The past couple of days, I've found myself craving the taste of Mexican food. In years past, I had a Mexican housekeeper/ babysitter and she taught me much about cooking Mexican food. After eating her authentic flavors it was a real shock to eat in Taco Bell. I have to say I have never been back!
That being said, last night I had a soft taco the way Rosa used to make them. On occasion she would have them ready when I got home from work. Just opening the door and smelling the filling cooking would brighten my day! So, here is Rosa's version. You can enlarge the recipe or cut it down as you please. This is for two people.
2-10 inch low carb tortillas (I buy Extreme Wellness tortillas with only 5 grams of carbs each)
1/2 pound ground chuck
1/2 small onion diced
2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (more if you want more heat and if you really aren't into anything hot, use bell peppers, although the flavor profile will be different)
1 large clove of garlic minced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced with pulp and seeds removed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of grated queso blanco cheese- or any other grated cheese you like
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano- if you don't have the Mexican, you can always use the Mediterranean
which is commonly found in grocery stores. ( I get all my herbs and spices from the international section of
my grocery- much cheaper and very fresh!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Red Salsa- read the label to make sure it has no added sugar ( or you can make your own- that recipe is another post)
To prepare, crumble the ground chuck into a skillet and begin to brown it and as it browns, add the cumin, oregano, cilanto and salt and pepper- adding the spices to the meat browning process really brings out the flavor. When the meat is brown, remove and set aside. Add just enough olive oil to the skillet to make a very thin covering for the bottom of the pan. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and just cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Place the meat back in with the veggies and stir around till all is combined. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. At the last three minutes, add the tomatoes. Remove from heat. Wipe out the skillet and add a little more oil, and lightly brown each tortilla on both sides-do not cook them till they are crispy or you won't be able to fold them around the filling. Place them on paper towels, with the tortillas separated by a towel. If you don't want to go to this trouble, you can always microwave them for about 20 seconds each till warm To assemble, add as much of the meat filling as you want to each tortilla, then grated cheese on top of that. A small dollop of sour cream goes on last. Put the salsa in a small bowl and add it as you wish as you eat the soft taco.
This recipe is Atkins friendly for every phase but phase I. If you are just beginning, this would make a great topping for a salad! In fact, I do this from time to time now. Occasionally, Rosa would serve a little bowl of guacamole on the side also. And avocados are so good for you! If you like to buy the guacamole already prepared, read the label carefully. Many have little actual avacado in them, and some are loaded with carbs. Making home made guacamole is incredibly easy, and I'll get that recipe up soon, also.
If you wish, you can also put lettuce cut into fine strips on your taco- this is the more Americanized version.
Tip- when chopping onions, peppers and the like, I always chop double what I need, and put the leftovers in zip-locks. Also put the leftover meat mixture in a zip-lock, and you have the makings for huevos rancheros for breakfast! Next post for that!