Spicy Shredded Flank Steak Puffy Tacos with Crema

Slow Cooked Shredded Flank Steak

Flank steak is dry rubbed, seared and then slow-cooked all day long in a crock-pot with taco spices, beef broth, lime and tomato paste until it’s fall-apart tender. I cooked this for my Mexican Inspired Dinner Party – the day before – so that all I would need to do was heat it up before the party. My crockpot kept it warm for me until we were ready to eat, without drying it out. I ♥ my crock pot.

In Mexico this steak is called “ropa vieja” meaning old clothes or rags, because of its stringy appearance. But don’t let the name throw you off, that’s as far as the resemblance goes. As it slow-cooks it soaks up all those incredible seasonings and the broth itself to render the most incredibly juicy, moist and melt-in-your mouth delicious steak that I have ever tasted. In my entire life.
Puffy tacos are made my deep frying corn tortillas until puffy pockets of air form. Light and crispy, they are a cross between a soft taco and a crunchy taco shell, yet un-like either. They are indescribably delicious and shed a whole new light on what I’ve come to know as a taco. Everyone at the dinner party loved them.

I like my shredded steak tacos unadulterated. Truly all that is needed is a dollop of fresh, crisp, clean-tasting crema to fully enjoy these. And maybe a bit of cool, crunchy lettuce. The steak can be used for puffy tacos, soft tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, tostadas, to make chili, nachos or even sandwiches.

Shredded Steak Puffy Tacos with Flank Steak

Shredded Steak Puffy Taco Recipe
Shredded Steak Puffy Taco Recipe
Puffy Taco Recipe

Dry Rubbed Flank Steak

Mexican Crema Recipe

 
Printable Recipe

Link to Puffy Tacos Made from Scratch Recipe

Shredded Steak Nachos

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A South-of-the-Border Taco Lasagna

Taco Tortilla Lasagna

A casserole that is certain to perk up a routine taco night and make it extra special! The ‘lasagna’ is made by layering seasoned taco meat in a baking pan between corn tortillas with black beans, corn, cheddar cheese and taco sauce, then baked off. The result is a hearty and rustic dish reminiscent of a taco. Only better.

The recipe is versatile and highly adaptable to any changes you make. Don’t hesitate to make it your own. You can easily swap out the beans for another kind like pinto or make it vegetarian by doubling up on them and leaving out the meat. A layer of refried beans would be a nice, creamy addition too. Personalize it the way you would your taco. I’ve made it many times before, each time different, but every time a winner! It’s virtually fail-proof. And will please even the most finicky of eaters.

 Taco Tortilla Lasagna

Taco Lasagna
(by Reeni)
(serves 4-6)

1 + 1/4 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 yellow onion, diced
1 envelope taco seasoning or my seasoning mix (recipe to follow)
2/3 cup water
9 corn tortillas
2/3 cup taco sauce or 1 cup salsa
1 – 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn, thawed if frozen
1 + 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large tomatoes, sliced, seeds removed
taco fixings like lettuce, sour cream, avocado and/or quacamole for serving

1. In a large skillet brown ground beef with onion, drain grease and add taco seasoning with 2/3 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat about 5-6 minutes or until most of the water is cooked off.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 deep-sided casserole or baking pan.

3. Add a light layer of the salsa/taco sauce to the bottom of the pan then double line the bottom with 3-5 tortillas, cutting them up to cover the gaps. Spoon on half of the taco meat in an even layer, drop on half of the taco sauce by spoonfuls, top with half of the beans, half of the corn and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Cover with a single layer of tortillas and layer all ingredients again ending with a top layer of tortillas, sprinkle remaining cheese and then a layer of tomatoes.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let set for five minutes. Serve with taco fixings.

Taco Seasoning
(by Reeni)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
red pepper, optional, according to your own taste)
3/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Printable Recipe

Taco Tortilla Lasagna

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Pan Fried Red Potato and Beef Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Pan-Fried Red Potato and Beef Tacos with Avocado Salsa

This is an easy way to perk up the humble, everyday taco. Crispy, pan-fried red potatoes are seasoned with oregano and Chile powder, then tossed with seasoned ground beef and served the traditional way: stuffed in a taco shell and piled high with fixin’s like this quick and simple avocado salsa. Creamy, tart and delicious it balances out the taco filling and gives it a huge helping of freshness.

