“Gringo” Tacos with Pico de Gallo & Habanero Hot Sauce
I love home made Southwestern / Mexican fusion food! The hot sauce at the beginning of this recipe should be made a day or two ahead so that the Habanero infuses the juice. It was inspired by a delicious citrus habanero sauce I had at an El Salvadoran place recently.
The “Gringo” tacos title refers to the fact that these tacos are made with organic grass fed ground beef. Mexican recipes are not made using ground beef. This is a North of the Border thing. But I like it! When I cook with beef, I only buy grass fed. It’s better all the way around.
These can easily be made vegetarian by substituting Morningstar Crumbles for the grass fed beef.
This recipe features 3 separate recipes that you layer together. The great thing about making homemade El Salvadoran or Mexican food is that you can make a few basic separate things, meat, rice, beans, salsa, and then put them together in different ways. For example, the meat filling, veggies and salsa can also be combined with cooked rice, beans and cheese in flour tortilla to make a burrito. You could make these into taquitos by rolling the filling in the corn tortilla and frying it in a bit of hot oil.
You could make Taco Salad by adding all these things on top of a big bunch of crunchy lettuces, or make Nachos by layering the ingredients on chips with black beans and melting cheese over the whole thing. Either way, the same basic ingredients will make lots of great variations. I digress…
This basic recipe is for the tacos.
1) For the Citrus Habanero Hot Sauce:
(I had a similar citrus hot sauce at an El Savadoran place recently and it was so hot and yet so flavorful and fresh. It’s definitely worth adding this to your salsa recipe collection.)
squeeze 1 tangerine & 1 lime into a small bowl, add 1 tblsp olive oil, a smashed garlic clove, salt, pepper and 1 or 2 small habanero peppers, cut in half and seeded, (be careful not to touch your face when you are working with this pepper! it’s super hot!)
Let this mixture sit in the fridge overnight so the juice becomes infused with the spicy flavor of the peppers. Strain before using, unless you are brave!
2) For the Pico de Gallo:
2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 slightly firm Avocado, chopped
1 Small onion, chopped
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and minced
1 Clove garlic, minced
2 -3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Salt and peper to taste.
Combine all these fresh ingredients and gently stir, do not blend or mush them up
3) For the Meat Filling:
1 lb ground grass fed beef (or vegetarian crumbles soy product)
1 small onion or shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle beer
1 tsp Ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
pinch dry basil, fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
Chop 1 small onion and saute in olive oil. Add ground meat or soy crumbles, and crumble it around, browning all sides of the meat.
While the meat is cooking, add to it, 2 crushed garlic cloves, salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp chili powder, paprika, dry basil, chopped fresh cilantro and let all of this brown together with the meat.
Once the meat is cooked, de-glaze the pan with a 1/2 cup of beer, wine, water, or chicken stock. Just pour it right over the meat. Let the liquid in the pan simmer till it evaporates away, most of the way. You still want the meat mixture to be juicy, but not too watery. You know, like at a taco place.
Serve these tacos on soft corn tortillas which have been heated on both sides in a frying pan.