I’d like to discuss taco night and why it is such a good idea. It’s end of February, the weather is less than desirable where I am (Chicago), and just the idea of margaritas gets a smile of my face. What makes me giggle with joy? A little fiesta with said margaritas, chips and guacamole, tacos, and a wide array of fixins’. Now we have a party and an oasis from snow and sludge.
When I was 5 my family went on a vacation to Cancun. This was back in the 80’s when Cancun was just starting its rise to teenage vacation stardom, so it was an authentic gem. Apparently each evening I would abruptly fall asleep at the table, before dinner came out. I was so exhausted from days in the sun, I quite literally passed out (clearly I didn’t have the typical Cancun experience on that vacation but somehow ended up in the same boat at the end of the night as so many other vacationers). I really have to wonder how it was possible when I have always had a real adoration for mexican food. I can’t bear to think of the many tacos I left untouched, sitting just a few inches in front of my sleepy self.
But I digress and need to get back on point – tacos are an amazing treat sure to change winter blues into happy moments. Turn your thermostat up to 80, put on some shorts, sip a margarita, and serve up a batch of tacos when you can’t count on the weather outside. Silly? Yes. Will it make you feel better? Yes, and that’s all that matters.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground chicken (I used ground chicken breast but you can use gound thigh or a mixture)
- 1 diced onion
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 tortillas of your choice – flour or corn
- 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 1 diced red onion
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
- fresh salsa
- guacamole or diced avocado
- taco spice mix (below)
Taco Spice Mix: can be made ahead and stored with your spices
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan. Add ground chicken and diced onion. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and onions are soft. Add seasoning mix and 1/4 cup water. Continue to stir until seasoning over all of chicken and onions. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Serve in tortillas with toppings on the side…with chips and guacamole…with margaritas.