Ground Beef Tacos II

When in doubt, ask your nine-year old what you should make for dinner…the boy loves tacos! Any Tex-Mex style foods, really. We haven’t had tacos in a while, so I agreed; searched through Pink Parsley and chose this recipe. M is anti-corn tortilla for some reason, so I haven’t decided if I want to fry up the flour tortillas I’ll be using for these.

Verdict: Yum! The leftovers didn’t last more than one day either! I served this with my fave rice, fresh pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese and lettuce. Everyone enjoyed these and my picky daughter even ate more than a few bites. This is the second ground beef taco recipe that I have posted here, and I’m happy to report that this one is going to be my go-to recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ground Beef Tacos – adapted from Pink Parsley via Cook’s Illustrated

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (*I used Mexican oregano)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 pound 90% lean (or leaner) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, about 5 minutes longer, until meat is no longer pink.

Add tomato sauce, broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve with your favorite taco fixin’s.

 

 

Triple Cheesy Pasta

Cheese + Carbs= my kryptonite. I know I’m not the only one 😉 I came up with this because I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store, and I always feel good when I am able to use what is available in my pantry and fridge. Macaroni and cheese is a great meal to make when you’re short on time and ingredients because it’s made with ingredients most of you probably have on hand. The cheese blend is gooey, melty and slightly spicy. Also, the ratio of cheese sauce to pasta is about 2 to 1! I could have cooked up at least 3/4 of a pound for the amount, so if you need to feed about 8 people, I recommend boiling up more pasta. We all enjoyed this and the kids and I love adding ketchup to any mac and cheese recipe – this is no exception. I love the tangy sweetness that it gives to the rich, cheesy pasta. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Triple Cheesy Pasta – 

  • 8 ounces dry pasta
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 TBSP flour
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne and paprika (optional)
  • 3/4 pound of shredded cheese ( I used cheddar, mozzarella and pepper jack) reserve about 1 cup for the topping
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven 400 degrees, and bring a large pot of water to boil. Once it’s at a rolling boil, season with salt and pour in your dry pasta. Cook to package directions, preferably a little underdone. Drain and set aside.
2. While the pot is heating up, place a 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Once your butter is melted sprinkle the flour and seasonings into the pot. Cook for a few minutes or until the roux smells slightly nutty. Slowly pour in the milk/half and half while whisking to create a smooth bechamel. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Add the cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted.
3. Pour the cooked pasta in a 13×9 inch baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over all and stir to combine. Mix the panko and reserved cheese then sprinkle over top all the pasta. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbly! Enjoy 🙂