When you have a three year-old staying with you, chances are you’re probably not going out to dinner. We did go out one night and that’s a whole story in and of itself. Most nights, though, I cooked and that turned out to be a lot of fun, coming up with food to make for a small crowd (other friends dropped by in the hours leading up to dinner). One night, someone suggested going out for tacos and I responded, “I can make tacos right here!” Then I ran to the store and bought a bunch of stuff to prove that my homemade tacos would be just as good as whatever we’d get at a restaurant.
My first step was to make a salsa. When I have to buy grocery store tomatoes out-of-season, I almost always buy cherry tomatoes because they’re consistently tart and good. So I cut a box of those in half, added chopped red onion, a minced jalapeno, salt, fresh lime juice, a splash of olive oil and chopped cilantro, tasting to adjust.
Step two was the meat. I decided to go for raw Mexican chorizo. If you can find that, your job is really easy: take the chorizo out of the casing, brown it in a pan coated in vegetable oil, breaking it up as you do. When it’s almost entirely cooked through and the fat has leached out, make a hot spot and cook half a chopped onion in there with a pinch of salt.
Stir that all together and then add a can or two of drained pinto beans depending on how many people you’re feeding. Stir and taste for salt. Turn the heat off until you’re ready to serve.
Once I had that ready to go, I grated some cheddar cheese and opened a container of sour cream. Here’s the fixins bar.
But what really made this make-your-own taco night special was making the tortillas from scratch. I did a whole post the other day called “It’s So Easy To Make Your Own Corn Tortillas” and it’s true, it is so easy. So easy, in fact, even a kid can do it.
Well she can sit in a chair eating a homemade quesadilla while watching you do it. Here’s my work station.
Once I started flattening the tortillas, I heated a cast iron skillet on high and turned the heat on low for the meat. Once a tortilla was cooked and ready to go…
…I called the first guest into the kitchen. Meet Gabe.
Meet his taco.
Doesn’t that look good?
The best part is there was plenty of everything to go around; so I kept cooking tortillas, calling people in, watching them make tacos and chatting all the while. It was a lot of fun.
So if you have a tortilla press and some friends to invite over, have a Make Your Own Taco Night. A good time is guaranteed for all.