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Terry & Dave Taylor

Oaxacan Tacos


Oaxaca (wah-haw-ka) is a state in southern Mexico, known for ancient ruins, the indigenous Zapotec people and seven fabulous mole sauces. The sauces (pronounced MO-lay) are simmered for hours to develop the flavor combination of spices, chiles and, often, chocolate. Yep. Chocolate. Oaxaca grows cacao.

This quick RV-friendly recipe is not authentic in any way. It is not simmered for hours. It only requires a few Oaxaca-inspired herbs and spices to be blended together and tossed with sauteed ground beef, lamb or even goat... and while I think about it... cooked cubed potatoes for a vegan/vegetarian version.

Oaxaca Tacos

The flavor is savory and deep, so don't mess it up with a lot of toppings on your tacos - cilantro and onion solo, por favor.

1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 or 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons unsweetened (baking) cocoa powder
pinch ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Olive or vegetable oil
One pound ground beef (5 or 10% fat)
2 cloves garlic, minced*
Juice of one lime

warm tortillas
fresh cilantro leaves
chopped red onion

Mix the salt, paprika, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir to blend. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over a medium flame. Coat bottom lightly with oil, then saute the ground meat with the garlic until just cooked through. (Drain to remove excess fat, if desired.) Sprinkle spice mixture over all, stir well to completely coat the meat with the spices, about one minute. Sprinkle lime juice over all. Remove from heat. Serve immediately in warm tortillas and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and red onion. Serves 4.

Oaxaca Tacos

Oaxacan Tacos are nice served with fresh fruit or a tomato and avocado salad.

Oaxaca Tacos

*NOTES: If you don't have garlic, add a teaspoon of garlic powder to the spice mix. If your family doesn't like hot spice, use only one teaspoon ground chipotle powder. (I use two.)

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