29 August 2011

Summer Tacos with Fresh Mint

When I first met hubby, he told me how he and Steph (his daughter, and now a bright addition to my life) had taco night every Wednesday. But somewhere along the line though, hubby spurned taco night most times when I suggested it. What he once recounted to me as a fond memory, became a...dare I say...diatribe, on the expense of taco Wednesday. You know with the,
taco sauce/mix;
taco shells;
sour cream..."
Really, I stopped listening once he got past ingredient 9-which is pretty impressive as most people would have stopped listening at ingredient 4. But I could never stop wondering,
"Why did his taco night have so much stuff? And, was I poor as a child? Because I really only remember 4 ingredients excluding the taco shells during my childhood Taco Nights."

So there it was. Taco Night was on the shelf in our home, until one day I got inspired by a picture posted by the great restaurant Chez Panisse.  In fact this picture was a revelation. I've tried in vein to find it, to post it here. But alas, I cannot.

But picture it. Two soft shell tacos with meat and sliced avocado. That's it! It was at that precise moment that I was released from my taco prison and brought out into the light. I vowed to bring hubby with me, and I did.

We L. O.V.E. these tacos. In fact...we had them two days in a row. Try them, you will not be disappointed. They will not cost you a small fortune IF you buy the ingredients...like I buy the majority of all my summer ingredients, from the farmers market.

*Summer Tacos with Fresh Mint
makes 5 tacos
*denotes comments at the end of the recipe-read first

12 ounce package of Morning Star Meatless Crumbles or 3/4 lbs Grass Fed Ground Beef
1 tbsp Olive Oil 
1 white Pepper diced
3 small Shallots sliced
4 Roma Tomatoes seeded and sliced
1 handful (about 24 leaves) fresh Mint
1 handful (about 24 leaves) fresh Basil (optional)
1 package-8 in. or Fajita size Flour Tortillas
Salsa (optional)

Prep your Mint and Basil by tearing off about 24 whole leaves, rinsing, and placing each herb in its own small separate bowl. Prep your Roma Tomatoes. Once complete, also place them in a small bowl, along with the Salsa in a bowl of its own. These bowls will be place on the table for each person to choose their desired amount of herbs, vegetables and salsa for their tacos.

In a saute pan on medium low heat, place the Olive Oil and let heat for 1 minute. Add the Pepper and Shallots and saute on medium heat for 2-4 minutes. Add the Meatless Crumbles to pan and cook according to the directions. However, if you are using Ground Beef cook the beef until it is brown in color. 

Once the Meatless Crumbles are finished cooking leave in the pan on simmer. If you are using Ground Beef, when the Beef is finished cooking drain the juices from the pan, making sure not to drain the Pepper and Shallots with the meat juices. Once drained, place the Beef back in the pan set on simmer. 

Place a 9 inch or greater frying pan on the stove on low heat for one minute (making sure not to coat the pan with oil). Heat each side of the Tortilla in the pan for 30-60 seconds. You only want the Tortillas to get warm. If the Tortillas begin to create bubble like forms then your heat is too high or you have allowed that side of the Tortilla to heat for too long.

Once the Tortillas are warm, gather the amount of Tortillas for each persons plate. Place the Meatless Crumbles or Beef on one side of the tortilla and fold the top side over. Serve immediately.

-This recipe makes 5 tacos based the 12 oz of Meatless Crumbles
-I found a white pepper from the farmers market, but any color pepper will do.
-Hubby made our salsa in the picture, your own or store bought is just fine



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