Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beef Tacos with Mango Hot Pepper Salsa

Tacos. That’s what I was going for last night; a messy, juicy, concoction of beef, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and fried tortilla heaven. It wasn’t a homerun. I’ve always had a kind of love and hate relationship with Tacos. I never found my Mom’s version of Taco’s all that great. Sorry, Mom. It was always just dried beef, cheese, lettuce…boring, boring, boring. However, if I go to a Mexican restaurant and want an entrée that is what I usually order; 2 tacos, side of beans, and rice. Mexican restaurants are usually just right with their Taco concoction. It’s juicy, tons of flavor, and a big ol’ mess. This is what I was hoping to accomplish with the following recipe. The mango salsa was delicious by itself or with tortilla chips. However, the tacos were a mess; flavor and taste wise. It probably didn’t help that I burnt my first two tacos. Even though I wasn’t all that hungry, I went for a third taco hoping that if I didn’t burn it it would taste better. And, it did. I think the problem lay in the fact that the meat wasn’t super juicy and I may have cooked the beef extra-well done. I didn’t have any kind of leftover lasagna filling, so I sautéed ground chuck, cumin, and the chili powder in a skillet with a little olive oil. I think i maybe could have spiced up the beef with some minced garlic and finely chopped onions.

The Mango Pepper Salsa was a hit however. I will definitely make that again, and it would probably taste fabulous over grilled Chicken or Pork. The recipe didn’t call for topping the tacos with the mango salsa, but I did it anyway. It was okay. Perhaps this would be better in a burrito than on top of a taco. I don’t know. My dinner wasn’t the most successful, but maybe you will have better success with it.

2 cups leftover lasagna filling
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups diced fresh mango
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper
8 taco shells
1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
1 cup grated Cheddar (regular or reduced-fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (regular or reduced-fat)

I ended up making my own filling using ground hamburger meat and adding olive oil, Emeril's Essence, minced garlic clove, a tad chili powder, cumin, and some dried herbs. I cooked until brown. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the chopped mango, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Then I served my beef mixture with taco shells I got from the store. I put shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and the mango mixture in the taco shell.p>
Recipe courtesy of:

(Click here for printable recipe)

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