Friday, 21 September 2012

Turkey Tacos

It's Fiesta time!!

This recipe is so fresh, vibrant (look at those colours!), fun, healthy, easily tailored to any taste (especially as everyone basically makes their own) and everything else associated with Mexican food that I just want to don a Sombrero and do a little jig.

Hmm... I don't think Mexicans jig. But I'm sure they have their own version of a happy dance- whatever it is, I'll do that instead. But I love this recipe so much, it deserves a happy dance!

This is the king of versatile recipes (which we all know is super important to me), as not only can you change the filling and sides depending on what's cheap/ in your cupboards/ your favourite, you can also use the seasoning for most other mexican dishes, or even sprinkled over chicken/ steak/ fish before grilling. Other filling options would be to use your favourite ground meat with kidney beans and diced onion, marinaded steak, grilled fish or prawns, a combination of veggies... the possibilities are endless. Go crazy, dream big!

We, however, have a holiday coming up and the last minute swimwear panic has set in, so turkey was the healthy (but still tasty... come on, this is still me!) option.

I was going to make a joke about it being Mr E who was panicking about swimwear, but the boy is so slim (no matter how much I feed him) it's not even worth pretending...
Anyway, back to the main event.... Fiesta Time!!

Turkey Tacos
6 Mini Tortillas (ours were about 6" in diameter)
500g Turkey thigh meat, cubed or stripped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tblspn taco seasoning (see below, or use your favourite)
Olive oil
For the Taco Seasoning:
2 tblspns ground cumin
1 tspn paprika
1/2 tspn cayenne
1 tspn garlic powder
1/4 tspn black pepper
1/2 tspn chili powder
1/4 tspn salt
For serving (suggestions):
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Radishes, thinly sliced
Lime wedges
Coriander, finely chopped
1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Wrap the tortillas in a slightly damp cloth and microwave until steamed. I only did 30 seconds but felt it should have been longer, but that might just be my microwave- just keep an eye on them.

2) Lightly brush both sides with olive oil and very lightly season them. 

3) There are two ways to do the next bit! One way is to carefully drape each tortilla over two bars of an oven rack, but I don't think I softened ours enough, or maybe they were too small, but either way I couldn't get them to go over two bars without breaking (and one bar made them a bit too triangular)! Instead, clever Mr E suggested using the tray and rack from our grill (broiler) and using that as a stand rather than draping them.... it worked! So there you go- home made taco shells, two ways! Bake for 10 minutes until crisp and golden then set aside.

4) Mix up the spices to make your taco seasoning. This makes just over three tablespoons, but you only need one for this recipe- you can keep the remaining seasoning in a small jar or airtight container for about a month. I use a rough guide of 1 tablepsoon for every 500g of meat. This seasoning has a medium heat, but adjust the chili powder (not the cayenne, it has a particular flavour we want) by 1/4 teaspoon either way to suit your preference.  

5) Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the turkey and cook until browned all over (drain off any excess liquid that might appear).

6) Add in the red onion and 1 tablespoon of the taco seasoning, and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft, the turkey is cooked through and the spices are toasted (but watch that they don't catch and burn).

7) Serve everything in the middle of the table (meat, taco shells and sides) so people can dig in and help themselves- it's the most fun that way! You may also want to provide napkins, this can get messy...

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