes, but I let it go a lot longer, to dry it out some. What I forgot to get into was adding a little finely chopped potato. I just wanted to test the McCormick product without adjusting it. I think next time too, I might ask a butcher to grind the beef like three times, to get it really fine. Or just chop it more by hand at home. I bought an unknown Latino brand of hard shells, they were just fine. I put them in a 200 degree oven for a while. That always helps crisp them up. Anyway, I'm going to examine the McCormick's package and see how I might put together the same basic formula, adjusted for my taste. Any ideas along these lines?
-Scott Lindgren
#1

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    UncleVic
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 02:00:38 (permalink)
    This is my recipe (going off the top of my head here)..

    1 T Flour
    1 1/2 t Chili Powder
    2 T Cumin
    1 t Paprika
    3/4 t Salt
    1/2 Of Medium Onion chopped really fine
    1/4 t Cayene (optional)
    1 clove of garlic, finely diced
    1/8 t Ground Oregeno
    1/8 t Black Pepper
    1 T LeGout Beef Base (optional, but adds depth to the flavor)

    Combine dry ingredients in bowl.
    Brown 1 lb. Ground Beef with onion and garlic added.
    Drain
    Combine dry ingredients to cooked beef with 2/3rd Cup Water plus the beef base.
    Simmer about 10 minutes

    A small insight into my tacos: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=23078
    #2
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 10:05:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by salindgren

    Well, I never did this before, but tonight I made tacos. They were not bad. I just cooked about a half pound of ground beef, and tossed in a whole package of McCormick Taco Seasoning, intended for 1 lb of beef. My girlfriend thought it was too spicy, but that did not stop her from choking down two of 'em. I think next time I'll back off for her sake, then just bring up the heat on mine separately, with serranos and salsa. She does not want lettuce, but I actually like really finely sliced iceberg. Now, the McCormick package calls for simmering in water, but I decided to use beef broth. Why not? They suggest simmering for five minutes, but I let it go a lot longer, to dry it out some. What I forgot to get into was adding a little finely chopped potato. I just wanted to test the McCormick product without adjusting it. I think next time too, I might ask a butcher to grind the beef like three times, to get it really fine. Or just chop it more by hand at home. I bought an unknown Latino brand of hard shells, they were just fine. I put them in a 200 degree oven for a while. That always helps crisp them up. Anyway, I'm going to examine the McCormick's package and see how I might put together the same basic formula, adjusted for my taste. Any ideas along these lines?
    -Scott Lindgren

    How could an American never have made tacos before? Seriously?
    Are you a foreign spy?
    #3
    Rusty246
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 10:13:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by salindgren

    Well, I never did this before, but tonight I made tacos. They were not bad. I just cooked about a half pound of ground beef, and tossed in a whole package of McCormick Taco Seasoning, intended for 1 lb of beef. My girlfriend thought it was too spicy, but that did not stop her from choking down two of 'em. I think next time I'll back off for her sake, then just bring up the heat on mine separately, with serranos and salsa. She does not want lettuce, but I actually like really finely sliced iceberg. Now, the McCormick package calls for simmering in water, but I decided to use beef broth. Why not? They suggest simmering for five minutes, but I let it go a lot longer, to dry it out some. What I forgot to get into was adding a little finely chopped potato. I just wanted to test the McCormick product without adjusting it. I think next time too, I might ask a butcher to grind the beef like three times, to get it really fine. Or just chop it more by hand at home. I bought an unknown Latino brand of hard shells, they were just fine. I put them in a 200 degree oven for a while. That always helps crisp them up. Anyway, I'm going to examine the McCormick's package and see how I might put together the same basic formula, adjusted for my taste. Any ideas along these lines?
    -Scott Lindgren

    Instead of having your butcher to "thrice" ground your beef, use a potato masher.
    #4
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 12:07:31 (permalink)
    Salin, along w/ the McCormick seasoning I cook some onions and bell pepper, one onion and one small pepper, per 2lbs of beef, . And, I don't use the broth but I have and it dosen't hurt. Also, I just use 1 pack of seasoning per lb. of beef. I have made tacos almost every way you can think of but this is my default way.

    If I have some left over taco meat I will add refried beans and make some tasty nachos or tostadas. I just heat the beans w/ tha meat, spread on chips, and cover w/ cheese and jalapenos. Sour cream and guacamole are otional.

    You can also use the meat and bean mixture to make fried tacos, kinda like Jack n the Box or In a Tub's. Oh, you can also use this mixture for burritos also, using a flour tortilla.

