For a long time I used packaged seasoning mixes when I made tacos, then one day, I stopped to read the ingredients and realized that in addition to a lot of sodium, they contain many other less than desirable ingredients. So I switched to using Penzey’s Original Taco Seasoning, which is great and I still use in a pinch. I’d highly recommend it if you are in a hurry, however I prefer to make my own as you can change the amount of something suit your mood, they type of meat or your dining companion’s tastes.
I’m a big fan of Penzey’s Spices, so I always use their spices in my recipes. They are always exceptionally fresh and come in a variety of sizes; if you are lucky enough to live near one of their stores it is a fun experience to stop in and shop, otherwise you can order online from them. Shipping is free if you spend more than $30 and the spices usually arrive quite quickly.
Here’s my basic recipe, which I’d recommend with ground beef, ground turkey or chicken. This makes enough for about two pounds of meat; so this recipe gives you enough for more than one serving. It keeps will in a small airtight jar.
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp minced dried onion
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more if you prefer spicier tacos)
1/2 tsp cornstarch
Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl, add cornstarch and mix well.
When making tacos I mix 1-2 tbsp of the seasoning with a pound of ground meat, I tend to use less for ground turkey than I do for beef. Brown the meat in a large skillet; add about 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp of lime juice per pound of meat, mix well. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce slightly thickens.