My family had the awesome experience of being a host family to several foreign exchange students when I was in high school, the first of them being Bob Smith who was from Europe.
Except, his name wasn't really Bob Smith.
After trying fruitlessly to teach us to pronounce his very French sounding name correctly, he decided it would be easier for us all to refer to him as Bob Smith. So, for the duration of his time in the Wade household, he was Bob. While he stayed with us, Bob got a glimpse of American culture through dining out (what teenage male exchange student wouldn't like Hooters?), outings with the family (Sea World!), and simple day to day life (which I'm sure was quite an experience seeing as it's me and my three sisters he was dealing with).
We tried to show him what our American way of living was like, which included my parents preparing some of our favorite meals. The nights we had tacos everyone was happy. Although, more often than not, in our family taco night was taco salad night. I remember Bob watching as some of us crushed our tortilla chips into tiny little pieces, while others left them whole, then piling on the seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese and sour cream.
It wasn't until years later that I got this seasoning recipe from my older sister, nonetheless, when I use it to make taco salads I fondly remember Bob's time with us. The original recipe for this seasoning called for way more salt, which I thought was really unnecessary, and also called for dehydrated garlic, which I don't usually stock in my pantry. So, I've adjusted the recipe to suit my family's taste and I'll never go back to the packaged stuff again.
- ¼ cup dried minced onion
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- When ready to use, brown one pound of ground beef in a large frying pan. Drain grease.
- Add ½ cup water and seasoning, one tablespoon at a time, tasting between additions until you reach the amount of seasoning that suits your taste. I usually use around 2-3 tablespoons.
- Simmer for approximately 5 minutes. The water and seasoning mixture will thicken and you will be left with perfectly seasoned taco meat.
- Store in an air tight container until you've used it all up!