Category: Taco Town

Taco Superlatives Get Me Every Time

When I first embarked on my Taco Project over the summer, I had no intention of writing my wrap-up post in December. But, there’s nothing like thinking about eating tacos and drinking a cold summery drink to convince me that winter won’t be that bad. So, without further ado, here’s the promised wrap-up of my 20-Taco Summer Project.

Most Disappointing

Sorry, Chicken Chorizo Taco. You just didn’t do it for us. The bar was set so high. We were going to be lifelong friends. Maybe we’ll try again next summer? Works for me.

Most Gourmet

Oh, Cilantro Pesto Steak Tacos, you had me at “hello.” Thanks to an abundance of cilantro, these guys were born. It was a happy accident really. This one comes highly recommended. Enough said. Go get your food processor out and make some pesto.

Best Disguise

Is it a taco? Or is it a spicy barbecue dish? Who knows? Actually, I know. It was a taco. A Slow-Cooker Pork taco. And the flavors of the pickled jalapeño and side of refried beans perfectly mirrored the flavors of a summer cookout. Ahhh, summer.

Best Dressed

These Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos had just the right bite and all the right fixins. The marinade on the shrimp offered up just the right amount of spice and citrusy flavor.

Most Loved

I really cannot express to you guys how good these Crispy Chicken Tacos are. Good enough to be made multiple times. Good enough to be made at least once a week.

Closing Remarks

I mentioned it more than once during the whole 20-Taco expedition, all tacos seem to taste better with avocado. It’s just a given here at this point. Avocado, guacamole. Whichever, doesn’t matter.

Second, three quarters of the way through this journey, you may have noticed that it was all corn tortillas, all the time. Now, you may just think it’s because I bought one of those huge bags. I wish you were right. Truth is, I found out that I needed to go off the gluten. No big deal though. Onward and upward, right?

Lastly, there a lot of tacos that walked the thin line between “taco” and “wrap” that I wanted to try but haven’t yet. Italian tacos featuring sausage and peppers. Buffalo Chicken Tacos featuring blue cheese and celery.  But, are they really tacos? Who’s to say? Not me.

While I won’t be publishing another taco series, I’m so happy I explored all the possibilities, finding some new favorites along the way. I’ve got a few ideas planned for 2013’s food project. I’ll be starting earlier in the year, so look forward to something yummy in January.

Slow Cooker Beef Tacos Get Me Every Time

The end is here. It’s taco 20/20!

As I mentioned yesterday, we recently returned from being away from home—and from the kitchen. So, as soon as we got back from our trip, I knew I wanted a home cooked meal that was easy, satisfying and had some spice. Don’t get me wrong, we ate like kings while away, but I just needed, what else but some tacos.

The last time I used chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a taco, it was spicy, even by my measure. So this time, I balanced out the recipe by adding some extra cocoa powder to the slow cooker.

If you do a quick search, there are tons of recipes to follow. (You dont need another one from me.) I just did my thing though. A little of that, a little of this.

Shell: Store-bought corn tortillas
Filling: Chipotle beef, see above
Toppings: Lettuce, diced tomato, Colby jack cheese, & semi-homemade salsa

Results: the balance of chipotle to cocoa to salsa was right on. Overall, this was a perfect end to the taco project. Watch out for the full recap next week.

Crispy Avocado Tacos Get Me Every Time

Ever since I made those crispy chicken tacos a few weeks ago, I haven’t been able to stop talking or thinking of them. And as avocado season (is there such a thing?) comes to a close, I knew I wanted to make an avocado-filled taco. Voila. Crispy avocado tacos that are ready in. No time at all. Perfect for a taco Tuesday.

If you’re new to this whole crispy taco thing go ahead and catch up. If you’re not and you still haven’t made these, please tell me what your waiting for.

Shell: Store-bought corn tortillas, crispified by The Pioneer Woman’s method
Filling: Avocado
Toppings: Lettuce, diced tomato, jalapeño jack cheese, Alex’s Ugly Sauce & semi-homemade salsa

Results: If you don’t now by now, avocados are one of my favorite foods. They pretty much quantify a food group in our home these days. These were just as tasty and filling as the chicken ones made a few weeks ago. Taco #19 gets two thumbs up.

Only one left?! (Not ever, there are plenty of tacos to be had, no worries.) any suggestions for the final taco?

Steak Fajita Tacos Get Me Every Time

As we near the end of my official taco season, I find I’m wanting to fit key ingredients into these last few. And today, that’s steak. So, I went with a familiar combination, making all the regular fixings for fajitas and calling it a taco.