    Shoot, now I'm hungry for some tacos, nanchos, and burritos!
    Joe
    #5
    agnesrob
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 12:28:45 (permalink)
    My family loves Ortega brand taco seasoning and I second the use of a potato masher!
    #6
    UncleVic
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 13:31:14 (permalink)
    If you want the meat to be fine, just soak it in cold water (in the fridge) for 30 minutes. Drain then brown as normal.
    #7
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 14:37:31 (permalink)
    Definitely the Ortega brand for hardshell tacos and their packaged sauce is great. For soft shell (corn) I buy the fresh packages at local grocery stores.
    #8
    Texianjoe
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 17:00:32 (permalink)
    I like it simple. Ground beef browned with salt, pepper, cumin, onion and garlic powder, drained and fried a little more to dry up a little. I like it crumbly so it doesn't soak the bottom of the shell. Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and onions and a little dash of hot sauce.


    joe
    #9
    salindgren
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 18:38:37 (permalink)
    To Bill Voss: I never made tacos before, because the ones at Ojeda's in Dallas cannot be improved upon. They are so savory (I suspect this is finely chopped potato helping here) that they don't even need cheese. The lettuce is just SLIGHTLY wilted. I do add a little thin, red, hot salsa. I'll just have to start playing around. I do think the black pepper is a good idea, and I wonder about steaming the beef first, which would let it drain well, I think, then toss it into a pan with all the other stuff.
    -Scott Lindgren
    #10
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 19:20:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by salindgren

    To Bill Voss: I never made tacos before, because the ones at Ojeda's in Dallas cannot be improved upon. They are so savory (I suspect this is finely chopped potato helping here) that they don't even need cheese. The lettuce is just SLIGHTLY wilted. I do add a little thin, red, hot salsa. I'll just have to start playing around. I do think the black pepper is a good idea, and I wonder about steaming the beef first, which would let it drain well, I think, then toss it into a pan with all the other stuff.
    -Scott Lindgren

    Still, this seems Unamerican! I thought EVERYONE was REQUIRED to make home-made tacos at least once a week! We have since I was a young sprout on the desolate plains.
    #11
    Buddy Dek
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 19:34:04 (permalink)
    Scott if you brown the chopped beef and put it in a blender or food processor for several seconds ,you can just about pulverize the meat. I have done this and it works, great for use in tacos.
    #12
    salindgren
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/25 20:08:36 (permalink)
    Okay Bill, I guess I am un-American... I was born in the Republic of Texas. I still want ideas about steaming. I like Buddy Dek's idea, with the food processor. That makes me think about using the finely chopped beef atop nachos, too, or in some kind of beefy brown enchilada sauce. The food processor could mix in a little potato, too. Not too much. Also, for flavors that you might want to play with for variety, try roasted serranos, chipotles, maybe even toasted pine nuts, black olive, whatever. I do want to try some of that crumbly white Mexican cheese, instead of plain cheddar. Also, the processor would make mixing in garlic automatic. Then, after all the mixing, put everything in a pan with some beef broth, and simmer further. If I get a recipe together I like, I'll just make large batches and freeze small containers for later.
    I forgot to mention the Banquet frozen dinners, Cheese Enchiladas, Beef Enchiladas, the sauce is not bad! Spicier than you might think, super easy to deal with when you are feeling lazy, easy to fix up a little bit, and dirt cheap, 4 for $5 where I buy them. Good for a rainy day. When I'm broke, I know I've got those guys in the freezer, I stock up when I'm not broke.
    -Scott Lindgren
    #13
    salindgren
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/28 17:49:21 (permalink)
    Okay folks, steaming success! I really like this process. Last night, I put about an inch of water in a saucepan (I guess about 8 inch diameter), and placed the steamer atop, then I just sort of broke up pieces of ground beef, and covered all the little holes evenly. Once the steam gets the beef cooking, use a straight edged spatula to start chopping up the beef, breaking it into evenly divided bits. I was concerned about bits falling through the holes, but this was a minimal problem. There are two things I like about this. A) The meat self-drains as it cooks, and B) You can do other prep work and not worry about burning the beef. You can't screw up! It's possible the steam keeps the beef really moist, too. After steaming, I dumped the water and grease, then put the beef in the pan, tossed in some beef broth and the McCormick packet (and a little chopped garlic), and let the thing simmer down to the desired dryness. This step does not require a whole lot of supervision, either. It all worked out great. I am sure gonna try this for "loosemeat" Maid-Rite style sandwiches, too. My girlfriend does not like peppers, so hers gets dished up first, then I throw in some roasted serranos for my portion. Bueno! Ole!
    -Scott Lindgren
    #14
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/29 11:51:29 (permalink)
    Salin, this sounds neat for loosemeat sandwiches but... I want some grease w/ my taco's. I might drain some grease but I wana keep some. This is not to say that I would not like your loosemeat tacos. Hey, a new dish!
    Joe
    #15
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 10:51:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by PapaJoe8

    Salin, this sounds neat for loosemeat sandwiches but... I want some grease w/ my taco's. I might drain some grease but I wana keep some. This is not to say that I would not like your loosemeat tacos. Hey, a new dish!
    Joe

    PapaJoe, I agree a taco ain't a taco unles the grease is running down your are when you are eating it!
    #16
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 10:52:39 (permalink)
    Woops I ment arm!
    #17
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 11:11:48 (permalink)
    Sass, thanks for the back up! Oh, do you know about the little eddit pencil? Someone had to tell me. It's right above your post. And, I read "arm" on your first post. Funny how that works.
    Joe
    #18
    prius
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 11:19:48 (permalink)
    Making tacos at home is passe now that we have so many taquerias in North Carolina.
    #19
    Cakes
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 11:27:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by PapaJoe8

