Good cooking for the police officer in your life ...
Food that tastes good right when you make it and as leftovers when your officer finally gets off shift.
Cooking when you have a police officer in the family can be difficult! Even if you are fortunate enough to have your officer on a day time schedule the chances that he will actually get to eat dinner with you and the family are rare. My officer, Officer Hottie, works day shift but still doesn't get home until about two hours after we've eaten dinner so the meals I make need to taste good cold (as he is usually starving the second he walks in the door) and reheated (since I try to make enough to send with him to work the next day).
I hope you can find some meals here that your family will enjoy as much as ours.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tacos and Shells
Tacos and shells? Seriously? TACOS AND SHELLS? That's as creative as you get?
Come on! Give me a chance! I gotta tell you, you ain't had tacos until you've had my tacos! Ok that's not even close to true. My tacos are sub-par BUT the shells...oh baby. This shell recipe was passed down from my mother-in-law and I'm pretty sure she got it from Hottie's paternal grandpa but I could be lying.
I'm not going to tell you how to make taco meat. That's pretty basic. I'm sure even college students can brown some meat and throw in some taco seasoning. The one thing uniqu-ish about my taco meat is that I usually add a can of drained black bean, 1/2 c of peas, 1/2 c of corn and a shredded carrot when I add the taco seasoning. It adds veggies for the kiddos so when they don't want lettuce or tomatoes on top I feel ok that they are still getting something fairly healthy.
Hottie's family calls these taco shells "Corn Tortillas" but they are larger and floppier than what a "real" corn tortilla would be. They are delicious and honestly, you will loathe the store bought stuff once you've tried them.
You will need ...
1 c whole wheat flour (all-purpose works fine too)
1/2 c corn meal
1 T chili powder
1 1/2 c water
Using a wire whisk mix everything together.
The batter should be runny but not watery. You don't want it to be too thick or your shells will be more like pancakes. You can add more water if you need to.
Spray a little non-stick spray onto a non-stick pan and put the pan over medium heat.
Using a 1/3 c measuring cup pour batter into the middle of the pan. Then turn the pan a few times to get the batter to spread, trying to maintain a circular shape. Good luck with that.
(Wow...it's time to get serious about scrubbing my stove top.)
You will know the shell is ready to flip when it stops looking "wet" on top and the sides start to come up off the pan slightly.
Now, here's the thing. The first shell usually gets messed up. I've been making these for nine years, and Hottie even longer than that, and almost every time the first one sucks. There's either too much spray on the pan, or not enough, or the batter is still too thick, or the heat is too high. Don't get discouraged if the first one doesn't quite turn out the way you want it too ... they'll get better!
Let it cook for another 45 seconds before you remove it from the heat.
Put it inside a kitchen towel to keep it warm while it waits for something fabulous to fill it up.
Now come on. Isn't that a good looking taco? These shells are awesome. They are a little bit flimsier than their cardboard counterparts you'll find at the store so they can frustrate young children, but as long as you don't overfill them you should be ok. How do I know? Here's my proof ...