I know that it’s still pretty cold in many parts of the country, but around the bay area, it has been warm. Hot even. Uncomfortably so. Sometimes it is especially hot out, and super hot inside, and hot everywhere, and why is it so hot? Heat is the worst. Ugh.
Hot days make me avoid doing anything that will make it even hotter in the house. Like, you know, MAKING FOOD. (Or moving, for that matter). Luckily, I have a beef taco recipe that takes very little time and doesn’t do much to affect your thermostat. Thank goodness for quick, oven-top food.
Tacos are also a great food for entertaining. Just put out a bunch of ingredients and people can assemble their own yumminess however they would like. We did just that this past Friday. Taco bar!
The hardest part, really, is chopping all of the things that need chopping. Luckily, my handsome and wonderful boyfriend was on hand to do the food prep. He used to be a general manager at a deli and has retained all of his fancy/fast sous chef-y skills.
Here we are, post-eating at a Spaghetti Factory on his birthday. The day after is when I forced* him to do taco prep.
*Asked politely and he very sweetly agreed.
We put out a really nice spread of ingredients and it all got gobbled up pretty quickly.
You’re looking at: limes, chopped cilantro, diced onions, sliced black olives, green and red salsas, sliced avocados, diced tomatoes, canned refried beans, jalapeños, shredded lettuce, and canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. We also had shredded cheese, sour cream, the beef taco filling (recipe below), shrimp (which I tossed in garlic powder, salt, adobo pepper sauce, lime juice, and some butter before throwing the whole thing into the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes), hard taco shells, soft taco shells, lettuce wraps (for the carb avoiders), and Adam cooked up some garbanzo bean flour quesadillas (for the slow-carb angle). It sounds like a lot of stuff, but many of the ingredients we already had on-hand in the cupboard or from our local produce box.
This all came together for some mighty fine tacos. Behold.
Don’t forget the shrimp tacos!
All together now!
The meat itself was flavorful and cooked up quite quickly. A nice mix of onions, ground beef, adobo chipotle sauce,tomato paste, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, and a little butter.
Well, now I’m hungry again. Oh well. On to the recipe!
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1½ cups diced onions
- 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Start by melting your butter in a medium pan.
- Toss in the onions, and cook them until they've softened a bit (about 3 minutes or so). Stir occasionally.
- In a large bowl, add your ground beef, tomato paste, garlic powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Carefully strain some of the liquid out of the canned peppers and into a separate container (about two Tablespoons) . Unless you want a *really* intense flavor, I don't recommend including the peppers themselves. Just use the liquid around them.
- Mix the pepper juice into the beef, then add the whole mixture to your pan with the onions.
- Cook until there is no pink left in the beef and the meat is nicely browned. (Stir often enough to keep things cooking evenly).
- Serve as part of your very own taco bar and enjoy!
She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.
She is also allergic to felines.