I love trying out new recipes and cuisines. Now I know Mexican food is hardly a new cuisine, but for me, this was a new recipe. My ground beef recipe is a little more involved than this one. I love the simplicity of it. The method was a little different than what I was used to, but by the time this taco meat was ready, it looked and smelt great and tasted fantastic. I can guarantee this tastes so much better than any packaged taco meat that you buy from the store. And you know exactly what has gone into the pot.
You could, as the name suggests, use this in tacos, but since we are trying to eat healthier, we enjoyed this with some iceberg lettuce and a bean salad on the side. Who said healthy eating had to be boring or tasteless. This was healthy and delicious and is going to make quite a few appearances on our dinner table. I do hope you try it out too.
Homemade Seasoned Taco Meat
Recipe from: Premeditated Leftovers
1/2 kg lean ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup water
2 green onions, sliced
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
Add the ground beef to the pan and cook the meat till it is browned and no longer pink. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
Now add the onions and tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 minutes or till the onions have started to soften.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the water and the green onions. Stir everything together and saute for a couple of minutes. By now all the spices should have started doing their job and should be fragrant.
Now add the water and bring the pot to a simmer.
Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
Now uncover the pot and cook the meat uncovered till almost all the liquid has evaporated.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the green onions.
But today we’re here to talk not about the chips, but this really yummy salsa dip. A while ago, I’d picked up a jar from the local supermarket, that claimed to be ‘Hot’. I love spicy stuff, so I thought this would really hit the spot. What I love about Mexican food is the spice from the chillies and peppers and the tang from the lemon and tomatoes. Much to my disappointment, this store bought salsa was neither ‘Hot’ nor tangy. I knew I had to figure out a way to get my hands on something better. So when I came across this recipe for a blender version of Salsa, I decided to try it out. It was too quick and easy a recipe to pass up. And am I glad I tried this out. The salsa was fresh, packed full of flavor, you can easily adjust the spice levels to your liking. It was everything a good salsa should be. I sure hope you try it out.
The picture doesn’t do it much justice. It was fairly late in the evening when it was taken. I hope to get a better picture up sometime soon.
Super Fast Salsa
(Adapted from: Barbara Bakes)
1 clove of garlic
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
2 -3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Fresh coriander leaves with stalks
Lime juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
Place all the ingredients in the food processor.
Pulse till it reaches the consistency you like and is combined.
Adjust the salt and lime if needed.
I must say, I was really pleased with this take on homemade tortilla chips and I know for a fact that this will be my go to recipe in the future. For starters, the process was considerably shorter that the first version. These chips can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. They don’t absorb much oil and are nice and crunchy. A note of caution, these are so darn good, you won’t be able to stop munching on them just the way they are. We went though half of the quantity without even making a single portion of nachos with them. They make fantastic nibbles.
Recipe from: Soups, Salads & Starters by Nita Mehta
1 1/2 cup corn meal (also called maize flour or makki ka atta)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Knead into a pliable dough with water.
Make large marble sized portions and roll them out into thin discs.
Prick it all over with a fork.
Cut into wedges.
Heat some oil in pan and deep fry on a medium flame till they turn golden brown in color.
Drain them off on some absorbent kitchen paper.
When they’ve cooled off completely, store in an air tight container.
Use as needed.
I’ve always wanted to try making nachos at home and yes, from scratch. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about this amazing plate of Nachos that I had while I was in Goa for a few days. I knew that if I wanted it like that, I’d have to make it myself. The only thing I had a recipe guide me with was the corn tortillas for the homemade tortilla chips, which I took from Nita Mehta’s “Multi-cuisine Cookbook”. I didn’t spend time looking for recipes for the rest of the stuff, but just threw a few things together from memory. It really was quite funny, me, roaming in circles in my kitchen, trying to remember what was on the plate and what the flavors were and then checking to see if I had what was needed to put together a plate of Nachos. Crazy visual, anyway back to food.