A Mexican Fiesta
Once a week I like to have a Mexican feast in my own backyard. I love tacos and nachos and rice and beans, and guacamole and sour cream, and lots and lots of cheese. On many days I would grab a bag of tortillas from the grocery store and crisp up some taco shells that I would later dress up with all my favorite things. Lately though I’ve been grabbing the huge bag of Tortilla Scoops to make dozens of what I like to call Nacos !
What the heck is a Naco …? It is a cross between a taco and a nacho. Yes, I love the way it sounds, the way it tastes and the way it holds just the perfect amount of meat, guacamole, a dab of sour cream and a perfect bite of tomato and jalapeno for a nice kick.
The star in this tiny bite is without a question the organic grass fed beef. It is so tender, so juicy and buttery, so flavorful that I just can’t stop eating or talking about it. Season that with some smoky spices ( don’t even think about the taco seasoning package, it would be a mortal sin ) and let those flavors marry with some fire roasted tomatoes. Make yourself a few delightful Nacos and you have reached Mexican night Nirvana.
Tip: For a Vegetarian version of this substitute the beef with grilled onions and grilled red bell peppers.
Nacos and Tacos Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb organic grass fed ground beef ( Rocky Mountain Organic Meats )
- 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 med onion-diced
- 4 garlic cloves-minced
- 1 red bell pepper-diced (optional )
- 2 tbs dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbs smoked paprika
- 2 tbs chili powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbs ground cumin
- 3 tbs tomato paste
- 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes -crushed
- 1/2 tsp black pepper + more to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder -unsweetened
- 1/2 c water
- 1/4 c chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
- 1 c Mexican blend cheese- grated
- 1 large bag of Tortilla Scoops
- 1 c salsa fresca
- 1 c jalapeno slices
- 2 c home made guacamole
- 1 c sour cream
- 2 c lettuce -shredded
1. IN a large cast iron pot heat up the olive oil and saute the onions for 5 min. Add the peppers and saute for another 5 min until they start to soften and the onions are translucent.
2. Add the ground beef to the pan and break it up with a flat end wooden spoon. Sear together until no longer pink.
3. Add all of the above seasonings to the pan then mix in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and the water. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer.
4. Allow everything to simmer together on very low heat for 35 minutes tightly covered, stirring every 15 min. For the last 10 minutes let it simmer partially covered. We want to concentrate the flavor but also we want some reduction.
5. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat. Stir in the parsley and let cool down and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
Heat up before serving in tiny Nacos or Tacos shells.
Assemble the Nacos
1. Arrange the tortilla scoops on a large serving tray and fill each one with 1 tablespoon of the meat. Sprinkle with some of the cheese, a dab of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa fresca. Sprinkle with some of the shredded lettuce and serve.