Using potatoes allows you to cut down on some of the ground beef for a healthy money-saver. I also like to make my own taco seasoning because most of the packets have MSG in them and my family prefers my mix. It’s up to you – either way.

You can also use this to make a Taco ‘bowl’ or salad. Start with a generous amount of salad greens, top with the ground beef mixture, cheese, avocado salsa, tortilla chips and any other fixin’s you like. It is also excellent with a fried or poached egg over top.

Pan-Fried Potato and Beef Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Beef and Potato Tacos
(by Reeni)

3 tablespoons Vegetable/Canola oil
2 cups Red Potatoes, diced
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Chile Powder
Sea or Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper
3/4 to 1 pound Ground Beef
1 taco seasoning packet
or
(2 teaspoons Chile powder, 1 teaspoon Oregano, 1/2 teaspoon Paprika (smoked or regular), 1/2 teaspoon Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon Onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder)
1/2 cup water
Taco Shells or Tortillas
Taco fixin’s like Avocado Salsa (recipe to follow), sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, onion

1. In a large heavy bottomed skillet heat oil over medium low heat, add the potato, onion, oregano, chile powder and season well with salt and pepper. Allow the potatoes to cook on one side until brown/crispy and then toss/turn them allowing all sides to brown. When potatoes are tender and brown remove from pan and set aside.

2. In the same skillet add the ground beef and brown, breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain or scoop out the excess grease with a spoon. Add seasoning packet or my taco seasonings and water. Mix well, add potatoes and heat through. Serve on taco shells or tortillas with plenty of fixin’s.

Avocado Salsa
(by Reeni)

1 Tomato, deseeded, diced
1 Avocado, diced
1/4 cup Red or Yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Cilantro or Parsley
1/2 Lime, juiced
Sea or Kosher Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

In a medium bowl gently toss all the ingredients together, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Printable Recipe

Pan-Fried Red Potato and Beef Tacos with Avocado Salsa


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Taco Soup

Snowy Day Taco Soup

I wish I could cook up clever and creative names for my recipes. I’m going to make that my foodie resolution for the new year. My names are so boring. I mean Taco Soup? Really? Does that pique your interest? It feels plain and uninspired. I could name it Reeni Soup; it worked for Ceaser and his salad! But that’s too easy. I need a system for invention. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. It was a snowy, blustery day that woke up my craving for this hearty, stick-to-your ribs soup. I had a roasted chicken carcass destined for the soup pot and a taste for something on the spicy side. Hmmm. How about Snowy Day Soup? See it’s easier than I thought. All it takes is getting to the heart of it. Snowy Day Taco Soup. There. That’s a little better. Yes?

Anywhoo… this soup was everything I anticipated. The smell as it simmered was exactly that of a taco and it did not let me down in the flavor department. It tasted exactly like one too with its richly spiced broth, tender meat and juicy corn. Chunky potatoes add to its heartiness. I know potatoes aren’t typically associated with tacos but I’ve included them in a beef taco before and they really go well. On its own it was delicious but I felt like it was missing something. And it was. The toppings, especially the cheese and lettuce bring everything together and round out the flavors tremendously. Don’t skimp on them(!) and you’ll have all the familiar flavors of a taco plus some.

You don’t have to wait for a snowy day to make this soup. But if you find yourself snowed in amidst a storm this is precisely what is called for to warm your body as well as your soul; from the top of your head to your tummy to your cold little tippy toes!

