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Old 09-15-2008, 10:10 PM   #1
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Anyone have a good Taco spice blend?

My family is very finicky, they don't like onion or anything crunchy (peppers, pretty much any veggie) in their food. I make Tacos with various store bought taco mixes, I've tried Taco Bell, Old El Paso, Lawry's and one other but the name escapes me. They always turn out very bland and no one really cares for them.

Does anyone have a TNT taco spice mix?

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Old 09-15-2008, 11:10 PM   #2
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I have not made one myself, but actually looked into the other day by googling it. I actually like McCormick's Hot Taco seasoning, but after looking it up on the web, I don't know why I am paying more for the pre-packaged stuff when I can make my own. This is the recipe I'm trying next time I make tacos!
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:08 AM   #3
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Not a bad looking recipe, but for the most part it's chili powder + make your own chili powder (except with paprika where I would use spicier chilies) + salt & sugar (better to add later).

I've not made taco seasoning, but I make my own chili powder. I don't have a recipe really, I generally wing it, but here's a rough approximation:

  • 2t cumin (whole seed)
  • about 10 dried chilies - I like cayenne or thai chilies, but use what you like. Last time I made it I used a combination of habanero and chipotle. You can vary the amount according to what heat level you want, too. If you prefer less heat, puya chilies are fairly mild and have a good flavor if you can find them.
  • 1t dried oregano.
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 2t dehydrated onion (I have and use minced, but if you have powder, that should be fine too, but use less)
  • Annato is traditional, but I don't think it adds much and I think I read that it's a carcinogen, so I usually skip it.


Start by toasting cumin in a pan (cast iron is best, steel is next. Non-stick makes it take a lot longer and seems to burn the cumin almost immediately after it starts to brown for some reason), just until they darken and become more aromatic - be careful not to burn. Next, toast the chili peppers (tip for toasting chilies: put a tablespoon or so of salt in the pan with them. It helps to reduce the burning gas that's released as you toast them. Use tongs or chopsticks to turn the peppers. You want them fairly dark on most of the outside. Once the peppers cool, cut them in half and shake out the seeds.

Grind to a powder. You can use a coffee grinder (one that doesn't get used for coffee!) or a mortar & pestle. You'll probably want to do this in stages. be very careful when grinding the chilies - that powder can seriously burn your eyes. Once everything is ground mix it up. You can add salt & sugar later according to taste.

Wash your hands well after handling the chilies (I do it at least twice to be safe). If you forget, you'll regret it when you rub your eyes later.

I actually tend to make about 3-4 times this much at a time when I make chili powder, since it is a bit of a process. It loses some flavor over time, but sealed well and kept in the fridge it's still far better than anything you'll buy in a bottle a month down the road.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:37 AM   #4
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satties recipe looked good..this is the recipe I use, it makes about 2 cups and keeps well

1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dried onion flakes
1 t. dried minced garlic, or powder
1/2 to 1 cup chili powder
2 t. oregano
2 t. cumin
4 t. salt, which I have marked out, thought it didn't need it?
2 t. paprika
1 t. cayenne pepper

here is one recipe, for a single serving, that I have not tried

6 t. chili powder
5 t. paprika
4 1/2 t. cumin
2 1/2 t. onion powder
2 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:00 AM   #5
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While researching competition chile recipes, I discovered a spice packet, available in Mexican markets, called "Sazon Goya" - con culantro y achiote. I bought a large box (not realizing that it contained about a million individual packets!!)

Long story short-I grilled some skirt steak for tacos a while back, and used it to season the meat, and everyone loved it!! The ratio given is one packet per 4 servings, but I suppose you could adjust it to taste.

The way I understand it (and I could be wrong) this stuff is an "all-purpose" seasoning used in Mexican cooking. I know I'll always keep some on hand from now on!
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:08 AM   #6
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Try adding some ground chipotle powder to your taco seasoning. It will not only give it some heat but a great smokey flavor.
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring View Post
satties recipe looked good..this is the recipe I use, it makes about 2 cups and keeps well

1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dried onion flakes
1 t. dried minced garlic, or powder
1/2 to 1 cup chili powder
2 t. oregano
2 t. cumin
4 t. salt, which I have marked out, thought it didn't need it?
2 t. paprika
1 t. cayenne pepper

here is one recipe, for a single serving, that I have not tried

6 t. chili powder
5 t. paprika
4 1/2 t. cumin
2 1/2 t. onion powder
2 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
Ok, I might be trying Beth's!!!!! Hey smokeking... I'm keepin an eye out for that stuff, sounds handy!!!
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke king View Post
While researching competition chile recipes, I discovered a spice packet, available in Mexican markets, called "Sazon Goya" - con culantro y achiote. I bought a large box (not realizing that it contained about a million individual packets!!)

Long story short-I grilled some skirt steak for tacos a while back, and used it to season the meat, and everyone loved it!! The ratio given is one packet per 4 servings, but I suppose you could adjust it to taste.

The way I understand it (and I could be wrong) this stuff is an "all-purpose" seasoning used in Mexican cooking. I know I'll always keep some on hand from now on!

There are several version of Sazon available through Goya. They all contain MSG, a natural flavor enhancer.
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:13 PM   #9
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Andy beat me to it.. the Goya packets are pretty much just MSG.
I use them too.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
Andy beat me to it.. the Goya packets are pretty much just MSG.
I use them too.
MSG & annato are the main ingredients IIRC.
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