Cheating? Maybe. But no one has questioned me yet, so I’m just going to do my thing. Hopefully I don’t need to go too in depth on why steak fajitas are delicious. If you need me to, we need to talk and you need to go to your nearest Mexican restaurant right away. Andale!

Shell: Store-bought corn tortillas
Filling: Steak along with sautéed bell peppers, onions and garlic
Toppings: Lettuce, diced tomato, Colby Jack cheese & semi-homemade salsa

Results: One of my favorite things about going to a great Mexican restaurant is that Mr. Gets Me Every Time almost always orders fajitas. Then, they bring them out all smokin’ hot and sizzlin’. You just can’t beat that. Well, these tacos are about as close as I can get to that at home. I’ll take it.

Terrific Turkey Chili Tacos Get Me Every Time

Welcome back, taco-loving friends. Today, if you like tacos and you also like chili, have I got a taco for you. Make these Terrific Turkey Chili Tacos (taco #17/20) and satisfy both cravings tonight.

Per usual, if you have chili on hand from Sunday or whenever it is you make your chili, perfect. I’m finding taco Tuesday is a great way to use up leftovers during the week. But, if you don’t have any leftover chili around, this is a great recipe to start with—it’s loaded with veggies.

On most tacos, you guys know I load up the toppings. But, there’s so much great stuff packed into this chili that I kept it pretty simple. Lettuce, cheese and loads of hot sauce kicked this taco into high gear.

Adapted From:
Store-bought “hard taco” shells
Filling: Terrific Turkey Chili
Toppings: Jalapeno cheddar cheese, chopped romaine & about half a bottle of Trader Joe’s chili pepper sauce

Modifications: Remember last week when I said leftover chicken was the way to go. Well, leftover chili also seems to be the way to go.

Results: Remember when I mentioned if you love tacos and you love chili, you really can’t go wrong. Well, I’m standing behind that. I’m also standing behind the ridiculous amount of hot sauce I poured all over these. De-lic-ious.

Crispy Chicken Tacos Get Me Every Time

Stop right there. I know what you’re already thinking. And no. These are not tacos made with fried chicken. Which is precisely why the name of this post isn’t “Fried Chicken Tacos Get Me Every Time.” I thought that might be misleading And it’s not the chicken that’s fried or crispy. It’s the entire taco. But “Chicken Crispy Tacos” just didn’t sound as good. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, shall we?

The recipe for these is the Pioneer Woman’s My Brother’s Chicken Tacos. It’s a recipe I bookmarked at the beginning of this project but had been a little intimidated to try. I mean, frying an entire taco? But for you, dear readers, fry try I did. And boy am I glad I did. Because now, I can tell you, that’s there is absolutely no reason not to make these. Tonight.

Now, being the busy bee that I am, I naturally adapt the PW’s recipe to use leftover chicken which cuts down on kitchen time for a quick weeknight meal. (It’s crockpot season, people. Make enough chicken/pork/beef for the week on Sunday in that dusty slow cooker of yours.)

As a side note, if I was going to title this post anything other than “Crispy Chicken Tacos,” (other than “Fried Chicken Tacos” or “Chicken Tacos that are Crispy and Fried Get Me Every Time”) it would obviously be “How to One-Up The Pioneer Woman.” And the way you do that is by adding some fresh cilantro to these babies.

Adapted From: The Pioneer Woman
Store-bought corn tortillas (that turn into crispy corn tortillas when you fry them)
Filling: Leftover chicken with Alex’s Ugly Sauce
Toppings: Cilantro, Colby Jack cheese, tomatoes, chopped romaine & this Trader Joe’s chili pepper sauce

Modifications: Weeknight meals should not mean cooking for more than 30 minutes, hence, leftover chicken.

Results: The Pioneer Woman was right, y’all. These are delicious (duh.) and they’re not too greasy at all. I will definitely be making these for dinner again soon tonight. After all, it is Taco Tuesday—maybe you should make them too.

Sweet Potato Tacos Get Me Every Time

Here in New England, it’s become sweater weather almost overnight. So on this Taco Tuesday, I’ve got just the thing to bridge the seasons. (Not to worry, friends in warmer climates, you’ll eat these up too.)

This week, I’m grabbing a little inspiration from Oprah with her sweet potato tacos. When you follow O’s recipe to the T, it’s quite delicious, but last time I had sweet potatoes baked and left over from a weekend cooking session, I just improvised here and there.

Now, if you’re thinking that these tacos don’t look gorgeous, I will agree. But, looks aside, these sweet potato tacos are just the thing to add some spice to a Tuesday night.

