Taco Tuesday

 


Taco Tuesday is a THING in our household. YES,
WE LITERALLY MAKE TACOS EVERY TUESDAY FOR DINNER! My husband and I LOVE Tex-Mex and this is the one meal we both can agree on that this is a weekly MUST!

The good thing for me is that TACO’s are gluten free. And even if my husband wanted flour tortillas, I don’t have to have that. Tacos are cheap enough that we can afford both flour and corn tortillas. But, before we get into the recipe:

Let’s learn a little bit about the TACO!

Where the taco originated, nobody really knows. Katy June Freisen, of Smithsonian.com believes they come from Mexican miners. She states, “My theory is that it dates from the 18th century and the silver mines in Mexico, because in those mines the word “taco” referred to the little charges they would use to excavate the ore…The first references [to the taco] in any sort of archive or dictionary come from the end of the 19th century. And one of the first types of tacos described is called tacos de minero—miner’s tacos”. While Steven Raichlen, a blog contributor for Huffpost, agrees that tacos probably originated with Mexican miners, he notes that the debate about whether tacos are authentically Mexican rages on. In the United States, tacos have been influenced by numerous cultures including the foods of indigenous, traditional southwestern culture,  Moroccan spices, and more recently, fusion cuisine influenced by Korean foods. Most of what we know about tacos is not authentically Mexican but what is not appropriately termed Tex-Mex.

The word Tex-Mex was coined in 1972 by acclaimed cookbook author Diane Kennedy. In her book “Cuisines of Mexico” she makes a clear distinction between authentic Mexican foods and Tex-Mex, (which is authentic in its own right).  Tex-Mex uses cumin – which, “can apparently be traced back to the 1500s, when the Spanish brought workers of Moroccan descent from the Canary Islands to their settlements in the San Antonio region. As a result, Moroccan cooking, with its heavy use of cumin and garlic, became part of the complex and interesting history of Tex-Mex cuisine” (History.com). Other differences between Tex-Mex and Mexican food is Tex – Mex uses all or some of the following ingredients:  yellow cheese (like cheddar), wheat flour, beef, black beans, and canned tomatoes (Lapetina). Basically, most “Mexican” food, if it includes any of the aforementioned ingredients is more authentically Tex-Mex. 

So there you have it. There’s a brief history lesson about the word and origin of tacos and the difference between Mexican and Tex-Mex food. In this blog post, I will share the “Kickin’ it with Karen Tex-Mex via Minnesota Tacos” in preparation for Taco Tuesday.


For this recipe, you’ll need: cilantro, tomato, onion, jalapeño, Cheese, and ground meat (I use ground turkey thigh) and taco shells and an avocado – if you have one. Let’s do this!

Equipment:
A cutting Board
A sharp knife
A box grater
A spatula
A large skillet
A sheet pan

Ingredients:
1 pound of ground meat (beef or turkey thigh works best)
1/2 cup to a cup of block cheese (I use pepper jack)
1 tomato diced

1-2 jalapeño(s) diced – seeds and ribs removed (optional)
1/2 cup of chopped red onion
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado diced (optional)
Taco seasoning – see video —>
1/2 cup water
12 corn hard taco shells (I use Ortega white corn taco shells)
Mexican Hot Sauce (We like  Valentina Salsa Picante – because it’s just peppers, salt and vinegar).

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375*.
Begin browning meat.
As you are browning the meat dice the jalapeño and tomato removing the seeds and ribs with a spoon.
Chop the onion into the same size pieces as the jalapeño and tomato.
Chop the cilantro.
Dice the avocado.
Grate the cheese on the on the largest side of the box grater
     * note: you can buy already shredded cheese, but shredded cheese has in it an anti caking agent                 called “cellulose” – cellulose is wood pulp.

Place all ingredients arranged in separate piles on a serving tray.

Finish browning the meat.When the meat is done browning, sprinkle 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning over it. Pour in the 1/2 cup of water and turn the heat up to medium – high. Stir to evenly distribute the seasoning throughout the meat. The seasoning with the water will turn to a thick sauce like consistency. When this happens, taste it, you may wish to add more seasoning – or it may be perfect.

Place the shells on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 4 minutes, or whatever your shell package encourages you to do. Bake until done (4 or less minutes).

Assemble Your Tacos:
In your shell I suggest you put the meat on the bottom, add the cheese next so it can melt a little. After that it’s up to you in what order you assemble your taco.  Once it’s assembled, dive in
– CRUNCH –  and enjoy.

As always,  thank you for coming by to read this. I’d like to grow my readership. If you enjoyed this blog post, add a comment and share it with a friend. 😀 Please visit, subscribe and like my YouTube channel Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut to find more things I’ve made.

 
Sources: 
 
Lapetina, Adam. “What’s the Difference between Tex-Mex and REAL Mexican Food?” Thrillist, Thrillist, 1 May 2014, http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/what-is-tex-mex-food-difference-between-tex-mex-and-mexican#.
 
Pruitt, Sarah. “Tracing the History of Tex-Mex.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 16 June 2015, http://www.history.com/news/tracing-the-history-of-tex-mex.
 
Raichlen, Steven. “A Brief History Of The Taco.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 28 Oct. 2016, http://www.huffpost.com/entry/a-brief-history-of-the-ta_b_12687046.
 
“Where Did the Taco Come From?” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 3 May 2012, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/where-did-the-taco-come-from-81228162/.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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