Friday, June 10, 2011

White Boy Taco Night


It was White Boy Taco night on this Fast Food Friday in my house.

See how I deftly sidestepped the date of my last post.

Oh dang, did I say that out loud? Did I just point out that my last entry was over a month ago (and it wasn’t even posted here originally). Okay, so I’m not so deft or very clever. And given my inability to post with any regularity these days, I’m lucky if any of you stick around. But I hope that you do, and a full explanation for my absence is forthcoming, just not tonight.

No, tonight, tonight was White Boy Taco night in my house.

How many of you growing up in the 1970’s remember the Ortega family pack? Full of crispy half moon taco sleeves, taco seasoning, and sometimes something that resembled salsa, it was a box of family dinner fun. I’m not sure when taco night entered my mom’s bag of tricks – it may have even been my own import from a friend’s house, just like Stovetop Stuffing was, a dish I’m now certain was laden with MSG, but so very tasty to a preteen palate.

It was the excess of ground beef from our meat CSA that originally inspired taco night in our house. In our monthly share, we often received 3-4 pounds of the stuff and I was running out of ideas. At Whole Foods, I saw a pack of organic Garden of Eatin’ taco shells . I picked those up along with a pack of taco seasoning. With some salsa, cheese and sour cream, dinner was served in a half hour. Because the Little Locathor, a bit picky at the time, ate every bite, the meal entered our monthly rotation.

These days, I make my own spice mix and add some frozen local corn to bulk up the beef, modifications that make the meal a bit healthier and maybe even more popular to my family. Thor requested it for special last-day-of-school meal and I was more than happy to oblige him. While cooking the beef, I tweeted about White Boy Taco night and a friend asked about it. And with this request, I realized it was time for me to shake off the cobwebs. So to @familyfoodie, this recipe’s for you.

White Boy Tacos
Serves 4

2 teaspoons Ancho chile powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon oregano, Mexican if you got it
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch cayenne
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground beef, preferably grass fed
½ cup frozen corn kernels
1 box hard shell corn tortillas
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Tomatillo or tomato salsa
Grated Monterey Jack
Sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lay the taco shells on baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. While the shells are baking, mix together the first eight ingredients in a small bowl. Saute the ground beef in a large skillet breaking it up with a wooden spoon. After a minute or two, sprinkle on the seasoning and stir until the meat almost loses all its pink. Add corn and cook a minute or two more. Remove the shells from the oven and fill each with beef, cheese, salsa, avocado, and sour cream. Enjoy the crunchy goodness.


  1. I read you via RSS so new posts just pop in when they pop in. Hope you have a great summer planned!

  2. Looks delicious! I can't wait to try your spice mix in place of "the packet" (I know it well, and am looking for an alternative). Would you recommend making a larger batch of the mix and storing it, or just mixing it up when needed?

  3. Mrs.Q, thanks for stopping by. It's been a very long month (for the good) and I'll be reporting soon on lots of developments.

    When's the book coming out?

  4. Hanna, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I definitely think that would work - and make the dish an even easier weeknight meal. You may have some clumping because of the onion and garlic powders, but before you mix it, just give a stir.

    If you do try it, please do let me know how you like it.

  5. Thanks for that recipe, we had tacos last week and I realized I didn't have a recipe to season the beef. I love those Garden of Eatin' taco shells too!

  6. Gina, you can play around with the chile powder. I used the sweeter ancho, but a spicier one would work as well - I might then reduce the cayenne. If you make the recipe, please do stop back to let me know how you liked it.

  7. I had to use regular chili powder but it was still delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  8. Gina, I'm so glad that you liked it. Thanks for reporting back.


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