Let’s talk tacos for a minute. In my world there are two types of tacos the authentic real tacos that I am lucky to find all over LA and then there are the tacos I grew up eating. Let’s call them gringo tacos. They almost always included ground beef, shredded iceberg, crispy taco shells, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, that weird taco sauce that comes in packets, and in my house the crowning ingredient lots of chopped pickles. Not a taco I think you could find anywhere in Mexico, but a taco I love and a taste of home.
Recently I had a serious craving for these tacos and this was the result. Crispy, crunchy American taco goodness bubbling with melted cheddar cheese and stuffed with pickles. They are really delicious, like really really delicious. And for those of you in LA, they mirror the crispy deep fried pockets of gringo taco joy they serve at Malo, just a touch healthier. Yum.
Baked Crispy Beef, Cheddar, and Pickle Tacos
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- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp. paprika
- 1/2 tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 8 U corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped
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Mix together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, salt, pepper, and cayenne to create the taco seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray.
Brown the beef in a skillet until cooked through. Drain any excess fat. If you like you could add vegetables during this step. Diced onions, diced red and yellow peppers, or diced zucchini would be delicious.
Whisk together the water and cornstarch. Add to the pan along with the taco seasoning and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes until sauce thickens.
Microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds to one minute until nice and soft.
Line up corn tortillas and sprinkle 1/2 of the tortilla with cheddar cheese.
Top with about 1/4 cup of beef mixture. Make sure to not overfill or they won’t close. Top with pickles and remaining shredded cheese. Fold over the tortilla. If needed you could place another baking sheet on top to hold down the tortillas, but I didn’t need to.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until they begin to brown. Flip over and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
Serve with your favorite salsa, guacamole, and/or light sour cream.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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