Memories of Taco Bell

My first exposure to Mexican food was at a local Taco Bell restaurant.

I know, I know … but it’s the only Tex-Mexican restaurant locally. I had to cross the Canadian-US border before I was able to get anything more ‘authentic’. And, since my passport has been expired for some time, I haven’t been back in ages.

My last Taco Bell visit is more recent … 2 or 3 yrs, I think.

But, I DO still eat Tex-Mex food.

This weekend, I made a batch of flour tortillas and used them for beef and bean burritos and shrimp quesadillas.

Some of the changes/tips inΒ  making the tortillas from the original recipe.

Trial 1 (10/20/2018): 1/4 cup lard, less water, made 10 8-9 inch diameter tortillas. I ended up with ~420 gm of dough so I made 10 40-42 gm balls of dough and rolled them out using as little flour as necessary to prevent sticking. My cast iron frying pan gets HOT so I preheated it over a setting of 3-4, wiped the pan with a folded paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Each tortilla was fried for a total of 1 min 15 sec … about 45 sec on the first side and then another 30 sec on the second side. Since there were lots of bubbles during baking the first side, I used the bottom of a thin metal spatula to ‘pat down’ the bubbles.

The tortillas are nice and thin and the edge was a bit fragile. A change from the sourdough flour tortillas I usually make, which are more sturdy.

Beef and Bean Burritos

Beef and Bean Burritos – makes 8 burritos, serve 2 per person

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp sauteed onion
1 tbsp dry taco seasoning mix
1 cup refried beans
1/4 cup salsa, medium or hot

8 9 inch flour tortillas

Add-ins
avocado, diced
shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack)
salsa, medium or hot
sour cream
diced green onion

In a large saute pan, preheat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and the sauteed onion and fry until the ground beef is cooked through and slighly browned. Break up the beef as much as possible. Drain off any excess oil. Add the dry taco seasoning mix and stir through. Add the refried beans and salsa and cook through until the mixture has tightened up a bit.

Warm up the flour tortillas so they’re more pliable. Add about 1/8th of the filling to each tortillas as well as any add-ins. Wrap up the bottom, and then both the sides. Enjoy

I also thawed the last of the corn tortillas from my freezer and enjoyed a few spicy shrimp tacos.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos

While firming/warming up the corn tortillas in the oven, I … lost track of time, and ended up with some very crisp (tostada type) tortillas. So, I decided to use some of them to make a copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. I used my beef and bean burrito filling in place of the meat but scaled down the Nacho Cheese recipe so it would make only four wraps.

I had to break the edges off the corn tortillas so I could wrap the flour tortilla around the package.

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme – makes 4

4 9-10 inch flour tortillas
4 corn tortillas, crisped up, or tostadas

1 recipe Nacho Cheese (recipe below)
1 cup Beef and Bean burrito mixture from above
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
4 tbsp sour cream
2-4 tbsp diced tomatoes (or salsa)

Nacho Cheese – enough for 4 crunchwraps

2 tsp butter
2 tsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
2 slices of American cheese, roughly torn
1/8 tsp salt

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Pour in the milk, a bit at a time, while whisking until you’ve added all of the milk and the mixture starts to thicken. While whisking, add in the salt and cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth.

Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla

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15 thoughts on “Memories of Taco Bell

    1. There are soft and hard tacos .. fillings are more chunky/dry than with burritos or enchiladas, I’ve found. They’re a nice change of pace from the usual if you go to Taco Bell. A friend used to take advantage of the 10 for $10 taco sales … back in the day. πŸ™‚

      1. If you DO visit a ‘real’ Mexican restaurant, try/order the tamales. Good ones are amazing. Bad ones are just … sad.

        And order the tripe soup (menudo) if you want to try something truly Mexican. It’s tasty if properly prepared. The only time I ever tried it, the broth was so greasy, I was turned off by it. The fact that it was beef stomach was incidental.

  1. Your tortillas look great! I have everything for more crunch wraps, too. I just love them! I need to get around to making them again. Got distracted with Thanksgiving stuff…

    I had the same problem with the corn tortillas and the flour tortillas. I tried breaking them off, too, I also tried cutting a circle of one flour tortilla and putting it on the top of the crunch wrap and then folding the big flour tortilla over it. I had all that extra tortilla that I was forced to turn into chips and eat with the rest of the nacho cheese sauce, lol!!

    1. Being frugal can be fun too … I bought 2 whole fresh chickens today (3 day weekend ahead) and am racking my brains for something new/fun to do with all that meat. Right now, pulled chicken for red or green enchiladas are calling to me.

      1. And that right there is why “Cooking is Fun….Really!” I can’t imagine a life where I wasn’t able to think of something and then make it, if you know what I mean. πŸ™‚

      2. I do. I am fortunate to be able to cook to please only myself. And, perhaps, that’s why I find cooking to be … fun. So many people I know seem to find cooking a chore which they do reluctantly.

      3. I get it! My ex husband would not eat onions in anything. It was awful, Then my son came back from a visit with him when he was about 8 and refused to eat anything with onion. My ex thought it was funny that he set my son up for a life-time of that crap. Now at 27 he’s just starting to not mind onions…Cooking for picky or critical people can be so life sucking.

      4. Both my parents and I had our little idiosyncrasies when it came to food. My mom did her best to accommodate us for most of her life. When she came to live with me after my dad passed, she said she was happy to eat anything I made. In fact, bean soup was probably the only thing she wasn’t that fond of. That’s because for the previous 2 yrs my dad had done most of the cooking and it was the only thing he really knew how to make. So, he’d make a pot and they’d eat it every day for a week. Constantly. I made/served it about once a month after that … cause I actually LIKE the stuff (made it with smoked ham hocks or smoked picnic shoulder ham). I introduced her to a few new things (like salmon) and she actually enjoyed them. It made me very happy to be able to cook for her for a change after all the years of having her cook for us.

      5. I love bean soup, too! It must be so nice to have those memories. Taking care of my folks for the time I did was challenging, but it was fun to get to know that as adults in a way I don’t think I ever did on our holiday and vacation visits!

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