Snowy Day Taco Soup

Snowy Day Taco Soup
(by Reeni)
1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced
Vegetable oil for sauteing
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Chile powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Oregano
1 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
A dash (or more) of Cayenne Pepper
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Worcestshire Sauce
4 cups Chicken or Beef Broth
3-4 cups Potatoes, cubed
1 and 1/2 cups Corn, frozen or canned, drained
1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
Essential Toppings:
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Shredded Lettuce
Sour Cream
Optional Toppings:
Tomato, diced
Onion, diced
Salsa
Avocado/Guacamole
Tortilla Chips
1. In a large skillet brown the beef, breaking it apart as it cooks. At the same time in a large sauce pan or soup pot saute the onion in enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan, until soft and tender. In a small bowl measure out and combine all of the dry spice ingredients together. Add garlic, and all of the spices to the onion. Continue to saute for five minutes, adding a little more oil if the onion and spices start to stick to the bottom.
2. Drain the grease from the beef. Add the Worcestershire and beef crumbles to the pot. Combine well with the onion/spice mixture. Add the broth, potatoes, corn and parsley. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Halfway through taste and adjust seasonings, adding more spices if needed.
4. Serve with generous amounts of fixin’s!

Snowy Day Taco Soup

Snowy Day Taco Soup on FoodistaSnowy Day Taco Soup

Fish Tacos with Pico De Gallo and Coconut Cole Slaw

Coconut-Almond Crusted Fish Tacos

I’ve only had fish tacos once before. It’s taken me awhile to warm up to the whole idea of fish in a taco. But I love them! They are nothing like the Tex-Mex tacos I’ve known my entire life. But they are every bit as delicious and that’s all that matters.

You can use these recipes to make tacos or you can deconstruct them and eat the fish as is with the pico de gallo on top. Each component works by itself.

The tacos are layered in corn tortillas with smoky, spicy coleslaw that gets a kick of flavor from cayenne, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and toasted coconut flakes. The slaw tastes even better the second day after the flavors have time to develop. The tilapia fillets are crusted with a mixture of chopped almonds, coconut flakes, Chile powder, and panko. I baked them but you could pan fry them in shallow oil. They are finished with a Pico de Gallo speckled with bits of avocado, tomatoes, onion and fresh corn right off the cob seasoned with cilantro.

I was shocked when after eating his first fish taco, ever, my Dad proclaimed it to be just as good as eating a burger. Being a dedicated burger lover it was the ultimate compliment.

Coconut-Almond Crusted Chicken w/ Pico de Gallo

The cold, juicy coleslaw is a nice contrast to the hot and crispy fish and the mild, buttery Pico de Gallo. Insanely good. Yes, there is a fish taco heaven.

Coconut-Almond Crusted Fish Tacos

Toasted Coconut Tilapia Tacos
(by Reeni)
Coconut-Almond Crusted Tilapia
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup panko crumbs
1 tablespoon Chile powder
Sea salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 pound tilapia fillets (or other whitefish)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If pan-frying use a large saute pan or iron skillet. Add a shallow layer of vegetable or canola oil.
2. Use a food processor to chop the almonds into crumbs.
3. In a shallow dish mix the almond crumbs with the coconut flakes, panko, and Chile powder. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Set up a dredging station with egg in a shallow dish with the crumb mixture next to it, then the baking pan.
5. If frying heat your oil over medium heat.
6. Season your fish with salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet in egg than in the crumb mixture. Press the mixture onto the fish to get a good crust.
7. Pan-fry on each side until cooked through and crispy. Or bake for about 15 minutes until cooked through.
Pico de Gallo
1 avocado, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup yellow or red onion, diced
1 ear of corn, cooked, kernels removed
1 jalepeno, diced, seeds and ribs removed(optional)
2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, chopped
juice of one lime
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Toss everything together, season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Toasted Coconut Cole Slaw
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1/3 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
3/4 cup Mayonnaise(like Hellmann’s or Best Foods)
1 lime
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Honey
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper or Peperoncino(adjust to your own heat preference)
Sea salt and fresh pepper
1. Toast the coconut in a small saute pan on medium heat just until it turns a light golden color. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. In a large bowl add the cabbage, carrots, coconut and cilantro.
3. In a medium bowl whisk together the mayo, the juice of the lime, mustard, honey, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss well. Refrigerate until serving.
*To build your tacos use a heated corn tortilla, layer the slaw first then hunks of tilapia topped with the Pico de Gallo.

Coconut-Almond Crusted Fish Tacos