Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Homestyle Taco Meat

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The key to a really great taco is the meat. Simmered low and slow with a lot of bold flavors can take a taco to the next level. Don’t stop there, pick your choice of a vessel to serve your tacos, also important. Finally, finish by using your favorite ingredients full of bright colors and textures to fill your tacos. Eye candy is the best phrase I’d use to describe these tacos.

This is my recipe for Homestyle Taco Meat.

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Oregano

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I’m using two fresh herbs for my tacos. Oregano from my Hanging Herb Garden and fresh cilantro.

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Stuffing (2)

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Olive Oil

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Arugula

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

If you want my recipe for Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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You can choose between using plum tomatoes or grape tomatoes for your Pico de Gallo.

Pico de gallo

If you’d like my recipe for Pico de Gallo, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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If you’d like my recipe for Chunky-Style Guacamole, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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How about these Tex-Mex-Style Baguette Pizzas? Buy a jar of your favorite taco sauce to smear over grilled baguettes, top with shredded cheese. Place them under the broiler until the cheese becomes lightly golden brown and bubbly. Top with my Homestyle Taco Meat and fresh Pico de Gallo.

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Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

Cilantro

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (12 tacos)
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 3 large mixing bowls

Note: A variety of fresh salsas and Pico de gallo are now available in the refrigerated section of the produce department in most grocery stores. Take advantage of these products to use as ingredients for taco meat, even guacamole.

Ingredients For Taco Meat:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground chicken, lean ground sirloin, or turkey)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
1 lime, juiced
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups of beef stock, unsalted
3/4 cup of store-bought fresh salsa (cantina-style)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup of sliced green onions, reserve green tops for garnish, thinly slice the tops on the bias

Ingredients For Taco Seasoning:
1 1/2 tablespoons of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano

Note: Recipe yields approx. 1/4 cup of taco seasoning.
Note: 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat.

Directions For Taco Seasoning:
Add all the ingredients for the taco seasoning into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

Tip: Store taco seasoning, in an airtight container, in a dry cool place.

Options For Tacos:
2 boxes of crunchy taco shells (substitute soft corn tortillas)
2 (8-ounce) packages of Mexican blend shredded cheese
limes
Arugula
Avocados
Red onion, finely diced
Cilantro for garnish
Green onion tops for garnish

Directions For Taco Meat:
Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and the diced onions. Stir and cook until the onions begin to soften and become translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ground pork, 4 tablespoons of the taco seasoning, diced green onions (the white parts), minced Fresno chili, minced garlic, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper into the pan.

Using a wooden spoon break up the meat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and fresh Pico de gallo, stir to combine. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, fresh lime juice, and beef stock. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.

At this point, all the liquid and seasonings have absorbed into the meat giving you a deep beefy flavor. Turn the heat off and add in the sliced green onion tops and cilantro leaves, mix to combine.  Transfer to a large serving bowl. It’s Taco Night!

To serve. I prefer the crunchy taco shells but really it’s totally up to you! This is my HomestyleTacos Meat.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

Guacamole Three Ways

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Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas (2)

Who doesn’t love a hand-held meat pie? They can be made in advance, you can freeze them then bake them off when you’re ready. My Chicken And Poblano Empanadas are so delicious, tender, and flaky pie crust filled with bold flavorful ingredients, YUM!

In this post, I’m taking some help from my local grocery store. I’m using a rotisserie chicken and store-bought pie dough. Rotisserie chicken is one of the best items available at the grocery store. The possibilities are endless.

Now when it comes to pie crust, making your own is always the way to go but if you’re short on time there are great store-bought pie doughs available in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. I’ve posted a link at the bottom for my Homemade Pie Crust which can be made in advance and a link for my Pico de Gallo.

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Kosher Salt (2)

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Egg-Wash

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Limes

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Pico de Gallo Two Ways (12)

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Prep Time: 45 minutes (time includes cooking vegetables and making the empanadas)
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Yields: 16 Empanadas
Equipment: 1 (10-cup) food processor, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, pastry brush, mesh sieve, chefs knife

Ingredients:
1 whole rotisserie chicken, deboned and skin removed
2 boxes of store-bought pie dough, cut into 6-inch round circles
4 tomatillos, peeled
2 Poblano peppers, tops removed and seeded
1 large Spanish onion, peeled
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 Fresno chilies
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
2 cups of water
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 lime, juiced
1 ladle of the reserved cooking liquid
*egg wash

Directions:
In a large stockpot, add the tomatillos, Fresno chili, seeded Poblanos, peeled onion, whole peeled garlic cloves. Cover the vegetables with chicken stock and water. Over medium-high, bring the vegetables up to a boil, (lower the heat) reduce to a simmer, cook for 20 minutes.

In the meantime go ahead and debone the rotisserie chicken. Next, using your hands, shred all the chicken then transfer into a large mixing bowl.

The tomatillos will have turned olive in color and the peppers should be fork-tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion, Poblano pepper, garlic cloves, and tomatillos to a food processor. Fish out the Fresno chilies, remove the tops, seeds, and ribs before adding them to the food processor.

Add 1 Kosher salt, cilantro, lime juice, and a ladle of the cooking liquid (add more if needed). Process until smooth. Pour the Poblano pepper mixture into the bowl containing the shredded chicken.

Note: The leftover cooking liquid (vegetable stock) allow to cool completely then place into a labeled sealed container(s). Store in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F.
Here I’m using a plate that measures around 6-inches in diameter. Cut 6-inch circles out of the pie dough. Each circle of dough yields 4 circles. Next, take the scraps of dough that are left and roll that out to 1/4-inch in thickness. The leftover dough will yield another 4 circles. When it comes to Empanadas, you want to make as many as you can because they will get eaten.

Place a good tablespoon in the center each circle, brush around the outsides of the circle with the *egg wash. Fold the pastry over to form half-moons. Press the edges firmly (overfilling will cause dought to tear and not seal.) Crimp the edges with a fork. Lay the empanada onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until all the filling or the dough circles are used up. Brush the outsides of the Empanadas with more *egg wash.

Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

I like to serve my Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas with a side of Pico de Gallo. The Pico works well to cut through the richness of the Empanada.

Tip: Unbaked empanadas may be frozen. Freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until hard. Store in resealable freezer bags.
Bake Frozen: Add an additional 5 minutes for baking time.

*egg wash:  A mixture of 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water or milk.

Pico de Gallo-Two Ways

Homemade Pie Crust

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