Monday, May 21, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning.

I know, I know. Why make something at home that is super simple to pick up at the grocery store? Well, I can give you a few reasons why homemade taco seasoning is worth the effort (truthfully, it isn’t much effort at all):

1. You can control the amount of sodium.
2. You can control the amount of spice.
3. You can control the portion size.

For me, the biggest draw is #3. Since I’m cooking for myself most days, I’m not browning up a pound of ground beef to mix with one of the pre-packaged taco seasonings. If you only use a quarter to a third of the package, you have to wrap up the rest of it and wait until you’re ready for tacos again. So much effort, right? Ok, not really. Additionally, I don’t know about you, but I never know when I craving for tacos (or something Mexican inspired) will hit me, so having a jar full of taco seasoning at the ready is perfect. It is super simple--- just combine your spices and keep it in an airtight container. Then when you’re ready for tacos, combine the same amount of the seasoning with cornstarch in your pan with your ground beef (or ground turkey or pulled pork or black beans or whatever) and a little bit of water and you are all set.

I used it the other day to doctor up some leftover pulled pork to make a great taco salad. I loaded up the lettuce with tomatoes, cheese, avocado, celery and the pork. Served alongside some tortilla chips and it was perfect.

Try it out. You’ll like it.

Side note: I think I added closer to 2 tsp of CRP (crushed red pepper) because I love the spice. Feel free to experiment with what fits your taste buds.

Homemade Taco Seasoning (Adapted from All Recipes)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. To use, combine equal parts seasoning mix and cornstarch with cooked meat or beans and water (approximately 2 tbsp of each for a pound of ground beef). 

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