My two favorite foods are Italian and Mexican Unfortunately, I live in a place that does not provide me with my required intake of Mexican food. Not edible Mexican food anyway. So I make my own. Luckily Alex is fairly easy going and has grown to love Mexican food even though he had never had any before meeting me. Say what?!? Both of my girls love Mexican food too as I started them young chowing down on avocados and quesadillas. Yummo.
Let’s get started! I prefer fresh Baja style Mexican food to your sauce and cheese laden enchiladas and whatnots. And this is what this is. Fresh and perfect for summer.
I started with some beef casserole and some homemade taco seasoning using this recipe. Make your own seasoning. It takes two minutes and the flavor is amazing. This amount lasts me a few months and there is nothing like it on the market here in Scotland. This is the way to go! However make sure you use good chili powder. I once got the cheap value chili powder substitute sent in my grocery order and it was not a good batch. I always use Schwartz and I use the entire jar as it is 1/4c exactly which is what you need!
Turn your slow cooker on high and add your beef. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the cooker and then sprinkle on your seasoning. I used 1.5 tablespoons. Cover and cook for a few hours. Every slow cooker is different so just check on it every now and then. I cooked mine 5.5 hours. You could use any cut of meat you would like. You could also use steaks, rub taco seasoning and olive oil on, then grill. This would also be great with chicken! Just a few other options. However you do it, use this seasoning and cook your meat.
While your beef is in the hot tub with his Mexican friend, make your toppings! Gather your ingredients for the salsa, or pico de gallo if you want to tap into your senorita side.
Not pictured is salt and pepper cause I am a goober. Now chop chop chop. I also take out the seeds and insides from the tomatoes. Nobody wants watery salsa. Nuhuh.
Tada! Sprinkle in salt and pepper and mix mix mix. And squirt on half that lime and a drizzle of juice from your jalapenos. *put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up* excuse me while I sing. Top prize to who can name the movie that song is in!
*side note about the jalapenos. Usually you would add a chili to your salsa. However, I feed little people who do not appreciate a chunk of chili in their little mouths. Also I never cook with chilies so I always forget to buy one. But! I always have a jar of jalapenos. So what I do for the salsa is add a splash of the juice. This gives a bit of heat without any chunks of peppers or chilies in my mix. I usually chop up some jalapenos to then add to the tacos later if I want more heat. Do what works for you. Chop and add to the salsa if you want heat or add to the tacos if you have picky eaters or kiddies joining your feast.
Now look at that beauty. Fresh pico de gallo. You can feel free to eat this like salsa with some tortilla chips or even sprinkled on a salad for a nice twist. Now for Mr. Guacamole to join the party. Start by slicing your avocados open around the stone and twist to open. If they are really ripe you can usually use a spoon to pop the stone out. If not, using the blade of your knife hit the stone and it will pop out on your knife. Scoop out the gorgeous green amazingness then mash it all with a fork.
Season with salt and pepper then add in some of your salsa you just made! Another squirt of lime and give it a good mix. Make them be friends.
A tip to keep your guacamole from going brown! Wet a bit of kitchen roll (paper towel) just until damp. Wring it out and cover your guacamole pressing down to seal it up. This prevents air from getting in and your avocados oxidizing and turning brown. We don’t want no funky brown guacamole. No sir.
When you feel your beef is fork tender take it out and shred it up. It should fall apart easily. Then add it back into your slow cooker and mix it in with all the yummy sauce that will have created like magic in the bottom. I usually put the lid back on and turn my cooker off at this point as it would be close to dinner time and the pot is still lava hot. If you have a while to go before chow time then just turn it down to low or warm.
Taco time! Shred up some cheddar and get out your sour cream if you so desire. Heat up a large frying pan and warm your tortillas one at a time. When they begin to make little bubbles, flip. Take your warm tortilla out and add some beef, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and a drop of sour cream. Oh my.
Another drizzle of lime and you are good to go!
Shout out to my momma who taught me how to make this salsa and guacamole when I was about 13. She still makes it the same way. It is a keeper.
Pico de Gallo
4 good sized tomatoes (if using salad tomatoes, you will need more)
half of a lime
1/4 red onion
handfull of corriander
salt and pepper to taste
jalapenos/juice *see note above
Chop your tomatoes, taking out the insides and seeds. Chop your onion and coriander and mix all three in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle as much jalapeno juice as you prefer and squeeze in half of a lime. Mix and refrigerate until needed. This makes enough to make guacamole and have left overs for 6 tacos. Adjust the recipe if you are feeding a crowd. Always double if you are serving as salsa with tortilla chips.
4-5 small avocados or 3 large
pico de gallo *above
salt and pepper to taste
Scoop out your avocados and mash with a fork. Add in some pico de gallo to taste. I use about half a cup. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime. Cover with a damp piece of kitchen roll (paper towel) and refrigerate until needed.