    Sass, thanks for the back up! Oh, do you know about the little eddit pincle? Someone had to tell me. It's right above your post. And, I read "arm" on your first post. Funny how that works.
    Joe


    pincle?
    #20
    trolasater
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 11:39:20 (permalink)
    I ran the kitchen at Charlie Goodnight's, one of Raleigh's first Mexican (actually Tex-Mex) restaurants and we made our beef taco\burrito\enchilada filling using the "steaming" techique. I put ground beef in a stockpot and mixed in enough water until it felt sloppy. This would simmer on the back of the stove until all hint of red was gone. Then the water was poured off, taking all the grease. No lumps, either. I then added garlic powder, chile powder and Texas Pete hot sauce. No salt!!

    I've done this at home with both Ortega and old El Paso seasoning mix.
    #21
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 15:18:44 (permalink)
    Lol, I can't spell Cakes. I used the edit pencil to correct my mispelling. Just kinda sound out some words on my postes and you will know what I am trying to say, maybe?
    Joe
    #22
    Theedge
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/30 15:27:14 (permalink)
    I grew up with taco night as a kid. I bet we fixed them almost every week. I never heard of mashing the heck out of the meat though. It’s always sort of my goal to keep the burger as chunky as possible. I just fry it up along with some diced onion and season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and what ever is in the fridge to moisten it a bit, either some taco sauce or salsa.
    #23
    salindgren
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/31 01:46:20 (permalink)
    Hmm... There seem to be a couple of takes here on the "greasy" vs "not greasy" taco. While I am used to, and don't especially mind the orange rivulet on its way to my elbow, what I really want to duplicate are the tacos at Ojeda's in Dallas. Really savory, wet stuff, with zero orange schmutz. I can put away lots of these, with no aftereffects. I'll get there, but if anyone in Dallas has theories about the Ojeda's recipe, PLEASE pass them along! I hope I spelled schmutz right.
    -Scott Lindgren
    #24
    UncleVic
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/31 02:41:27 (permalink)
    Greasy tacos are tasty... Non greasy tacos may look like greasy tacos by the amount of moisture and spices added.. They both work in my book! My taco's look a bit greasy at times due to the moisture I retain in my meat. I always well drain the fat from my browned beef, but with the spices I add some water so everything gets to simmer evenly. I don't want to cook them down to where it's a dry whatever mix. If there's the orange 'schmutz' as you call it dripping from one, it's all good (just spices and residual water)..



    #25
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/01/31 10:46:39 (permalink)
    Vic pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    The meat used in most of the Tex Mex tocos, including Ojeda's, served in Dallas is not runny. Salin, if you drain the grease, use as litle water as needed to mix in the spices, and let it cook down, I think you will have what you are looking for. Still moist but nothing runny. More gease, more water, equils more runny stuff.
    Joe
    #26
    salindgren
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/02/03 01:54:15 (permalink)
    Somebody somewhere was asking about $ saving ideas, and I was thinking about how the national brands of hard taco shells (Ortega, etc) are pretty expensive, for what they are. Also, frequently broken (which turns them into nacho fodder). But uncooked corn tortillas are almost free... Does anyone bother to cook off their own? Is it a pain to get the right shape? Are they better than the boxed versions? What oil do you use?
    -Scott Lindgren
    #27
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/02/03 11:38:53 (permalink)
    Salin, that was me asking at a thread in the msc food related section. Thanks for your input there.

    Yes, folks make their own shells. My sweety knows how to do it but she is away for a few days. When she gets back I will find out. The homeaid shells are way better than the already made ones.

    Oh, where is that tortilla thread? I said something about making your own tortilla chips there.
    Joe
    #28
    Cakes
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/02/03 12:11:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by salindgren

    Somebody somewhere was asking about $ saving ideas, and I was thinking about how the national brands of hard taco shells (Ortega, etc) are pretty expensive, for what they are. Also, frequently broken (which turns them into nacho fodder). But uncooked corn tortillas are almost free... Does anyone bother to cook off their own? Is it a pain to get the right shape? Are they better than the boxed versions? What oil do you use?
    -Scott Lindgren

    The first time I made tacos (thirty some years ago) from a kit, the shells closed up as I toasted them in the oven and then snapped when I tried to fill them. Ever since, I prop them open with a toothpick broken to fit.

    Sounds kind of anal but it really doesn't take long.

    Cakes
    #29
    naxet76
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    RE: Home Made Tacos/Banquet 2008/02/12 22:05:04 (permalink)
    The best tortilla shells are the ones you make at home. Just heat your oil and fry up a corn tortilla in the shape of a shell. My husband can't stand store bought taco shells. Of course, we're of Mexican descent so our grandmas and moms spoiled us. My mom prefers soft, wilted tortillas but I like mine crispy. It takes a while but well worth it!
    #30
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