Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Turkey Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Turkey Tacos

Who doesn't love taco night? I mean you can put whatever you want in these taco shells and it always ends up good. Pretty quickly they get so packed you have to roll them up like burritos but that's no biggie. I have even recreated the double decker taco which is a soft shell with refried beans laid on the outside of a hard shell. There are a million variations of this. This is what I would consider my base recipe for the meat which can be altered but will get you away from that seasoning they sell in a packet. Also I have added recipes for my quac and salsa which take these to the next level.

Now I went on this turkey kick for a while and one of the things I stuck with was using ground turkey as the meat but you can use ground beef or chicken if you want. Just make sure that it's not ground turkey breast because that stuff comes out super dry. Also feel free to experiment with the peppers you put in the salsa depending on how much heat you like. You can leave the seeds in for more burn if you want. I kind of let the veggies speak for themselves here. One more thing you don't have to fry the shells it just gives you some nice flavor and makes them look really cool. Hope you enjoy them.

** Tacos **
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 pounds ground turkey (not ground turkey breast)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- salt and pepper
- sliced lettuce
- shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 inch taco flour tortillas
- oil for frying (optional)
- pico de gallo (recipe follows)
- guacamole (recipe follows)

The Process
1. If making your own guacamole and salsa, do those 2 things first and place in fridge while you do the following steps. They are located below.
2. In a large skillet add the oil and turkey over medium heat using a spatula to break up the turkey the best you can. When all the meat is done cooking, about 10 minutes, drain out the fat using a collinder. Return the turkey to the pan over medium heat and add the chicken stock, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, pepper flakes and oregano then season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer then reduce to low and continue cooking until all the juices have soaked into the meat stirring occasionally.
3. While the meat is simmering bring 1/4 inch of oil to medium temperature in a large fry pan. Place one tortilla at a time in the oil popping the pockets as they appear in the tortillas. When the side down is golden brown in places, flip and do the same thing. When the other side is done, remove from pan and dab both sides with a paper towel then place on a plate covered with a towel to keep warm or a tortilla warmer if you have one.
4. When meat is done you are ready to assemble your tacos. Take a shell and place in the hot taco meat, then cheese, then lettuce the complete with the pico de gallo. Serve with black beans and spanish rice found here and garnish with the guacamole.
5. Enjoy.

** Pico de Gallo **
- 6 tomatoes, stem, core and seeds removed, then diced
- 2 jalapenos, stem and seeds removed, minced
- 1/2 small red onion, minced
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- salt and pepper

The Process
1. Combine tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and vinegar in a bowl stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper and place in the fridge until ready to use stirring occasionally.
2. Enjoy!

** Guacamole **
- 2 avacados
- 2 tomatos, stem, core and seeds removed then diced
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- salt and pepper

The Process
1. Take the avocados, remove the skins and pits and place in a bowl making sure to save one pit. Take a potato masher and mash up the avocados until you have the consistency you desire. Then add the lime juice, cumin and cayenne and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Add the reserved pit (this will keep it from turning brown) and place covered in the fridge until needed stirring occasionally.
2. Enjoy!


  1. Wish I would have seen this post last night...last night was taco night. I am not a ground beef eater but there is something missing in the taco meat and I was trying to figure it out! I think I was missing the "simmering" step! Never thought about that before, I would just cook up my turkey meat and it was somewhat dry. I'll use this next time, thank you.

  2. Chi Chi you are so welcome make sure to let me know how they turn out. Take care.

  3. Ok Christian...I have yet to try a recipe but I will soon. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to cooking. I'm afraid I will ruin the dish and waste all the money I spent on ingredients! But I love tacos so this is a good place to start. I'll let you know how it goes very soon!

  4. Awesome Rebecca and when you do make sure to let me know how they turn out. Thanks for looking.

  5. I finally tried it! I think I've decided I'm not a huge fan of ground turkey but it still came out well! I think next time I'll do ground beef or something. My rice was a little bland...was I supposed to mix it with the beans? But the next day, I was in a hurry so I made a quick burrito and I put the beans, mexican rice, pico de gallo, and guacamole into a tortilla and took it to work. It was so dang good! I have a friend that is a vegetarian and I could totally make that meal for her and it would taste great! I'm going to make the tortilla soup next!

  6. Hey Rebecca thank you so much for giving this a try and also for the feed back. I will work on the rice maybe I didn't write down enough salt or something so I will definitely keep working on that. Also the burrito idea is exactly what I do and it's always awesome. Thanks again and let me know how the soup turns out.

  7. Christian, I'm such an idiot. Come to think of it, I don't think I added ANY salt to the rice. I was in a rush. Have you seen the show Chopped? I felt like I was on that but I had a recipe to follow! Like I said, I get intimidated easily in the kitchen. I'll make this recipe again for sure and I won't forget the salt again.

  8. Hell yes I watch chopped those baskets are insane sometimes. It's all good and to be honest this recipe has a ton of things to do at the same time so don't sweat it. The soup will be much easier and if you don't want to make the stock yourself, just use chicken broth from the store and buy one of those roasted chickens from the deli and use that. Much easier.