Adventures in Cooking From Scratch – Taco Seasoning and Tortillas!

January 23, 2012

cooking from scratch

My kids would eat tacos every night of the week and never tire of them.

They like soft tortillas with their tacos… lots and lots of them, but those things are expensive, not to mention full of all kinds of crap. Speaking of crap… there is a lot of that in store bought taco seasoning too. For a long time I thought about making my own taco seasoning and tortillas, but it all seemed too hard. In reality, it’s actually not hard at all!

So here it is, my first adventure into cooking from scratch….

Taco Seasoning

home made taco seasoning recipe

Taco seasoning is one the of easiest, most forgiving, ‘from scratch’ things I’ve ever made. What’s more, you probably have all the ingredients you need in your cupboard right now… or something else that would do just as well!

There are many great ‘recipes’ for taco seasoning online, I have pinned a few on my ‘family food’ board on pinterest, but I don’t follow any of them to the letter. Here is what usually, probably, sometimes goes into our home made taco seasoning…

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

2 tsp chilli powder – or hot paprika works ok if you don’t have chilli powder but maybe put a bit less.
3 tsp garlic
3 tsp ground cummin
3 tsp mixed herbs
3 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp flour/corn flour

Mix well and store in a sealed container. You can adjust the ingredients or amounts to your taste… Put in less chilli if that is not your thing, leave out the herbs if you don’t have any, put in less salt, or none at all if that is what you’d like. This is very forgiving but I’ve found the taco-ish flavour comes from the cumin, garlic and a little something spicy and in my opinion the salt is important too. Use as much or as little as you like!

Soft Flour Tortillas

home made flour tortilla recipe

Making your own flour tortillas is a little more work than the taco seasoning, but it’s not hard. A little time consuming, yes… but not difficult! There is no yeast, no waiting to rise, just lots of rolling out little circles, though (thanks to an enabling friend) I have been coveting a tortilla press which would make it a sinch.

Homemade Flour Tortilla Recipe

4 cups of flour – bread flour is better, but regular flour works ok too.
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of ‘shortening’ – animal fat works really well but you can also use a vegetable oil or butter
1 – 1 1/4 cup water (generally I need the extra 1/4 cup)

Combine all the dry ingredients. If you are using shortening or butter cut it into small pieces (if you are mixing by hand I’d melt the shortening/butter first). I dump the dry ingredients into my food processor with the dough attachment (which is actually terrible for kneading proper bread but ok for this) then add the shortening and set it to a medium speed as it mixes I pour the water in slowly, stopping when the dough begins to come together. I poke it a bit with my fingers and scrape down the sides of the food processor to decide if I need to add a little more water… you are looking for a firmish dough, a little like pastry dough. You can also mix by hand and knead well for a little while until you get a smooth pliable ball of dough.

If you have time wrap the dough and pop it in the firdge for 20 minutes. Cooling it will make it easier to roll out, but I never have time for that!

home made flour tortilla recipe

Divide the dough into around 12 balls, more or less, depending on how big you want your tortillas to be. (We usually make more smaller ones, so everyone gets lots). Roll them out, the thinner the better in my opinion, but by about number 5 I give up on the perfect thinness and just get them done.

Heat a frying pan to medium hotness, pop a tortilla in the pan and cook till you see it start to bubble and puff up, then flip it over and cook the other side. Place cooked tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp tea-towel to keep them nice and soft.

These are fabulous eaten while they are still warm, but you can warm them a little in the oven or microwave if you cook them a little ahead of time. Unfortunately they don’t keep well… in fact mine go hard and rather like cardboard the next day, but that’s ok because there usually isn’t any left overs anyway.

cooking from scratch Tacos

With home made ‘salsa’ (really just cut up tomato and cumber with some balsamic vinegar cause that’s what my kids like!), lettuce from the garden and loads of cheese, there is never anything left over after this ‘cooked from scratch’ meal!

Read last week’s post to find out why I am on this crazy mission to make more home made food, and stay tuned for more recipes, failures and adventures in cooking from scratch!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

alison@thisbloominglife January 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Hi Kate, I’ve just had a lovely time visiting your blog. My kids would eat tacos every night also and I laughed at the too mainstream to be a hippy and too hippy to be mainstream. That’s me to a T. Thanks for an enjoyable afternoon. Alison

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Tam January 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Yum, Kate! I have been making my own seasoning because of all the salt and crap in the store bought stuff, but I haven’t tried to make my own tortillas yet. My boys eat heaps too, so I might have to try them out next time – you’ve inspired me!

