The Crunchy Taco – An American Classic

December 1, 2010

Hopefully you all know that ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheese in a pre-shaped crunchy taco shell is NOT a Mexican creation.  That particular concept is all-American (they do have hard-shelled tacos in Mexico, but the tortillas are fried fresh and kept flat, and do not contain ground beef).  For the first time since I can remember, we at the MHK feasted on them last night.  But don’t worry; we did what we could to keep it from being bland and boring.  Fresh salsa is critical – pouring on the Old El Paso just won’t cut it.  We recommend one of these quick and easy winners.  Of course if you just can’t bring yourself to use the crunchy U-shaped shell, filling a nice soft tortilla would be fine.  But it was a nice diversion from the traditional Mexican-style taco that we’ve come to know and love for so many years.  Plus who doesn’t love make-your-own taco night?  Enjoy!

The MHK’s American-Style Tacos

(serves 4)

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 shallot, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1-1  ½ lbs. ground beef

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. oregano

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

2 tomatoes, diced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

12 pre-formed taco shells

Shredded lettuce

Shredded cheddar/jack cheese


Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic; cook until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef; mix until browned.  Add the spices, tomatoes and cilantro. Stir and cook for 1 minute.  Heat the taco shells in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Serve the meat mixture in a serving bowl with the lettuce, cheese and salsa in separate bowls.  Build your own tacos and…eat!



  1. You are making me hungry! I also toss in the juice of an orange to give it an acid/citrus kick. Good stuff.

  2. Ooh, that sounds like a good idea, thanks!

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