Thursday, November 14, 2013


Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

Flour Tortilla Tacos
No matter what problems have plagued us on Tortuga Flats Farm, there are two words that brighten up everyone - Taco Night! Even on the great days, which are far more plentiful than the plagued days, those two words are welcomed.

We do Taco Night once a week. If Lance had his way, it would be every other night. Here's our recipe for a great family night dinner:

2-2/3 pounds organic ground beef (we buy this from Costco, comes in 3 packages of 1 1/3 pounds per pkg)
corn tortillas
fajita sized flour tortillas
ground cumin
chili powder
pink salt
grated cheddar cheese
tomatoes, chopped
various lettuce greens, shredded or torn small
avocado, slightly mashed
sour cream
El Pato tomato sauce

This will make at least twenty tacos. Truthfully, it varies depending on how much meat you like in your tacos. We love leftovers. Yes, we even eat them cold the next day. We make half the batch with corn and half with flour to accommodate all of our tastes. I like corn, Lance likes flour and Frank and Christie like both.

Cook hamburger and season while cooking with cumin, salt and chili powder. The cumin is like the secret ingredient that Christie introduced me to. I've made tacos for years but never used cumin. Love it now. Start with a couple of level teaspoons and season to taste. Sprinkle on chili powder and salt to taste. If you've never used pink salt, be careful. It's saltier tasting (but better for you!)

Heat cooking oil in a skillet. Dip the corn tortillas in hot oil on both sides to soften and set them aside on paper towels. No need to do this for the flour tortillas.

Now pile beef and cheese on the tortillas and fold in half. Fry to the desired crispness on both sides. This is the hazardous duty job. Better wear an apron and glasses. When the meat or cheese slips out of the tortilla the popping begins. As they are done, set them on paper towels to soak up the extra grease.

Once cooked, you can pile on the garnish - tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, sour cream and El Pato. We happen to think El Pato is the best sauce for tacos. If you like salsa or some other sauce, feel free to substitute. But I would give it a try if you've never had it; that is if you can find it in your state. In Arizona, every store has it. When I lived in Minnesota, I could find it at only one store.

Be warned - clean up is a chore. Even if you clean as you go, Taco Night is messy. But oh so worth it!


  1. Great recipe Brenda. We love taco night at our house too, but ours is always combined with bean burritos since we have a couple of non taco eaters in the family and I don't eat bean burritos.

    1. Oh, I like burritos. But I get so full on tacos, I couldn't do both. Good job to please everyone, Calisa.

  2. We eat tacos once a week too. My meat recipe also includes cumin--no one should cook Mexican without it!

    1. So funny I never used it but then my mom didn't so how would I know? Christie worked in a Mexican restaurant for years so she knew. And cumin is so good for you, Jannine.