Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Simple Skillet Tacos - Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This morning while the boys were eating breakfast I told them today was Cinco de Mayo. They asked what it was and I told them it's the celebration of tacos. Keep in mind, I know that Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of tacos but rather a celebration of the Mexican Army's victory against the French during the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. I told them that in honor of Cinco de Mayo I was making tacos for dinner and that they would be wearing sombreros and drinking out of margarita glasses. They were very excited about Cinco de Mayo - especially because they were just told we'd be celebrating the occasion with a taco feast. I chuckled when I left the house because my boys were so happy to think that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of tacos!

Weellll, little did I know that all three boys had Spanish class in school today. It started with Zachary who had Spanish first. Señor W asked the class if they knew what Cinco de Mayo was.  Zachary raised his hand and said "My mom said that it was the celebration of eating tacos." Señor W replied with "I think your mom might be a little confused and went on to explain what it really was." Then Tyler had Spanish class. Señor W asked the class if they knew what Cinco de Mayo was. Before Tyler answered he thought to himself - this is great my mom just told me this morning what it was - so he excitedly raised his hand with the "ooh ooh ooh I know." So Señor W calls on him and Tyler says "It's the celebration of tacos!!!" Señor W replied "that's exactly what your twin brother said" and then proceeded to say that while today is a day many people celebrate by eating mexican foods Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of the taco. Now it's Nate's turn for Spanish class. Señor W asks the class if they know what Cinco de Mayo is and Nate being the older brother and a little wiser knew it couldn't be to celebrate the taco so he raises his hand to answer. Señor W calls on Nate and says "I think I know what you're going to say." Nate says "It's a celebration of the Mexican heritage so today people will celebrate by eating Mexican foods like tacos and wearing Mexican clothes like the sombreros." Señor W responded by saying that's very close to what your brothers said earlier."

So the boys came home to tell me that I was wrong and that Cinco de Mayo wasn't the celebration of tacos, wearing sombreros and drinking out of margarita glasses. I had no idea the boys would have Spanish class today, and that the teacher would ask if they knew what Cico de Mayo was, and that each of my boys would answer the question with such vim and vigor! I thought how embarrassing for them but how embarrassing for ME! Sr. W thinks I have no clue what Cinco de Mayo is! He thinks I think it's only about eating tacos and drinking margaritas!!!!  Then I thought to myself  - Heck ya, that's exactly what Cinco de Mayo is all about! I'm proud that each of my boys stated that it's about the taco!  Because eating delicious mexican foods and drinking refreshing mexican drinks is surely what it's all about.

So to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in our house I made delicious skillet tacos. We also wore sombreros and drank milk out of margarita glasses! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had a really good laugh about what happened in Spanish class today! What I love most about skillet tacos is that its simple. All of the ingredients of the taco are heated in the skillet with the exception of the tortilla shells, lettuce and sour cream. I am a big fan of the taco bar concept, but honestly that involves a lot of bowls and a lot of mess. With my skillet taco recipe everything is in one pan, hence no mess and very little clean up. That works for me especially for a weeknight meal. This taco skillet recipe also goes well on a flour or corn tortilla, over lettuce or even served over a platter of nachos. So whether it's Cinco de Mayo or not, serve this simple, festive skillet taco dinner and your family will surely say mucho gracias!  Salute to tacos!
Add black beans, diced tomatoes and white rice to the
ground beef
Now add red onions, cilantro and lime juice 
Now add the grated cheddar cheese, stir and wait for the
cheese to melt
There you go…a one skillet taco meal!
Scoop a spoonful on a flour tortilla, a salad or tortilla chips.
Festive and delicious!
My three amigos!!!!

Simple Skillet Tacos (Click here to print)

Preparation and cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 6

  • 2 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 packages of taco seasoning, hot or mild (I used Ortega brand)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup of cooked white or brown rice (I used 1 package of boil in a bag rice)
  • 1 can black beans 
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 tortilla shells
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • sour cream* optional
  • hot sauce* optional
In a large skillet add ground beef and cook over medium heat. When the beef is no longer pink, strain the fat. Return beef to pan and continue to cook over low heat. Add the packages of taco seasoning and two cups of water and stir until well blended. Add the cooked rice, black beans, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro and stir until well mixed. Add the juice of a half of lime and stir. Add the cheddar cheese and stir. Let heat for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Add a scoop of taco mixture to a corn or flour tortilla and add sour cream, lettuce and hot sauce. Serve and enjoy.

Food Impressions;

Nate: "This is super good. I want two or three tacos." 

Tyler: "This is so good I could just eat the meat part." He ate two taco and then used the nacho chips to scoop up the cheesy beef."

Zachary: "I love this and it's fun celebrating the taco! I don't like this green stuff though." he didn't like that I added so much cilantro.

Andrea: This is one of those meals that is so easy to make and your family will LOVE!

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