Did you know that the word “taco” first came into use in the 18th century silver mines of Mexico. Back then, a taco was paper wrapped around gunpowder. Hum, not very appetizing, is it? The first recipes for tacos in an English cookbook didn’t appear until 1914. Not surprisingly, the cookbook containing a recipe for tacos first appeared in California. Wow, how did we manage all that time without an awesome taco? The big American chain, Taco Bell, has tried to enter the Mexican market for fast food twice, failing both times. Realizing their mistake the first time around, the second venture branded their food as “American”. Maybe running for the border was the problem.
In Mexico, taco fillings are a regional thing. The Northern Mexico region of Sonora gave us the Carne Asada Taco, while Jalisco offers Carnitas, pork tacos and Baja is known for their fish tacos. Tacos first immigrated to America around 1905. Hard shell tacos were invented in 1947 because soft corn tortillas don’t stay fresh for very long. Once the shell had developed a longer shelf life, tacos began to spread throughout America.
All this useless information brings us to today – National Crunchy Taco Day. So why is my recipe called “Crispy” and not “Crunchy”? I dunno, just a personal preference. I’d rather eat something that is crisp.
Crispy Beef Tacos
2 lbs Ground Chuck
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Dried Onion Flakes
1 tablespoon Mexican Chili Powder
1 Can (10 oz) Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
12 Crunch Taco Shells
2 Tomatoes, diced
1 Cup Shredded Lettuce
1 Cup Longhorn Cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
Taco Sauce, Optional
In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, breaking up meat as it cooks. Season with cumin, onion flakes and chili powder.
Drain meat, return to skillet. Add diced tomatoes. Let simmer until most of the liquid had evaporated, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm taco shells on a baking sheet in a warm oven.
Chop tomatoes, place in a bowl for serving.
Shredded lettuce, place in a bowl for serving.
Shred Longhorn Cheese, place in a bowl for serving.
Once the meat has cooked through and the mixture is thick, transfer to a serving bowl.
Serve with warm shells. Fill and garnish tacos as desired and enjoy.