Muffin Tin Tacos

Tacos pop up around the world in so many variations; many of them far from the authentic versions you'd find in Mexico. A warm, soft corn tortilla with fillings of any kind is hard to beat, that's for sure. For a change, though, here's a fun way to use flour tortillas, cut to size, and pressed into a muffin tin. Filled with taco meat and topped off, they're a great little baked appetizer or a tasty meal with favorite sides.

I've included a homemade seasoning blend using pantry staples and adapted to our particular tastes. It's just as tasty as packet mixes and so simple, too. Sure, we'll just claim our muffin tin tacos as Tex-Mex and enjoy with family and friends - kids will love them, too!

Muffin Tin Tacos
(12 individual tacos)

1 pound ground hamburger or shredded beef,pork or chicken
½ onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, diced
¾ cup water
Seasoning mix (see recipe below)
12 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese
Shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes for topping.

--Cook the ground hamburger thoroughly, drain and return to a clean skillet.
--In a separate skillet, saute the diced onion and jalapeno and add it to the hamburger.
--Blend in the seasoning and toss to coat.
--Heat the mixture on high and add water; reduce and let simmer on med/low for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
--Cut 4-inch diameter circles out of the flour tortillas. A standard margarita glass is about the right size for measuring and a pizza cutter gets the job done quickly. (Bake the leftovers for extra chips.)
--Wrap tortilla circles (3 to 4 at a time) in a wet paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to soften.
--Mold the circles into a lightly greased muffin tin.
--Add a layer of shredded cheese in the bottom, add about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture, then top with cheese.
--Bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF for 20 minutes.

When they're done, just pop them out and add your favorite toppings, including lettuce and tomato. Add a dollop of salsa, fresh or jarred, if desired.

Taco Seasoning Blend
(for 1 pound ground beef)

1 Tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of salt if desired


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