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Debbie @ Aspiring Mum January 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I’m seriously going to be bookmarking your ‘from scratch’ recipes! We love tacos and tortillas!

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Anna @ the shady pine January 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I love this post! I have often thought to try making taco seasoning and have never tried…thank you this has inspired me to give it a go finally!

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katef January 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

That was totally me….
I would see a taco seasoning recipe on pinterest and pin it… for… you know… one day. I finally got around to making it when I discovered way too late I didn’t have any store bought stuff and it was so easy, wish I’d done it much sooner!

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Amanda January 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

This is fantastic – our household is taco mad too but we usually have it as a special treat, this way it could be a normal meal. Thanks Kate!

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Meegan January 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Wow! I am so in love with my made-from-scratch pizza base at the moment, that I’m tempted to give the tortillas a go now too.
The Circus eats at least two packets of the store bought ones in a sitting, and they have quite a few nasties in there, which two of my clowns are not supposed to eat…
Plus it is heaps cheaper to make my own!
I can’t wait for your next cooking-from-scratch installment! :)
xx

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Marita January 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

Oh wow! Heidi has all the ingredients to make Taco Seasoning in the spice rack she got for her birthday (well if we count paprika instead of chilli powder).

I foresee taco seasoning cooking in our future.

Although being honest, we generally eat Taco’s without the seasoning.

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Suze January 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I have thought about trying the tortilla’s from scratch before as their not very cheap – but never followed through but this seems quite simple – I’ve decided to give it a go. I do already do a similar taco seasoning that I’m happy with so this meal is getting cheaper!

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Perspective Parenting January 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

We are a big turkey taco family and I cringe when I look at the ingredients to simple store bought taco seasoning. I am definitely going to try the seasoning, but am slightly intimidated by the tortillas. Baby steps…:) Thanks for this!

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Kelly January 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

That looks amazing! I’m so impressed!

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Annie January 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Hi Kate,

I love the homemade tortilla idea, will be trying that one soon! We’re actually having Mexican tonight. Just to clarify, you don’t add oil to the pan to cook them, do you? Yours don’t look like they’ve been cooked in oil, but I wasn’t sure.

Mmm, you’ve got me hungry for dinner now!

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katef January 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

Oh no… I should have said that I cook mine in a huge old cast iron pan so I sometimes give it a quick wipe over with some olive oil after every few tortillas, but if you were using a non-stick pan you wouldn’t need to do that at all.

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Katy February 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Yum!!

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Bex February 18, 2012 at 2:51 am

Fzntastic, thanks! I substituted one cup of white flour for whole wheat, to increase the fibre content. Scrummy!!

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Alivia February 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I made these with gluten-free bread mix (Laucke brand) and they turned out wonderfully. We haven’t had tacos in months because its impossible to find gluten free tortillas that are any good without it costing $2 per tortilla. This makes it such a delicious and cheap meal, and I can eat it too! Thanks Kate!

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Murra Mumma February 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Hi there,

Just wanted to let you know we tried your taco seasoning recipe and couldn’t believe how easy it was! And how yummy and like the ‘real thing’. The chilli knocked our socks off a bit (we too have 4 kids with a set of twins in there, boys though) and although we love the spice, the kids were not so keen. But I will just tone that down for next time – cause there will definitely be a next time! I think I will work up to the tortillas though:)

Thanks!

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Anne @ Domesblissity April 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi Kate, just checking out your recipe as recommended by Janelle from Me & Mia. I make my own taco seasoning and tortillas too but I’ll try out your recipe. I’m keen to check out all your recipes now.

Anne @ Domesblissity xx

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Terri June 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Oooo – my husband just said that he wanted to try to make tortillas. We’ll have to give your recipe a go!

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Jenn June 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Thank you for this! I can’t wait to make them!

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Clare July 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hi Kate,
Did you know that this tortilla dough also makes fabulous lavosh-style crackers? A while back I made the tortillas for burritos and had a few leftover (I know, leftovers, seems unlikely, but we are a smaller family!), so cut them into wedges and toasted in the oven. They were extremely yummy and very popular here, which set me wondering if the tortilla step could be skipped. Finally got my act together to try it today, and it works! Rolled dough out in a pasta machine, cut into rectangles, pricked with a fork and sprinkled with salt, and baked at 210ish degrees C. Yum!

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Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky September 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Wow, this meal official makes you a super mama! So fresh and all home made. Lovely.

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