This is the first of the recipes that I plan to share with you and it’s definitely one of my favorites, if not my very favorite. I use it all the time, especially recently. I find that turkey tacos are something that I can eat and enjoy when I’m hungry but don’t necessarily have a taste for anything so here’s how I make mine:
1lb ground turkey
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, chopped
3/4 cup cheese, grated*
1 cup lettuce, shredded*
1 cup tomato, chopped*
1 package of Lawry’s or McCormick’s Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix
1 package of corn tortillas (I use Mission White Corn)
seasoned salt, to taste
taco sauce, to taste
*Taco toppings, use as much or as little as you want.
1. In a large pan, brown turkey meat with onions, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Stir occasionally, until brown.
2. Add seasoning mix and 3/4 cup of water like the package says. Simmer, stirring occasionally.
Side Note: Do NOT forget the water!!
3. While your turkey is cooking, get a skillet and pour a shallow amount of vegetable oil in it. Heat the oil on med-high until hot. This is where you will be frying your chips and shells.
Side Note: Frying the shells is the hardest part of the whole recipe, but it is worth the extra effort! The fresh chips and shells really set the tacos off. BELIEVE ME! Just keep the kids/adults acting like kids out of the kitchen and away from the stove!
4. So to fry the shells you will need a pair of kitchen tongs. Drop the tortilla in the oil and let it fry for about ten seconds. Pick up one side of the tortilla with the tongs and hold the tortilla as it folds sideways (should look like a taco shell!). Fry one side of the tortilla until crispy, then pick up the other side of the tortilla and fry the side you were holding. To make sure you have room in the middle for fillings, once the shell has taken shape you can push out the sides with the kitchen tongs (see the picture below). Place the finished shell on a plate with paper towels to dry off. Repeat for as many shells as you would like.
Side Note: You want to fry them long enough that they are crispy. I deem them ready once they reach a rich golden color. It can take some practice, but once you figure it out, I can’t imagine that you’ll ever go back to store-bought shells. I never did!
4. To make chips, you simply cut the tortillas into fours and place into the grease. Fry for a few minutes on one side, turn, and fry on the other side until crispy. Place on plate with napkins to dry off. After they dry, salt to taste.
Side Note: I usually go through and dry off all the fried items again with a paper towel to make sure the extra grease is off.
5. The hard part is over, now all you have to do is put together your tacos and serve! I served mine with an ice cold Dos XX Amber.
If you don’t like spicy food or have small children, cut out the jalapenos and get the regular seasoning mix. If you are so inclined, you could also substitute chicken and buy the chicken taco mix. All variations of these tacos are very tasty.
In fact, I tried a new variation today and I had to update this post to tell you! I made Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps. I swapped the shells for lettuce and added a little bit of light sour cream, which made the texture unbelievable. If you’re looking to go the healthy route, I definitely recommend these.
If you do decide to go make chips and have leftovers, you can make nachos! You can store the extra chips or shells in a baggie to keep them fresh. These were my next-day nachos.
My mom taught me how to make tacos this way many years ago, as they were a favorite of many of my friends when I was in high school. This recipe has been a staple since I was about 15 so I hope you try it and love it as much as I do. It’s great if you live someplace like Baltimore, where the comida de “Mexicana” es MUY mal. Let me know if you try it and how you liked it! Feel free to ask questions too. Til next time…