With these crunchy, tasty ketacos there’ll never be a reason to miss out on Taco Tuesday again!
Yield: 7 tacos
Serving size: 2 tacos
Ingredients for taco shells:
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar
- smoked paprika
- dried cilantro
Ingredients for the taco meat:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp. dried cilantro
- 1/2 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder
- salt & pepper
Directions for the taco shells:
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Measure the cheese by filling a 1/4 C measuring cup with cheese, and then drop the cheese from the cup in a small mound onto a prepared cookie sheet. Press it down gently with your fingertips.
- Space each mound of cheese about 4″ apart. The cheese will expand as it melts in the oven. You should be able to fit 3-4 cheese mounds per cookie sheet.
- Dust the cheese with the cilantro and paprika.
- Place the cookie sheet into the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese just stops bubbling (the oil from the cheese will still be bubbling,) and the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove the tray from the oven, and place on a wire rack. Allow them to cool for a few seconds before trying to handle them. They will be very hot.
- Carefully use two fingers to peel the cheese from the tray, while holding down the hot parchment paper with a metal spatula in your other hand.
- Drape the hot cheese over a taco shell mold. (See the photo below) You can find a taco mold online for $11.00 or $12.00. If you love tacos as much as I do, it’s well worth the money.
- Use a few sheets of paper toweling to press the cheese around the mold. The paper toweling will protect your hand from the hot cheese, and help blot off some of the extra oil, too.
- The cheese will harden into crispy, crunchy taco shells as they cool.
- Gently blot the shells with more paper toweling once they’re cool enough to handle.
Directions to make the taco meat:
- Place all of the spices into a small bowl. Mix to combine.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Brown the meat in the oil until it’s cooked through and no longer pink inside.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and drain the excess oil and fat from the pan.
- Pour the spice mixture over the meat. Mix well to combine.
- Add the water to the pan, and mix well.
- Cover the pan and bring the spicy water to a boil.
- Remove the lid, and mix the meat until most of the water cooks out. This will leave you with a moist, flavorful taco meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble your ketacos!
- Place some meat into each taco shell, and top with your favorite toppings. For example: onions, pickled jalapenos, guacamole, olives, sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, etc.