Monday, May 16, 2011

Mama's version of tacos

Tonight was taco night. There is nothing like cooking the same tacos for yourself that your mom did when you were growing up. It's the nostalgia that really is important. The Spanish rice is also a staple, something perfected over the years. Really I think I have been cooking this since I was 12 or so. I was paid a great compliment when a friend's husband wanted me to teach his wife to make Spanish rice, I knew I had done good!
Unfortunately like any cook I really don't have an exact recipe for this rice, most of the time its great and if I am in a hurry, well things get chaotic. But I do have some tips to perfect this rice over the next years of your life.



Rice tips:

  • The long grain rice is poured into heated oil and browned until the rice become almost toasty or opaque. This is the trick for it not getting too mushy or sticky.
  • Add less water first and gradually add water to it as you see the top grains still are not cooked.
  • Tomato sauce or tomato bouillons are the best flavoring for the color, I prefer a little oregano,salt and pepper, just keep it simple. But I suppose you can add anything you want, my grandma used to add little peas and carrots.
  • And Lord have mercy, DO NOT STIR THE RICE- this is even for white rice. You break down the grain and yes, mushy again. You can pull a little from the sides just to make sure it isn't sticking but no more.
  • Once you get the water to a rolling boil lower it all the way down and this cooking will take 15-20 min. Good things take time- Hence "FAST FOOD"
Just a side note- I have used a rice cooker before and sorry doesn't do it for me, the time and the diligence is tasteful, you might even get a Husband compliment!




Now the Tacos- nothing special here but the potato is a lifesaver if you need to stretch the budget. Dice and cook in a little oil before adding the meat. Yes, I own a big Costco size taco seasoning and I add that and a little water and let it simmer til it's good and juicy. This is under no special diet recipe so I will truthfully say I buy dang good natural lean beef and I don't drain the meat! So health nuts be warned, it tastes so good without being drained. But if your conscience or buddy at the meeting makes you feel guilty, drain the fat!

Other than that they're my favorite tacos, my family loves them too, case closed.


Oh and my favorite shot is the meal on our very fancy paper plates, oh yeah!
If you want Mama to cook and be happy about not cleaning, your eating on paper plates. They are recycled if that helps!

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