It’s Taco Tuesday, and it’s time to abandon fast food joints and those grocery store packets of taco seasoning! Come on, you know you want to. If you don’t yet, you’ll change your mind when you see how easy this is!
I had two reasons for figuring out my own taco seasoning blend. First, I wanted more control over sodium, including the option to eliminate it altogether. Second, I was downsizing my spice collection. I’d long since abandoned the grocery store packets in favor of Penzeys, but my spice cabinet was jam-packed and stacked three to four jars high. It was a bit precarious, to say the least. Sometimes I’d reach for one, and three others would fall out with it. The first stage of downsizing was to toss anything I hadn’t used in a year. That was only partially successful. Sometimes I’d get so excited to find one, I’d immediately add it to the week’s menu instead of throwing it away. The second stage was to try to replace blends with my own recipes. Garam Masala was first up. Taco seasoning was up next. A nice side benefit of making them myself is that since I go through most of my individual spices faster than I go through the blends, they’ll be all the fresher for having made only as much as needed.
In preparation for renovations on my kitchen and hip, I made and froze ninety dinners this summer, albeit with a fair amount of repetition. Who’d mind having Homemade Lasagne or Chipotle-Orange Chicken With Rice more than once? Not us, that’s for sure. One of my favorite dinners to freeze is Taco Pie. It goes together really fast, reheats really well, and it’s pretty popular with my taste testers. The hip is still a work in progress, but the kitchen is nearly done. One part I’m really looking forward to is my new spice rack. Isn’t it gorgeous? My niece says it’s going to be a Penzey’s shrine and she’s not wrong. I can’t wait to fill it up!
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1½ tablespoon chili powder
2¼ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt (optional: decrease or eliminate as desired)
¾ teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper (may substitute Ancho Paprika, but will be milder)
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
1.) Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
2.) Add to browned ground beef, along with about ¾ cup (180 ml) of water. Mix well, and cook until most of the water evaporates. Makes enough to season 1½ pounds (680 g) of ground meat, two pounds (900 g) if you like your seasoning less intense.