When I left Phoenix Monday night it was 82 degrees, when we got home to Salt Lake it was a whopping 11 degrees. . . . remind me again why I live in Utah? Oh it was sooo hard to leave sunny Arizona, dang I wish I was still there. My mom, aunts and sisters just laughed at me because I baked cookies every day we were there, sometimes twice a day. I was going through a cookie withdrawal today so I had to make some. I texted them all a picture of my warm, yummy cookies, I’m pretty sure they were all jealous!
I made these tacos a while back and have just never gotten around to posting them. They were absolutely delicious! The key to these being so scrumptious was the shells, you MUST make the home-fried shells, they take these tacos to the next level. It’s simple to do and really makes these tacos fabulous!
Enjoy and stay warm!!
- BEEF FILLING:
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil or corn oil
- 1 onion , chopped fine
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt , plus more salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
- SHELLS AND TOPPINGS
- 8 taco shells ,
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 small tomatoes , diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado , diced
- Sour cream
- hot pepper sauce to taste
In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until simmering.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar, bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium -low and simmer, uncovered stirring frequently. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the meat mixture into warm taco shells and top with cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, lettuce, onion, sour cream and hot sauce.
Heat oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees, about 5 minutes (oil should bubble when a small piece of tortilla is dropped in). Meanwhile, line rimmed baking sheet with double layer of paper towels.
Using tongs to hold tortilla, slip half of tortilla into hot oil. With a long metal knife spatula in other hand, keep half of tortilla submerged in oil. Fry until just set, but not brown, about 30 seconds.
Flip tortilla; hold tortilla open about 2 inches while keeping bottom submerged in oil. Fry until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip again and fry other side until golden brown, about 30 seconds.
Transfer shell upside down to prepared baking sheet to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adjusting heat as necessary to keep oil between 350 and 375 degrees.
These directions for frying the shells might seem confusing without the illustrations like I have in the book. If you have a simpler way to fry the shells, just do it. You basically just want to fry half at a time, while the other part is out of the oil, but you are holding on to it with tongs the whole time, keeping in bent so it forms a shell. There is a fairly decent video on YouTube which is basically how the directions tell you to do it. If you need to check it out here is the link: How to fry taco shells.
Recipe Source: Cooks Illustrated All-Time Best Recipes Magazine 20th Anniversary