You’d be surprised how many people ask me what brand of taco seasoning I use when I make nachos or tacos or what have you. But there’s no mystery to it.
In fact, I use someone else’s recipe.
You see, like a lot of people I suppose, thirty five years ago (in a galaxy far, far away) (sorry, it’s May 4th) we used packaged taco seasoning. One of those little envelopes. But then I started noticing the integrity and quality of the ingredients sliding downhill and that was enough of that.
A lot of them, similar to cheese and salt, have anti-caking agents added. Many have sugar which isn’t a bad thing but I don’t need that in a taco seasoning. Some have MSG. You get the idea.
And besides, this is too easy.
So let’s assume Alton is paying homage to the Leiber and Stoller song, Love Potion #9 — one of my favorites. These guys wrote some of my favorite songs period: Kansas City, Youngblood, Yakety Yak, and of course, Along Came Jones. I doff my cap, gentlemen. I prefer the Clovers version of Love Potion #9 to the Searchers but, if you really want to hear something special, look up the 1964 version by Ronnie Dio & the Prophets. That’s right, Ronnie James Dio way before Black Sabbath!
Taco Potion #19
Use this for tacos, nachos, or even sprinkle a bit on roasted vegetables for something special.
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix it up.
This makes enough for 1 pound of ground sirloin / chuck / beef. I usually use chuck but it’s all good.
Brown the ground beef, add the taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water, and simmer until the water is gone, stirring occasionally. The corn starch will thicken with the spices.
Level up: add a couple tablespoons (a.k.a. a “glug”) of a good salsa (homemade or a good jar) to the mix along with the spices. The tomatoes, onions, peppers, and so forth will enrich the meat like you would not believe.
If you’re using chicken, cook the chicken breast as you normally would. Shred the meat with a couple of forks and put it back in the pan along with the spice mix and the water. Instead of salsa, just a little diced onion and jalapenos goes a long way.