Lately I’ve been interested in saving money by trying to learn how to make my own dry mixes at home. I used to think that the packaged mixes sold at the store were the creations of genius master chefs, hidden away in secret locations on the other side of the world, with access to exotic ingredients, and expensive equipment that aren’t available to us ordinary home cooks. But I’m learning that there are some wonderfully talented folks on the internet that are unlocking the “secrets” of these mysterious little packages. I appreciate all the work of the YouTubers and Bloggers that are sharing these secrets and I’m anxious to start passing long all their ingenious recipes.
KATZCRADUL HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING MIX
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or slightly less ground red pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander or cilantro flakes
2 teaspoons flour
I didn’t have quite a full 1/4 cup of chili powder, so I just added what was in my container. I didn’t have any coriander or cilantro flakes, so I couldn’t add those either. But I did add 2 tablespoons of my homemade tomato powder because I had it and I though it would make a nice addition to the mix.
I mixed all the ingredients in a large bowl and then used a funnel to put them into a recycled spice container. There was a little extra mix that wouldn’t fit into this container, so I put the remainder into another smaller recycled plastic spice jar. I like to share what I make with my friends, so I’ll be giving the smaller container to a friend who’s coming to dinner next weekend. (I must admit here that sometimes my husband thinks I’m a nut when I save these little containers. But then, when I actually use them he gets that “ah ha” look. LOL!)
Tacos were on my menu for dinner, so it was the perfect time to test out the new taco seasoning mix. First, I thawed out a package of frozen ground beef because we’ve found that we don’t particularly like the pressure canned ground beef for tacos, it’s just a little to soft for us. Then as the beef was cooking, I chopped up some onion and added that to the pan along with two tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix. I let it all cook together and then took a taste…. and…. YUMMO!!!! It had all the flavor of the store-bought package… as a matter of fact, I think it had a much better flavor. I smiled and couldn’t wait to serve this up to my hubby for dinner.
I ended up making nachos instead of tacos, because hubby brought home ingredients to make Pico de Gallo and guacamole. (Oh yes, I’ll have to share those recipes with you too, by sending you over to The Pioneer Woman Pico de Gallo and Guacamole recipes on FoodNetwork.)
For nachos, I make my own tortilla chips at home. I’ve been doing this for years, and they are always a hit. They are easy to make and the next time I make them, I’ll take pictures so I can show you exactly how I do it. Normally I just sprinkle salt on them. But I wanted to try to see if I could recreate the lime ones from the Chipotle burrito place. Well… I think I got it, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results.
To make the lime salt, I took a bowl of salt (table salt) and mixed it with lime juice. At first I put a little salt in the bowl and then asked hubby to squeeze the two lime halves over the salt… aaah… that didn’t work out so well… there was way too much juice and not enough lime. I kept adding more and more salt until I had only a slightly “wet” salt and not a salty slurry… LOL! It was still really hard to “sprinkle” the salt over the chips. I ended up with globs of limey salt. I tried to toss the chips with my hands hoping that would break up the salt. It did, but not much. But they tasted good, so we ate them.
The remaining wet lime salt went into yet another recycled spice container and I stashed it in the fridge. I’m sure I’ll figure out another way to use it, like maybe sprinkling over avocado. But since I wasn’t completely satisfied with that first attempt, I’m going to do some more research and experiment using different combinations of sea salt, kosher salt, lime juice and lime zest. I’m thinking the best result might be to squeeze the lime juice over the chips and then sprinkle with a salt & lime zest combination. I’ll let you know what I come up with… and hopefully there will be pictures too.
For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)