Even with about a month of summer left, I am feeling the dinnertime crunch. Our summer vacation to the Jersey Shore seems like a distant memory as a couple of my kids are starting practice from their fall sports. My personal chef business occupies a good chunk of my time, and the general summer activities are in full swing. With some family members eating at 5 p.m., others eating at 6:30 p.m., and a couple stragglers eating at 8:30 p.m., I have had to buckle down and plan dinner.
Tonight's Taco Bowls are a variation of the average taco. The cardboard tasting taco shells from the grocery store don't excite me. Neither does the spice packet to season the taco meat. The kids helped me experiment with making our own tortilla bowls while I made a batch of Mexican-spiced ground turkey for the filling.
The tortilla bowls are easy to make, but take some time. I highly recommend them though because the superior taste beats the boxed version hands down. Here is what a tortilla bowl looks like before going in the oven --
And here it is when after baking for about 8 minutes in the oven --
The baked tortilla bowls are filled with seasoned ground meat, shredded lettuce and cheese, diced tomatoes, Mexican rice, and sour cream. The tortilla bowls, seasoned meat, and toppings can all be made earlier in the day when you may have a few minutes to spare. Stash the baked tortilla bowls in resealable bags and the remainder of the fixings in the refrigerator. Dinner will be waiting for you instead of the other way around.
My Oldest ate two failed tortilla bowl attempts for lunch. I am assuming she enjoyed them. My Middle One ate the "filling" out of her tortilla bowl and then refilled it. She is my "green" kid and is into recycling. I have to say the tortilla was one of my favorite parts of the meal. And don't think that the peanut butter in the recipe is a mistake. It really adds just the right hidden flavor to make the meat taste authentic.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package ground turkey - about 1 and 1/3 pounds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons diced green chilis - the ones in the little cans
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
10 flour tortillas - 6-inch ones
Shredded cheddar cheese
Mexican Rice - I cheated and used the packaged kind
Heat a medium-sized saucepan to medium high. Add oil and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add coriander, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the onions are softened, but not browned. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned - about 6 - 8 minutes. Add tomato paste, diced green chilis, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the tortilla bowls, spray a tortilla with cooking spray. Form a tortilla to the inside of a small, ovenproof metal or glass bowl that is about the size of a large coffee cup. Top with another small bowl and gently press down. Bake for about 4 minutes. Remove the top bowl and continue to bake the tortilla bowl until slightly browned, about 3 - 4 more minutes. Carefully remove from oven and put tortilla bowl on a metal rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
To make a Taco Bowl, fill a tortilla bowl with shredded lettuce, seasoned meat, cheese, Mexican rice, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.