This week I made 2 of my all-time favorite beef tacos. First, a remake of the Vampiro taco from Sol Cocina in Newport Beach, California, and second, a ground beef & bean mixture that I’ve been eating since I was a kid. Because I love ALL the tacos, it’s so hard to pick a favorite, but these two are my favorite BEEF tacos.
I posted about the Vampiro taco last year – honestly I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. Super garlicy steak, spicy chipotle sauce, plus guac and you’ve got the best taco ever. This year I changed it up just a little by making homemade corn tortillas from Jessica Gavin. It took some effort to get my technique right, but I feel confident I can make these perfectly again! The taste and texture was AMAZING. To add the final touch to these tacos, I layered a corn tortilla, then Serrano peppers and cheese, and another tortilla, and grill it like a quesadilla. That’s my trick to make store-bought corn tortillas cooperate. These tortillas cooperated regardless, but the cheese & pepper gives an extra kick to this taco.
I served these tacos with a whole fruit margarita. I am pretty sure this margarita is why I bought a Vitamix. Buy one, and make this marg – and then serve it with Taco Vampiro. Best Taco Tuesday ever! This was my favorite taco / meal of the entire #mayipleasehaveataco month!
WHOLE FRUIT MARGARITA
- 1 whole orange, peeled
- 1 whole lime, peeled
- 1 whole lemon, peeled
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 oz tequila
- 3 oz triple sec
- 4-6 cups ice
Add the peeled fruit and sugar to the Vitamix and blend to combine. Then add tequila & triple sec. Add ice one cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Rim a glass with salt and add the blended margarita.
My second taco of the week is a childhood favorite – ground beef & bean. Disclaimer – it’s not as pretty as a medium rare skirt steak, but it is delicious, easy, and versatile.
GROUND BEEF & BEAN TACO or BURRITO
- Olive oil
- 1 packet taco seasoning (my favorite is Trader Joe’s)
- 1 lb ground meat
- 1 can refried beans
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup taco sauce, enchilada sauce, or salsa
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet, then add ground meat. Sprinkle the pack of taco seasoning evenly on the meat.
- As the meat cooks, use a spatula to break it into smaller pieces.
- Once meat is cooked through, drain the pan if there seems to be excess liquid.
- Add the can of refried beans, and work to thoroughly combine the meat & beans.
- Add sauce – as much as needed for desired consistency.
- Let meat simmer for a few minutes, until bubbling.
- Use ground turkey or ground chicken in place of beef.
- For an extra special edition, add a few dabs of cream cheese and let the cheese melt into the meat & beans.
- Use taco sauce, enchilada sauce, or your favorite salsa in the meat mixture.
- Add jalapenos to the meat if you like a kick.
- Make extra and freeze it – don’t forget to label it!
- Make a taco – small tortilla + cheese + salsa, guac & sour cream.
- Make a burrito – large tortilla all folded up, then cover with desired sauce – queso, salsa verde, enchilada sauce, or just a metric ton of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and serve.
This time, I went with the “drenched in queso” option. I made jalapeno queso from Half Baked Harvest and it was to die for. Using a large tortilla shell, I filled it with meat and folded it as best as I could. The seam side down, I placed the burrito on an oven safe plate, topped it with queso, and baked it for about 10 minutes. This was a restaurant quality meal! Shaun voted this as his favorite meal of the week.
The last new Mexican meal of the week was breakfast for dinner – a breakfast quesadilla from Half Baked Harvest. Super simple and very filling. Tortillas layered with cheese, bacon, scrambled eggs, green chiles & chipotles, and then an avocado salsa.
This is nearly the end of #mexicanmay / #mayipleasehave a taco month! I made one last meal, didn’t get a single picture, but I’ll post about it with a summary of May’s feasts later this week!
Are you ready for June’s theme?