Miscellaneous - Phase 1 - Taco Seasoning Recipes

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10-02-2009, 11:11 AM
These are links to recipes to replace that taco seasoning packet you can get at the grocery store (which is usually full of sugar, cornstarch, and even MSG! :yikes: ):

Flavorful Taco Seasoning (http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2009/06/18/easy-mexican-meals-part-1-taco-seasoning/) (scroll down past the pic for the recipe): This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Sugar-Free, and Non-Fat.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix (http://www.recipezaar.com/Homemade-Taco-Seasoning-Mix-38756)
Homemade Taco Seasoning Packet Replacement (http://www.recipezaar.com/Homemade-Taco-Seasoning-Packet-Replacement-154235) (only four ingredients...not sure it'll taste as good, but might be easier for those who have a limited spice cabinet)
Diabetic Taco Seasoning Recipe (http://www.grouprecipes.com/11681/diabetic-taco-seasoning.html) (use WW flour in place of regular, and this recipe is SBD-safe)
Homemade Taco Seasoning (http://www.recipezaar.com/Homemade-Taco-Seasoning-121415) (this one uses a vegetable bouillon cube. I couldn't find anything online that tells what's in them, so make sure you read the lable for the cubes before you try making this one, okay?)

10-03-2009, 12:18 AM
The chili powder is a redundant ingredient for many of these recipes as chili powder (not to be confused with powdered chili) contain a mix of ingredients, usually paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic and/or onion powder, and cayenne or other hot peppers, salt and black pepper, and sometimes sugar.

There really isn't any need to have both chili powder and taco seasoning (you really don't need either, if you've got several of the component spices and don't mind the dash-and-taste method of seasoning).

Taco seasoning packets generally contain more salt than chili powder, and also contain dehydrated onion flake, so a fair clone is chili powder, salt, and dried onion flakes.

I generally do just dash-and-taste. I haven't bought taco seasoning in a very long time, and probably won't buy chili powder ever again either, since I've found out how easy it is just use the individual spices, and how resilient the ingredients are (you can fiddle with the ratios a lot and it still comes out pretty tasty, so it really doesn't matter if one batch is heavy on the garlic and another is heavy on the cumin).

I usually brown onion, bell pepper, and celery with the ground meat - or I use jarred sofrito (it's a mix of sauteed tomato, onion and and other vegetables that is used as a base for many sauces and dishes - the mexican equivalent of the french mirepoix or the cajun holy trinity).

I also love Adobo seasoning as my main taco seasoning (also a mix of seasonings, but milder than chili powder - it makes excellent fajita seasoning). The Goya brand's Adobo seasoning is great. It comes in an original recipe (blue lid) and "with bitter orange" (orange lid).

One of the easiest taco meat seasonings is just jarred salsa. It's a great way to use a salsa that you like, but found too hot to eat from the jar. Using it as a seasoning for chili or tacos, means it doesn't go to waste.

Often in mexican restaurants, and mexican home-cooking, taco filling meats aren't strongly seasoned. Sometimes only with onion, salt and pepper. A really awesome (and authentic) taco filling I've had in a few mexican restaurants is flavored more like a typical american-style roast beef or beef stew, almost like a Wisconsin pasty (meat pie) filling. Ground beef sauteed with diced onion, celery, carrot, and potato, and then simmered with beef broth, salt and pepper until all the veggies are tender. On a flour tortilla, it tastes like a roast beef sandwhich.

10-03-2009, 12:41 AM
I use approx- (I don't measure:))

1Tbs chili powder
1Tbs Cumin
3/4tbs onion powder
1/2tbs garlic powder
tsp paprika
few dashes cayenne pepper( I like it spicy!)

I used to make a bunch of this at once and store in an airtight container, but now that I can do it by eyeballing it I lost track of the recipe so this can be adjusted to your needs. :)

Kaplods- I tried to make this without my chili powder before and it just didn't turn out right, although I get most of my spices from Penzeys, and they do have other things in them, I think the main ingredient is ancho chili powder and I just can't seem to do without it! :)

10-03-2009, 01:08 AM
Kaplods- I tried to make this without my chili powder before and it just didn't turn out right, although I get most of my spices from Penzeys, and they do have other things in them, I think the main ingredient is ancho chili powder and I just can't seem to do without it! :)

I would bet it's the ancho powder. I do very well with my own blends, but I never use only cayenne pepper, and almost always use ancho peppers. About three years ago, I bought a HUGE bag of dehydrated ancho chillies (the whole dried peppers, with stems and seeds, each about palm sized). I don't remember the ounce weight, but they barely fit in a heavy gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag. Dried, they're a bit leathery, so they can be soaked in hot water first, if you'd like. I just snip them with kitchen shears (the seeds tend to fall out when you do this, so I just do it over two bowls one for the seeds to fall into and the other to put the strips in). Or sometimes I'll throw a few into a food processor and make my own ancho powder.

In chili, I just throw the peppers in whole (and either remove the chillies after cooking or I will put the peppers in MY bowl, and when I'm done with my chili, I'll eat the pepper, but leave the seeds behind).

Instead of, or in addition to anchos, I'll also use one or more other pepper varieties that I like - canned chipotles in adobo sauce, dried jalapeno powder, thai peppers, these weird little round peppers I got in a pretty pink tin from a little hot sauce boutique in a mall (I don't remember thevariety, but they were shaped like tiny little smooth strawberries).

We just moved into our new apartment today, and I learned that my husband probably threw out my bag of ancho chillies (Aaaagh). Even using them fairly often for the past three years, I hadn't used but about half the bag.