Holy Sh*t Tacos

Well, summer is here and the taco road trucks are out. A friend who is a foodie like me was ranting and raving about a local taco truck and mentioned something about strips of beef and brown sauce in a flour tortilla and some onions. We were supposed to go one day for lunch but things popped up. I went ahead and did some research because my curiosity got the best of me. Lo and behold, found a recipe and I said to myself, hmmm. I think I will make this. I emailed my friend and waited one long week for results but none. I said “hmmpmh” and went and decided to do my own. “Holy Sh*t!” the tacos were just amazing! I am so convinced these are the best ever and Taco Bell is no more a place I will frequent ever. I am such a happy camper right now. I am just Taco’d crazy at the moment. Enjoy!

Holy Sh*t Tacos!
Created on 5/18/12

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1-1/2 pounds of beef (I used Rib eye Steak but you can use any meat you like)
3 large onions
Corn Tortillas
2 Avocados
2 Plum tomatoes
Ingredients for the Brown Sauce – recipe below
1 small can of Chipotle Peppers

The “Brown Sauce”
2 tablespoons of Chipotle Pepper sauce (directions below)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
¼ cup of brown sugar (I used light)
2 tablespoons of water
3 dashes of liquid smoke
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper

Caramelized Onions
2 medium onions cut into half moon shape
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Pomegranate vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt / Pepper to taste

In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat up the olive oil and put the onions in the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions become a little shiny and kind of limp looking. Then add the brown sugar and Pomegranate vinegar and continue to cook over low heat and sauté until the onions become a very deep brown. Stir constantly so the onions do not burn. This will take about a good 15 to 20 minutes. You can do this ahead of time and store the caramelized onions in a canning jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. Just reheat the onions in a sauté pan for a few minutes or your microwave.

Chipotle Pepper Sauce
I pureed the Chipotle Peppers in a food processor with 1 tablespoon (not the olive oil for the sauce itself, this is additional) olive oil and water and 1 teaspoon of Adobo. This made a lot so I reserved the rest in a canning jar and stored in the refrigerator for another use. The flavor had a little bit of heat and very distinct smoky flavor, love the concept.

Taco Meat – prep
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In 9”x13” stoneware or baking dish, layer the bottom of the dish with one of the sliced half moon onions. Rub both sides of the meat with ½ of the Chipotle Pepper sauce mixture and lay on top of the onions. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 1-1/2 hours. Turn meat over and some of the sauce over the top of the meat, and then the rest of the sauce on the other side. Re-cover and cook for about another 1-1/2 hours. You want the meat to be fork tender so you can shred the meat with 2 forks. Remove meat from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Then with 2 forks, shred the beef and put the shredded meat back into the sauce. Toss the meat with cooked sauced, cover and set aside.

Heat up corn tortillas and cut up some avocado and tomatoes. Fill the corn tortilla with some meat about 2 tablespoons, some onions, and sliced or diced avocado and tomatoes. You could add anything you want but I thought these tacos with avocado and tomatos were just amazing!

Cook’s note: I made another type of tacos with pork loin steaks, and loved that flavor also. Prepare the pork the same way as the beef. Awesome tacos!

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Red Potato, Onion and Tomato Gratin

I bought too many tomatoes last weekend the farmers market and after a very busy week of not cooking I knew I needed to use up the tomatoes or I would have to throw them in the trash. I went to a local restaurant close to my apartment and had their potato, onion, and tomato dish. It was good but extremely greasy for me. Sunday mornings are my favorite to create something interesting. Instead of the traditional egg, bacon and potato breakfast, I created a similar dish with all the farmer’s market vegetables I bought and the results were fresh, simple and healthy.

Red Potato, Onion and Tomato Gratin, created on 7/3/2011

3 lbs of baby red potatoes, scrubbed well and sliced 1/8” thick

1 large Vidalia onion or red onion – cut in half-moon slices

3 large tomatoes, seeded and sliced in half-moon slices, lightly salted

1 cup of grated tomato basil pine nut cheese – I bought this cheese from the cheese vendor at the market – they specialize in this type of cheese but you can use any cheese you like, a nice sharp white cheddar cheese, or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese are excellent choices

Fresh Thyme

Olive Oil

Salt / Pepper

I used the steamer because it is extremely healthy, low fat and it helps cut down on the cooking time in the oven for the potatoes. I find that steaming the potatoes brings more flavor than par-boiling the potatoes for 10 minutes.

In a steamer, add the sliced red potatoes and steamed for about 5 to 7 minutes until semi-soft. Remove from the heat – set aside uncovered. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the half moon onion slices. Sprinkle salt on the onions as it will help make the onions sweat.  Cook the onions for about 10 minutes or until caramelized.

In a casserole dish, single layer the steamed potato, half the onions and half the tomatoes.

Sprinkle with half the grated cheese.

Season lightly with salt and pepper and repeat the 2nd layer with steamed potato, onion, tomato and grated cheese.

Sprinkle the top very lightly with olive oil and with fresh thyme.

 Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 40 minutes – the cheese should be melted and brown. The tomatoes have that roasted look.

