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National Taco Day recipes

Alicia is a freelance writer who covers everything from pets to cocktails, with cocktails being her favorite. Her loves in life include cheap wine, overpriced lattes, and avoiding exercise at all costs, all while trying to stay slim. She...

Taco lovers unite

Celebrate National Taco Day with your favorite variation of this Mexican food staple. Whether you like fish, chicken, veggies or beef, there is a taco to fit your palate.

Taco

It's National Taco Day and that calls for celebration. Not only do tacos come in an irresistible hand-held package, but their versatility makes them an instant crowd pleaser. From soft or crunchy to fish or beef, there is surely a taco out there for everyone. That makes National Taco Day just about the best holiday there is.

These carne asada tacos are courtesy of the Food Network and you can trust that those folks know how to whip up a taco. Homemade carne asada is combined with a fresh green salsa for a taste combination worthy of taco connoisseurs everywhere.

Carne asada tacos

Ingredients:

Carne asada:

  • 2 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 pounds beef round roast
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

Green salsa:

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 4 tomatillos, chopped
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted and flesh diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
  •  1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Pinch salt and freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning

Taco shells:

  • 3 cups canola oil
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 24 small flour tortillas
  • 1 small head green cabbage, shredded for garnish
  • 2 cups crumbled queso fresco for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, onions and garlic to a Dutch oven and stir to combine.
  3. In small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the beef so that it is evenly coated. Put the seasoned beef into the Dutch oven and cover. Braise in the oven until the meat is fork tender, about three hours. Remove the beef from the pot and put it into a baking dish. Shred with two forks and drizzle with some of the braising liquid to keep the meat moist. Cover with some aluminum foil until ready to serve.
  4. For green salsa: Preheat a broiler.
  5. Put the poblano peppers on a sheet pan under the broiler for eight minutes, turning every two minutes until the skins are charred. Remove the pan from the broiler, put the peppers into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them sit to allow the skin to separate from the flesh, about 10 minutes. Core, seed and peel the charred skin from the peppers.
  6. Put the peppers along with the remaining salsa ingredients, except 3/4 of the diced avocado, in a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and add the remaining diced avocado. Gently toss the salsa with a rubber spatula to coat the avocado. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.
  7. For taco shells: Bring the canola oil to 350 degrees F. in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the corn tortillas in batches until crispy but still slightly pliable, about two to three minutes. Transfer them to a sheet tray lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  8. Put the flour tortillas in a damp towel and microwave for 45 seconds on high to soften them. Arrange a fried corn tortilla onto each flour tortilla. Spoon some of the beef onto the fried tortilla, top each taco with some shredded cabbage, 2 tablespoons green salsa and 1 tablespoon queso fresco. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.

Veggie tacos

For those that don't eat meat, there is still a taco for you. This veggie recipe from Simply Recipes is sure to fulfill your taco cravings and let you celebrate along with other taco lovers.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup roughly chopped zucchini or summer squash (1-2 zucchini or squash, depending on the size)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 large fresh mild green chile (Anaheim or Hatch), seeds and stem discarded, chopped
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeds and stem discarded, minced
  • Salt
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Pinch ground oregano
  • 1 small to medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Mexican cotija cheese
  • A few sprigs of fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the zucchini, onions, garlic, green chiles and jalapeño to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and cumin. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil in the pan. Spread the veggies out in the pan and then stir only occasionally, until they are all lightly browned. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and oregano and lower the heat to low. Let gently cook for several minutes while you are preparing the tortillas.
  2. Heat tortillas on a skillet over low heat.
  3. Open the tacos and spoon some of the cooked veggie filling into them. Sprinkle on chopped cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese. Serve immediately.

Watch: How to make a spaghetti taco

This crazy (but seriously delicious) taco idea became popular on iCarly.

More taco recipes

Honey lime fish tacos with tomatillo sauce
Tacos five ways
Herradura shrimp tacos

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