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“Question everything.”

June 8, 2010

“Question everything. Learn something.”

-Euripides, ancient Greek playwright

This is one of the silliest posts I feel I’ve ever written.  A few years – even a few months – ago, I’d never have considered making my own taco seasoning.  Why would I?!

The anonymity of cyberspace gives me the freedom to admit this: I’m cheap.  Frugal, really.  Or I try to be at times.  One packet of taco seasoning… no big deal.  But when I contemplated buying FIVE packets (@ ~$1.50 each), it made me rethink the packets.  Now that I’m cooking more, I wondered, was there a better way?  A more flavorful way??  And I knew from experience that chances were the homemade way would likely cost the same or less than buying but produce better results (if it worked, anyway!)

Mr. S and I host an annual Fiesta for our friends and family.  Now into its fourth year, we’ve never really given much thought to the taco meat.  This year, however, I kept thinking about a post on Delish that had come through my Google Reader a few weeks ago.  “What the heck?!” I thought, “Why not give it a shot?  I have all the seasonings already and the packets are just meh for taste.  What’ve I got to lose?!”

Of course, my throw-caution-to-the-wind, “What’ve I got to lose?!” decision was quickly followed by crazy panic because I was feeding this to guests, untasted. :-S

To add to my nervousness over its outcome, I wound up throwing this together (sans coffee) one morning before I left for work in all of five minutes!

Imagine my relief when later that day, I walked in the door after Mr. S had cooked all the meat for our Fiesta with the seasoning.  It smelled fantastic!!  I tried a bite and it tasted like taco meat!  (Duh, right?!  I shouldn’t have been so surprised, but who’d have thought taco seasoning could be that easy and that good in such little time?!)

The best part about this is it’s so adaptable.  Since all levels of heat-seekers attend our Fiesta, I kept the seasoning basic and only added a single shake of Cayenne pepper.  When I throw this together for Mr. S and I, I’ll probably kick it up a little bit with more Cayenne and red pepper flakes.  We can also control how much sodium goes into the mix as well. 🙂

This is proof that sometimes you should question even the basics, because I definitely learned that this takes less time than running to the store and in my opinion tasted much better than a packet.

Taco Seasoning

Source: Delish, adapted from

  • 1/4 c. ancho chili powder (I used plain chili powder since that’s what I had)
  • t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 2 t. paprika (I used smoked paprika for a hint of smokiness in the flavor)
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 2 t. sea salt (I used kosher salt)
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • Dash Cayenne pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Brown meat (and drain, if necessary) before adding 2 Tablespoons seasoning and 1 cup water for each pound of meat.  Simmer over low heat until desired consistency is reached.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 11, 2010 2:50 pm

    I love homemade taco seasoning!

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