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Old 07-29-2008, 11:54 AM   #1
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Tacos

Tacos can be quite cheap! If you don't mind rolling out your own tortillas (of if you're lucky enough to have a tortilla press), you can make the tortillas for pennies. Homemade refried beans are quite economical, as is rice. You can simmer some cheap meat (beef, pork, chicken, or whatever else you like) in broth, canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles, cumin, [edit] don't forget the oregano, [/edit] s&p. Toppings are up to the consumer, but I am happy with meat, salsa, sour cream, and cheese.

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Old 07-29-2008, 12:38 PM   #2
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do you have a way to add something to stretch the meat ?
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:43 PM   #3
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Good tip, tom. Tacos are relatively cheap- and tortillas aren't so pricey that I'm gonna start making my own any time soon...

Mind sharing how you do it? Maybe you'll change my mind.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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Do you have a great recipe for home made refried beans? I would love to attempt them but I am nervous :)

I make my own flour tortillas. Have yet to try to make corn tortillas. That could be delicious.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:05 PM   #5
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First, for filler

Usually I just put the beans and rice in my tacos and that's enough filler for me. However, shredded cabbage goes surprisingly well in tacos. Lettuce is pretty good too, but I find that kids don't like either of these very much. Maybe I'll think of something else later.

When it comes to making the tortillas, I have a tortilla press. However, before I had that I would roll out my own when I had time (there's the rub). For corn tortillas I just buy a bag of MaSeCa and mix with water to the correct consistency (the first time it's pretty hard to figure out if you have the right consistency, but if you stick with it you'll figure it out). If you're making flour tortillas, mix flour, salt, and either Crisco or lard with a tiny bit of water until it's close to pie-crust consistency. Then you can roll them out with a rolling pin, or smash them out using a tortilla press. Once they're pressed, cook them in a pan or on a griddle on medium for around 30 seconds per side.

Making tortillas is much less convenient, but if you make your own you don't have to buy a bag of 20 and worry about how you'll use them all before they go bad. You just mix up enough for six or so tortillas. Also, homemade tortillas taste much more fresh than store-bought.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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There are quite a few recipes out there for refried beans, but I'll give a basic rundown since I don't typically follow a recipe.

Soak the beans overnight.

Boil the beans with onion, garlic, etc (you can use water or chicken stock for this; I usually use a little of both).

Once cooked, drain liquid into a separate container.

Mash the beans with a potato masher or puree them (using a blender or food processor).

If the beans look too thick, add back some of the cooking liquid and continue to mash/puree to desired thickness. Refrigerate when done. Refrigerate remaining cooking liquid as well.

Saute some diced onion and jalapeno and minced garlic in the fat of your choice (I like to use bacon grease when I can, but also use olive oil). Once onion is translucent and jalapeno is fairly soft, add beans to pan and cook until hot. If the mixture ever gets too thick for your taste, just add in some of the refrigerated cooking liquid. Don't forget to add some salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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Refied beans are pretty simple. Here is one recipie:
Refried Beans Recipe | Simply Recipes

You can vary the cheese type or leave it out alltogether.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:43 PM   #8
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Making your own Taco shells is quite easy too.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Place each corn tortilla so that it is centered over two of the wires on the rack, placing the edges of the torillas under the other wires. Bake until they begin to turn a darker color, about ten minutes, but remove immediately, as they will burn if left in the oven any longer. - they will curl around in an upside-down 'U' shape to make perfect taco shells.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle Tom View Post
...if you make your own you don't have to buy a bag of 20 and worry about how you'll use them all before they go bad...
Uh-oh... I better clean out the fridge. I thought those things were like Twinkies, they'd last for ever!

Thanks for the great instructions. I look forward to giving it a try for my Mexican-food-loving BF. He might finally love me as much as Rick Bayless...
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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Any ideas for fillings? I was planning on using leftover ribeye meat and corn tortillas tonight.
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