Shell: Store-bought corn tortillas
Filling: Sweet potatoes seasoned with cumin and chipotle powder tossed with sautéed black beans, corn and onion.
Toppings: Cilantro, Colby Jack cheese & semi-homemade salsa

Modifications: Leftover potatoes, not toasting cheese on the tortillas, etc… When starting from scratch, I follow this recipe. When pulling off tacos from leftovers, I just wing it.

Results: This is another great way to make veggie tacos. The sweetness of the potato handles spice well. And, all the ingredients are reasonably priced too. If you need more convincing, I’ll remind you that these tacos are delicious.

Cilantro Pesto Steak Tacos Get Me Every Time

So, I know summer is *officially* over, but I still haven’t made it through all 20 tacos. So, let’s keep the goodness going right through the fall. Lego!

Today’s Taco Tuesday is brought to you by the grocery store that only sells cilantro in extra large bunches that we can never seem to finish before they go bad. I mean, a little goes a long way. So, when life hands you a huge bunch of cilantro, make some cilantro pesto. (I know, right?)

And, again thanks to the big bunch of cilantro, I then decided I needed to make something more with it. Cilantro, guacamole, tacos. That’s the thought process right there folks. When it’s time for tacos, I also look to the web for inspiration. But then I just do my own thing. I’m a rebel. That’s just how I roll.

Shell: Store-bought corn tortillas
Filling: Flank Steak seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin & garlic
Toppings: Cilantro Pesto, cotijo cheese, semi-homemade salsa & guacamole

Modifications: For that cilantro pesto, the recipe calls for toasted sesame oil, but that’s not an item stocked in my pantry regularly. So, I tossed in a few sesame seeds and called it a day. And since I wasn’t following any other recipe, there’s nothing else to mention.

Results: Last time I made steak tacos, they were a huge hit. These are guaranteed to be the same for your home. I promise. Kick up the heat with the salsa or guacamole. (Or grab the hot sauce and go to town. That’s really the easiest way to spice up dinner, don’t you think?)

Mahi Mahi Tacos Get Me Every Time

When we last left off on this taco adventure, the eats were vegetarian and Tuesday never tasted so delicious in such a short time. That is, until this week. Because sometimes you get home late from the gym, or a function, or even just work and all you want to do is eat within 10 minutes of kicking down the front door.

Enter every trying-to-avoid-another-night-of-takeout-person’s dream come true, frozen fish (salmon, tuna, mahi mahi, etc) burgers, like these. Heat up a pan, pour yourself a glass of wine or beer or something stronger, and in about 10 minutes flat, you’ve got a variety of dinner options. Tonight, let’s make it mahi mahi tacos.

Shell: Store-bought corn tortillas
Filling: mahi mahi seasoned with lime juice, salt and pepper, garlic & cayenne pepper
Toppings: cotijo cheese, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro & store-bought salsa verde

There’s no recipe: So I made it up as I went. To get this done in under 10 minutes, dice the tomato and wash the cilantro while the fish is cooking and your cat is going crazy trying to get a piece. Then, you’re pretty much finished. Assemble, devour, repeat next Tuesday.

Results: I know I’ve said Taco Tuesday was an easy weeknight dinner in the past, but this is pushing it even further to that extreme. I questioned if I could even include it, but it’s just too valuable of a Taco Tuesday tip to keep it to myself. What are you making over from your freezer recently? Let me know—I’m always hungry for a quick trick.

Black Bean Tacos Get Me Every Time

It’s Tuesday. And you need to make these black bean tacos (courtesy The Faux Martha) tonight. While they may not be the prettiest taco at the ball, they are quite possibly the most delicious.

I added some corn to this mixture and it started to remind me of the veggie tacos we had for Taco Tuesday earlier this summer. These too are the perfect weeknight meal because it’s quite possible you can find all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge right now.

Shell: Store-bought corn tortillas
Filling: Black beans & corn
Toppings: cotijo cheese, sauteed peppers & onions (per recipe) and salsa

Modifications: As mentioned above, I added corn to this recipe. When it comes to veggies, the more, the merrier. I also added cilantro to the bean mixture while it was cooking, instead of as a topping. Lastly I subbed a serrano pepper for the jalapeno because that’s what I had on hand.

Results: If you’re a fan of black beans and tacos, then I don’t think you should have any issues with these guys. Easy, delicious, filling and meatless. A great way to cut down the budget too, right? And if you’re not a fan of tacos? Well, the black mean mixture would be delicious on it’s own, on nachos or on a salad. Try it and let me know if you’re as much a fan as I am.