Cook’s Recipe: Tacos

There are always shortcuts, both in life and in game, but rarely do they work out in your favor. Some shortcuts work in very specific circumstances, like garlic powder when you’re trying to avoid big chunks of garlic in a dish. But when I activate my chef spec, completely with legendary cast iron pan, there is one shortcut I utterly despise: the taco seasoning packet.

An abomination of flavor that is hilariously overpriced, the taco seasoning packets mock are a scourge to chefs! Save your gold for something useful – like stacks upon stacks of Mageweave cloth in the auction house! But this is a recipe for tacos but the seasoning can be used for many Texmex inspired dishes.

Texmex is a mythical place that evokes the idea of “Southwestern.” My flavors tend to have more depth than the Abomination Bell.

Serves 6-8

2 pounds of ground beef (80/20) or diced chicken breasts
1 onion, finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeño, finely diced

1/2 cup of corn (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup of stock or water (or beer)
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of salt
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of red pepper
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of cocoa

Around 20 taco shells
Lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cheese, salsa, hot sauce, sour cream or whatever you’d like to toppings.

A large pan
Measuring spoons

Knife for dicing
Cutting board

1. Brown the meat in a large pan and drain off the grease.
2. Add the chopped onions, peppers, corn, tomatoes and garlic to the pan.
3. As the vegetables begin to cook, add all the spices (all of them, including the cocoa and cinnamon), lime juice and cooking liquid.
4. Let the liquid reduce over a low-medium heat.

Serve with the appropriate fixings along with sides like beans and rice.

A warning to cowards: These tacos can be rather spicy, so if you prefer food that isn’t spicy reduce the spices by half but all buffs created by this dish will also be reduced by half, including fire resistance.

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