Enjoy!!

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Mushroom, Red Potato Onion Frittata

I have been thinking of different ways to make different kinds of frittatas. I am obsessed with them because they are filling and can be made with different things such as vegetables and often instead of eggs I use an Egg Substitute to cut down on the fat and cholesterol. I was at a friends house for a couple of days and she had some potatoes, onions and mushrooms left from the previous nights dinner so I thought let’s try a new thing. Talk about a wow factor. This was excellent. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Mushroom Red Potato Onion Frittata, created on 12/22/10

Mushroom Red Potato Onion Frittata

1 medium red potato (the size of your fist) not peeled, thinly sliced
¼ red onion thinly sliced half moon shaped
1 lb Baby Bella Mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 eggs beaten well or you can use Egg Beaters (2 containers)
½ cup fresh Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp fresh thyme chopped
Salt/Pepper
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Heat up olive oil in 10” sauté pan over medium high heat until hot. When In a 10” sauté pan, layer the potatoes evenly around the pan, and then layer the thinly sliced red onion on top of potatoes along with the mushrooms. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes on one side and flip everything over so that the mushrooms are on the bottom with onions and potatoes are on top. Cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms, onions and potatoes are a deep brown and caramelized on both sides.

Beat 10 eggs together, reserve 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, set aside. Add the rest of the parmesan cheese and fresh thyme in eggs beat well. Add the egg mixture to the to the potato/onion mixture. Cover for about 5 -7 minutes until the middle of the frittata is set.

Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over top of frittata and put under a boiler for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve with sliced tomatoes or meat of choice.

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Caramelized Onion Baby Bella Quesadillas

I created this recipe today as a backup plan. I had intended to make black bean plantain burritos but the plantains needed to be ripe and the store only had green ones. I decided to make Quesadillas of some kind but not knowing what. I wandered the grocery store trying to decide. I picked up some 2% Monterey Jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, onions, baby Bella mushrooms and flour tortillas and all of a sudden an idea formed.

Caramelized Onion Baby Bella Quesadillas
Created recipe on 02/10/2010

1 medium onion sliced into half moons
1-15 oz can of organic black beans drained and rinsed
1 pint of baby Bella mushrooms cleaned and sliced
2 teaspoons Cumin
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese shredded
¼ cup low-fat Monterey Jack cheese shredded
¼ cup low fat sharp cheddar cheese shredded
8 large flour tortillas

Slice a medium onion in half and then slice into half moon slices. In a sauté pan, with olive oil, add the onions. The onions need to be cooked for about 15 to 20 minutes until caramelized golden brown color. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until semi-soft. Add the black beans and cumin. Cook until beans are thoroughly heated and remove pan from the heat.

I have a quesadilla machine so I am able to make quesadillas with ease. If you do not have one a 10” skillet warmed will work just fine. Just need to put a plate on top of the quesadilla so that the cheese will melt evenly.

Caramelized Onion Baby Bella Quesadillas 1Make sure the quesadilla machine is hot.

Caramelized Onion Baby Bella Quesadillas 2Assemble the quesadilla as follows – flour tortilla, caramelized onion, mushroom and black bean filling, sprinkle with cheese mixture and another flour tortilla on top. Close the top of the quesadilla machine and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Caramelized Onion Baby Bella Quesadillas 3The cheese will melt and the flour tortillas will have a tan color.

Remove from the quesadilla machine and cut with a sharp knife into 6 – 8 wedges.

Serve with sour cream and salsa. Yum!

Caramelized Onion Baby Bella Quesadillas 4

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Orzo Broccoli Baby Bella Mushroom Skillet

Using fresh vegetables has always been one of my habits into trying to eat as healthy as I can. There was a sale on broccoli at the produce store and I bought more than I had planned to use. Time ran out on me, so I did not experiment with new recipes with all of the vegetables that I bought. This really was the only recipe I made at the time, and basically steamed the rest of the broccoli to use as sides for dinner. I had some multi-flavored Orzo. Orzo is pasta that is shaped like rice. This Orzo was flavored tomato, spinach and wheat. I had some Parmigiano Reggiano cheese leftover from another recipe and the sharpness of the cheese really gave this recipe a ton of flavor.

Orzo, Broccoli, Bella Mushroom Skillet, created 02/03/2010


1 cup of dry Orzo cooked; follow the directions on the box
1 pint baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean with damp paper towel and sliced
1 cup fresh broccoli; cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, cut into half and then half again to create half-moon size slices
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon or 2 of fresh Thyme

Prepare the Orzo according to the directions on the box or container. You should have about 2 cups of Orzo when it is already cooked. Drain and reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water.

In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil and sauté the onions over medium heat until caramelized. This will take about 10 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for about another 5 to 7 minutes until mushrooms have shrunk down in size. Add the broccoli and sauté until the broccoli is cooked to the desired texture. I prefer my broccoli medium crunchy – the cook time is about 5 minutes. Add the cooked orzo and mix the ingredients together. Add ¼ cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and the pasta water to get a little bit of creaminess to the dish, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and plate. Sprinkle with some cheese. Enjoy!

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