Easy Tacos & 2-Ingredient Tortillas Recipe

This crew recipe is by our Office Administrator, Tosha:

It’s no secret that “The Daytripper” crew loves to eat good food across Texas.  And y’all know the Lone Star State has some of the best food in the country. There’s BBQ, Tex-Mex and then there are TACOS. Who doesn’t love a taco or two? Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, my family loves tacos anytime of the day.

Tortillas

As a child, I remember my mom waking up early during the workweek to make handmade flour tortillas for our family. They were the melt-in-your-mouth kind and they were THE BEST.  I will never be able to replicate my mom’s recipe as only she has the magic touch.  However, I can promise you a delicious homemade corn tortilla with only two ingredients. Yes, I said TWO ingredients.

Tortilla accessories1

First, you’ll need a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina, 2-cup glass measuring cup, tortilla press and plastic wrap to cover both sides of the press.  

Tortilla and water

Measure 2 cups of Masa Harina and pour into a medium sized mixing bowl.  Add about 1 ½ cups hot water to the Masa Harina and stir with a spoon to the right consistency.  

Tortilla in ball1

Once stirred, shape the mix into one big spongy ball.  

Tortilla on press1

Form a ping pong ball-sized tortilla and place on the wrapped press.

Pressed tortilla1

Press down to form your first tortilla. Repeat this step until all of the tortillas are pressed. You should have close to 18 tortillas total.

Cooked tortillas1

We prefer to cook the tortillas on our round cast iron griddle. Set your stovetop temperature to medium and allow the cast iron griddle to warm before you throw on the first tortilla. No need for butter or oil — just cook the tortillas for 2 minutes on each side. Our griddle allows us to cook three at a time.

You now have tasty tortillas for your tacos. You can stop there or continue to make a full taco with my Crock-pot pinto beans and fresh sauteed veggies recipes below. 

Crock-pot Beans

Mixed Veggies and Beans1There are no beans like Crock-pot pinto beans. They’re a staple in our house and are super easy to make. All you need is a 1-2 lb bag of dry pinto beans (depending on how many people you’d like to feed). Put the desired amount of beans in a colander, rinse well, and put them in the Crock-pot.

Add two garlic cloves minced, a few twists of pepper and cumin for flavor. Stir well and add enough water to cover the beans. Cook the beans on low for 6-7 hours. And the best part is you can freeze the leftovers!

Sauteed Veggies

Sauteed Veggies1Fresh veggies are a big deal at our house. I have two growing boys and good nutrition fuels their bodies. Get ready to cook up zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and a yellow onion for that tasty taco. Don’t forget to season with garlic powder and pepper. You can either saute or grill the veggies, your choice.

Taco plate1

You can combine veggies and beans into tacos. That’s what we do!

I love making real food for my family and the faster, the better. In fact, leftovers are a huge win, too! But there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal.

 

Tosha’s Tacos

Tortilla Ingredients

Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina
2 cups Masa Harina
1½ cups hot water
Tortilla press (or a flat glass bottom pie dish to make perfect circles)
Plastic wrap (to cover top and bottom of the press)

Instructions

1. Combine water and Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Once it reaches desired consistency, shape into a large spongy ball.

3. Form a ping-pong sized ball and place on plastic-wrapped tortilla press. Press down to form tortilla. Repeat process using up all the dough. Recipe makes about 18.

4. In cast iron griddle, cook tortillas on medium heat for 1-2 minutes each side.

 

Crock-pot Pinto Beans Ingredients

1-2 lb dry pinto beans
2 garlic cloves (minced)

½ tsp to 1 tsp ground pepper (we prefer fresh and twisted)
1-2 tbsp cumin

Instructions

1. Combine rinsed pinto beans, pepper, garlic and cumin to Crock-pot.

2. Stir well and add enough water to cover beans.

3. Cook beans on low for 6-7 hours.  Add more water, if needed.

 

Veggies (Sauteed or grilled) Ingredients

1-2 zucchini
1-2 yellow squash

1 bell pepper (any color)
½ or whole yellow onion
¼ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

1. Chop up all of the raw vegetables and sauteed with 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan or grill, if desired.

2. Fill homemade tortillas with sauteed or grilled veggies and pinto beans.

Additional add-ons for your taco:
Cilantro
Cheese
Sour cream
Guacamole
Linsey’s Salsa

 

Let’s Salsa! …And Make Some Too!!

If there’s one thing that applies to every Texan, it’s that we love to have a good time and we love to eat delicious food! So, here on “The Daytripper” blog, we’re on a mission to provide you with recipes that’ll accomplish both!  Chet has already given you the greatest dessert recipe: his famous Texas Sheet Cake recipe that gave us all the best kind of sugar highs, so I’m continuing our Texas recipes with my favorite salsa (although my mama calls it hot sauce…)

Now, if your family is anything like mine, salsa is a crucial part of any meal (Tex-Mex or not). Growing up in Texas, I learned salsa is not a garnish…a Texan uses salsa like gravy or ranch dressing…on EVERYTHING. I first fell in love with this salsa at a college friend’s family gathering in West Texas, and immediately knew it would meet the high-held salsa standards of my family, so I grabbed the recipe and ran. It is now a beloved member of every family gathering.

Hands

And the best part? Not only will it make you look like a pro chef at every gathering, but it’s extremely easy. All you need are these ingredients and a food processor or blender. It’s super customizable so you can tweak the spice level to what you like.

Ingredients

First, cut one-fourth of a medium onion in 1/4’s and add to the food processor. Then cut a jalapeno into fourths and add to the processor as well. Since some members of my family can only handle a little heat, we use one medium jalapeno and remove the seeds. However, if you’d like a lot more fire in your salsa, get a bigger pepper and use the seeds. Or if you would like to completely burn off your taste buds like Chet likes to, add 2 or more peppers into the processor to kick things up.

