Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tacos dorados de carne molida con epazote

Fried tacos with ground beef and epazote
1 pound of ground beef

4 - 5 sprigs of epazote *

1/2 white onion

2 tsps. cumin

corn oil

salt to taste

corn tortillas (I recommend Guerrero if it's available to you)
This is probably one of the easiest recipes in the world and it's great to use as an appetizer for parties. It is best served with a guacamole salsa but you can use any kind of spicy sauce or salsa to accompany. * Epazote can be found in most Mexicans grocery stores, I've never seen it anywhere else. There really is no true substitute if you can't find it so I would leave it out if this is the case. Here's a little bit about epazote in case you were interested...
"A Mexican herb that has a very strong taste and sometimes has a gasoline or perfumey type odor. It has been used in Mexican cuisine for thousands of years dating back to the Aztecs who used it for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. Although epazote is poisonous in large quantities, it has been used in moderation to help relieve abdominal discomfort (gassiness) that can come from eating beans. It has become a distinct flavor in Mexican cuisine and is now used to season a variety of dishes including beans, soups, salads and quesadillas. The older leaves have a stronger flavor and should be used sparingly. Younger leaves have a milder, yet richer flavor. "

First, let's start with the onion and the epazote. Cut the onion to a small dice and finely chop the epazote. You want to only use the actual leaves of the epazote but make sure they are not minced. Set those things aside.

Turn to the stove and you're going to put about 2 tablespoons of corn oil in a medium sized pot. Set the heat to medium-high and when the oil is finally hot, add the onion. Once the onion is starting to look transparent and soft, add the meat and cumin, slowly stirring it around with the onion. You may add as much salt to taste to the meat while stirring. Once the meat has browned (about 10 minutes), add the epazote and turn the burner off.

Now, let's turn to the tortillas. In a separate frying pan, add approximately 1-1/2 cups of corn oil and turn the burner to medium-high again. Take about 10-12 tortillas from the package and stack them in the microwave for about 1 and a half minutes. You are doing this so the tortillas can heat up a little bit so they will be easier to roll and not break. When they are done, take one tortilla at a time and place 2-3 spoons of hamburger filling in the center of each. Roll them up and make sure the filling is spread out so there is some flavor in each bite. You can also use toothpicks to hold the tortillas together while they are frying. Place them in the frying pan one at a time. In a medium sized pan, I can usually fit about six at a time. They take about 3-4 minutes on each side when you are frying them and should be a golden color but not burnt. It is also important to have enough oil in the pan when they are frying but they don't have to be completely covered in it. When they are finished, place on a plate lined with a paper towel and serve immediately.

Again, the tacos are best served with guacamole but any hot sauce will do. You can also add on top of them, lettuce, diced tomato, sour cream, and queso fresco. Enjoy :)

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