9.29.2010

Taco Seasoning Packets

Here is the skinny.... or not so skinny!

The mother of all taco seasoning packets is Lawry's. They have been around forever and really make a decent product. They even removed the MSG which was definitely there for a while. See ingredients listed below. Also they now have a "HOT" version as well for those who like to bring the heat.  Here is what I learned about them...

In the early 1900s, Lawrence Frank and Theodore Van de Kamp turned a tiny Los Angeles potato chip shop into a multi-million dollar bakery empire. In the early 1920s, Lawrence and his brother-in-law Walter Van de Kamp went into the restaurant business together and opened a succession of acclaimed restaurants, including The Great Scot and the Tam O'Shanter.

In 1938, the brothers founded 'Lawry's The Prime Rib' restaurant in Beverly Hills. The restaurant was the birthplace of Lawry's Seasoned Salt, which was soon introduced to the marketplace in response to overwhelming demand. Innovators in the industry, Lawry's continued to introduce dehydrated sauce mixes, seasonings, marinades, and spice blends to households everywhere and have basically been kicking booty ever since.

I did not know the same people were Van de Kamp's. That is CRAZY level success. SHEESH.
Anywhoo... their spice packet is solid. But some people don't like the taste of it and would rather make from scratch. So here is an option to 'do-it-yourself'. You can always tweak to your taste... My favorite trick is pretty much toasting your seasonings by stirring them around in some hot oil before you add your beef (or ground turkey) and onions.
For 1lb of Meat (turkey, beef or ground pork even)
tsp. of salt (plus to taste)
2 Tbl. chili powder
1 Tsp. cumin
1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch o Paprika
Pinco o cocoa powder (sweetened) no more than 1 tsp
I don't like garlic power or garlic salt but if you do.... add it!
1 onion diced super super finely
1 generous handful of cilantro, chopped finely
1 Tbl. of flour
a few shakes of tabasco
**** 1 diced jalapeno... but if you don't want to deal with a raw pepper I like to add 1 small can of Herdez brand Salsa Casera. You can get in in a 'mild' or 'hot' heat. You could drain out a little bit of the extra water/juice and then throw it in.
Stir your spices into oil... then add flour... then onions (until brown) then cilantro - crisp it up a bit... then beef... then can of salsa once beef is brown. Add a tiny bit of water... maybe 1/4 cup just to help it all swirl around etc. and then simmer for 30+ minutes. It may be a little juicy. If you let if sit for 15 min. before serving the juicy usually goes away but if it bugs you, use a spoon with holes for drainage as you serve it into your taco shell.
Disfrutate!!!

Ingredients of Lawry's Spice Packet  Spices (Paprika, Cumin, Oregano, Chili Peppers), Onion, Salt, Lactose (Milk), Sugar, Garlic Powder, Enriched Wheat Flour [Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Cocoa Powder, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor.

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