Jalapeno_Onion

While making this in college, I absentmindedly rubbed my nose after cutting the jalapeno and it BURNED like crazy. I had to rub butter in my nose to quell the burn and it was an altogether awkward moment for my roommates and I…so now, to avoid unpleasant burning and butter-usage, I use the produce bag to hold the pepper as I cut it and I suggest you do the same.

Jalapeno_Bag

You can use a blender, but my family likes our salsa more chunky so we use the food processor. You’re only going to pulse it maybe 3 or 4 times at this point, just enough to lightly chop the jalapenos and onions.

Next add both cans of tomatoes to the food processor and then add the garlic salt, cumin, sugar and a dash of salt. You can substitute one roughly chopped garlic clove instead of garlic salt or add fresh cilantro into your salsa if you want.

Processor_Top

Pulse the food processor a few times and check the salsa occasionally to see if it’s at the consistency you want. It chops up pretty quickly, so be sure to keep checking to see where it’s at.  Once it’s at the consistency you want, taste it to check the spiciness…and try not to eat it all right there, you do want to share it with others don’t you?

TasteRemember that as it sets, the flavors will combine and the spice will heat up. If it’s too spicy, add salt to cut it down. I find that it tastes best if you make it a day or two before you want to serve it, so the ingredients have time to meld. It will last two weeks, but let’s be honest, it never lasts more than two days in my family.

Salsa

Enjoy the salsa with your favorite chips and your favorite people!

Daisy

DISCLAIMER: Daisy did not have salsa on her chip!

 

LINSEY’S SALSA

Ingredients

1 med. jalapeno (seeded and chopped)
1/4 med. yellow onion (chopped)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (10 oz.)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (14.5 oz.) – do not use diced tomatoes
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. sugar
Dash of salt

Instructions

1. Chop the jalapeno and onion into fourths and add to the food processor.  Pulse 3-4 times to lightly chop.

2. Next add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor.

3. Pulse ingredients together, occasionally checking salsa, until it reaches the desired consistency.  We like ours chunky. Add more salt or spices to taste.

4. Pour into a large jar and cover. Chill salsa until served. Refrigerate leftovers (if there are any…) Makes about 3 cups.

Enjoy!

The Greatest Texas Sheet Cake EVER! Recipe included…

Let’s be honest, one of the best things about Texas is the FOOD!  So we’re gonna try something new here on the blog and that’s to share some of the most Texan recipes of all time and our experience preparing them.  It may be one of our family favorites, or it may be something we’ve never attempted before.  We may succeed, or we may fail miserably.  Either way, we hope it makes you appreciate the rich food culture of Texas and makes you hungry for some Texas cuisine.

To kick things off, we’re skipping past the main course and jumping straight to dessert.  One of the most decadent, delectable, and desirable desserts of all time –  TEXAS SHEET CAKE!!!!

Cake

It’s that delicious, chocolaty, fudgy cake smothered with that insanely rich chocolate icing and pecans…oh, the pecans!  You know it and you love it.  

For as long as I can remember, my family has called it “Grandma’s Chocolate Cake.”  It’s been at every family holiday, every birthday, and every graduation party since the beginning of Chet (which is to say – as long as I can remember).  My wife’s family calls it “Groom’s Cake” and, yes, it was served as the groom’s cake at our wedding.

Recently my wife and I set out to compare a few recipes and try to pin down the perfect one.  We started with 4 similar, but slightly different recipes – my family recipe, Laura’s family recipe, Pioneer Woman‘s recipe, and Texas Monthlys recipe.  Turns out, it isn’t the easiest recipe!  

Recipes

Ingredients

But after reading, testing, tweaking, and eating – we think we finally figured it out.  So, Texas Sheet Cake has 3 main parts (dry mix, wet mix, icing mix),  and each of these parts has its own recipe.  

Bowls

You essentially dump all the “dry mix” ingredients into the mixer and turn it on.  It’s easy to do by hand, if you don’t have a froo-froo pink mixer like my wife.  

Blender

For the “wet mix” ingredients, you melt the butter, boil the water and then add them all together.  

Butter

Once you have those two major components done, you ever so gently, mix the wet mix into the dry mix.  

 

You stir it up.  Taste test some with your finger (of course) and then pour it all into an ungreased sheet cake pan.  

Chocolate Pour

You bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  While that’s happening, you prep the icing.  Once the cake is baked, you’re ready for the best moment of all (other than the first bite).  It’s the moment when you pour the icing over the warm gooey cake.  

 

NOTE: We have some people in our home who don’t like pecans in sweets — I call it crazy, but anyway — instead of putting the pecans in the icing for even distribution, we cover half the cake with the pecans and pour the icing on top.  It keeps them separate and keeps my family happy.  

Once that’s all done, you eat it!  Enough said.  We didn’t get pictures of eating the finished product, because we were too busy devouring it to pause and take pictures.  Trust me, it was amazing.

Finished Cake

Enjoy, here’s the full recipe.

 

RECIPE

DRY MIX
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon (this is critical to add a dash of Mexican spice and a truly “Texan” flair)
1/2 tsp salt

Blend all these together in a mixer if you’ve got one, but mixing by hand works too.

 

WET MIX
2 sticks butter (unsalted)
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt the butter, then add the water and cocoa powder.  Mix the other ingredients separately and then add them to the butter mixture. When this “wet mix” is done, add it to the “dry mix.”  You can then stir it up and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

 

ICING
1 stick margarine
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
6 Tbsp milk
1 box powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla

While the cake is baking, melt the margarine and then add the other ingredients.  When the cake comes out, pour the icing over the cake while it’s still warm.

FINALLY, ENJOY!