#tacotuesday is one of the mini adults fave days of the week. It is when they show up for dinner most often. I mean, I even get calls saying “I might be late tonight but do keep some dinner for me”, that is a courtesy I don’t get all that often. So, I am trying to make taco Tuesday a staple in the house.
One of the main reservations that I had about making tacos was the fact that I could NEVER get them to stay upright and all the filling would fall out creating nothing but a mess!!
BUT DREAMS ARE FULFILLED and one day, while shopping for groceries, I found these STUFF n STAND wholemeal soft taco shells by Old El Paso. There is absolutely no turning back for me.
All I need to do is heat them in a toaster oven (I don’t even have to switch on my oven!) and stuff them with fillings of my choice.
One of the best options that I found works best for my family is to create a taco bar. It’s just like a salad or dessert bar and it is such a time saver. I do not even have to toast or fill the tacos.
I just leave a stack of taco shells on the buffet table or island and I also plug in the toaster oven for them to do their own toasting. I have bowls of all the filling choices there as well and I leave them to assemble their own tacos. This works really well for us because we all have different choices and my Mum and daughter are vegetarians.
I go for a variety of fillings to at least try to satisfy every palate. I usually a mixture of store bought and home made accompaniments.
My store bought condiments are usually the guacamole and sour cream only. I make Chicken Fajita, sautéed mushrooms, caramelised onions, kidney beans and pico de gallo at home. For the base I use thinly sliced lettuce and for the toppings and garnish I chop coriander and have some grated cheese.
Once the fam has stuffed their tacos, they also have the option of melting the cheese in the toaster oven.
The recipe is very simple
Saute thinly sliced chicken in onions and add salt, cumin and chilli powder to taste. I suggest generous amounts of chilli and cumin for flavour.
Saute thinly sliced mushrooms in onions adding salt, cumin and chilli powder as an alternative for the vegetarians or you can have both chicken and mushrooms.
In olive oil, sauté some thinly sliced onions until slightly translucent. Add some stock (any one you like is fine) and then some salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Cook until soft.
I make a paste of onions, ginger and garlic and cook the kidney in this paste also adding tomatoes as I go, This is almost like a dry Indian curry but I think the similarity of using cumin in both Indian and Mexican food makes this a great style for the kidney beans.
Pico de Gallo
Chop onions, tomatoes, jalapeños or green chillies, coriander or cilantro and mix together. Salt and pepper suffice for the seasoning but I love adding lemon juice as well. For the best flavour, mix and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the cheese, I have one of two preferences – I either make a picadillo and you can use my recipe if you wish or I use Monterey Jack.
I have heard of many people using Oaxaca which is a semi-soft, stringy white cheese with a mild flavour but I have never tasted it as we do not get it here.
Another cheese I like is Cotija – a hard, crumbly white cheese from the Parmesan family but it is not something usually available so that is limited to the occasional dinner only.
I start with the lettuce because I feel less guilty that way knowing I am being health conscious but my son starts with the chicken and everything else is optional until he gets to the cheese bowl. He then tops it with cheese and a bit more cheese, pops it in the oven and once melted, he adds some lettuce to it… well, actually more a case of around the plate!!
Try these toppings the next time you make tacos and no matter how you stuff it, believe me your family will be grateful.
Happy Taco Tuesday !!