Friday, September 17, 2010
Ground Meat Tacos–A dedication to K-Roy!
The first time I had ground meat tacos, I was living in the cool little yellow rent house on 1208 Oakley with my dear friend, K-Roy (Kathy Roy – who will always be K-Roy to me) in Thibodaux, Louisiana while we were attending Nicholls State University as poor college students. She made them one night – and my culinary life has never been the same. They were so good. I have to admit, she did use a packet of pre-mixed spices – but it does not matter – they were tasty and delicious. It was one of my first experiences with cumin – I do believe. We also had the hard corn taco shells – which I still do like – but I much prefer the soft flour tortillas, which I tend to have on hand constantly – you can make a pizza out of them in an instant, you know! Remember – this was back in the mid-80s – the days of shredded iceberg lettuce and big hair and purple mascara – at least I wore purple mascara! Now, when I make my ground meat tacos, I make up my own spice blends. I can control the salt content that way. I can also add other flavors which I tend to favor. For example – at the moment – I am really fond of New Mexican Chiles – so I add a tablespoon of those into the mix – and smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. I think I need to list my ingredients so that you can see just what I have added to the mix!
Here we go: 2 Lbs ground Beef, 1/4 lb ground pork (you can use more or less – I just had this little bit in the freezer – so I threw it in… I like to use a combination of the 2 meats for flavor! – I usually like a 1/3 pork and 2/3 beef ratio – but it didn’t work out that way this time – oh, well), 1 onion small dice, 1 can roasted peeled chopped mild green chilies, 1 Tablespoon ground New Mexico Chile powder (medium heat – red), 1 Teaspoon ground green Chile powder (medium heat), 2 Tablespoons ground Cumin, 1Tablespoon ground Coriander, 2 Tablespoons dried Mexican Oregano flakes, 2 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika, 1 Tablespoon Salt (or to taste), 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder, 1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt, 1 Tablespoon Garlic & Herb spice mix, 2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic, 1/2 cup water.
The pork was really fatty – so I did not feel the need to add any other fat to the dish – I just put the pork in with the onions to fry them up a bit. When the onions were starting to turn brown – I started to add the spices.
Let me tell you – this made the house smell some good. I personally think that cumin smells really good and not like socks at all! Hahahahahaha. But, then again – I am fond of the smell of cheese – and did I mention that I used to wear purple mascara in the 80s?
After the spices fry up a bit and release their oils and all of the their luscious flavors, I add the canned green chills.
I then add the rest of the meat and brown that a bit. When everything is browned nicely, I add the fresh minced garlic, the water and I mix will and cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Then we pour a nice cold cerveza with a lime. We slice up an avocado or two. We get out the tortillas, the cheese, the lettuce, and the tomatoes and have a feast. And celebrate our friend K-Roy!