“ Type: Gourmet Lines „
My partner and I are always experimenting in the kitchen and looking for new dishes to cook. I am a fussy person who enjoys eating a wide variety of food, and can get bored quite easily, so the other day when we popped to tesco to do a bit of food shopping he suggested we try make Tacos for dinner. Now I am always a slightly bit suspicious of mexican food as the last time I ate it in a restauran the food was horrifyingly bad. But he persisted so none the less, we chose the lazy option and bought the box kit which contains 10 Tacos, a sachet of salsa sauce and the Taco Spice mix for adding to the mince. This costs £3.22 so was quite a good deal. The box has recommendations for what you can add inside, but we stuck to the traditional recipe of buying 500g lean mince (the recommended amount for all 10 tacos, but can buy half only 250g and do half the tacos), some baby lettuce and some grated mozzarella cheese. You can of course add vegetables like peppers or sweetcorn but we weren't too fussed so stuck to this.
The easiest way for us to make them, pretty much as instructed on the box was as follows:
1. Wash the mince and cook it in a pan in a little bit of oil: I wanted to add my own little bit of seasoning so I put in garlic, basil and paprika and cooked the mince. Once brown, then add 100ml of water and the sachet of Taco spice mix to the mince and stir until fully cooked.
2. Put the tacos in the oven face down for a few minutes. The box recommended 6, but to be fair the oven is really just to heat them up and make them slightly firm so we only left them in for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Wash and cut the lettuce into shreds. Place in a bowl.
4. The salsa sauce included in the kit, pour into a bowl for everyone to help themselves.
5. Pour the already grated (we find it tricky grating a mozzarella ball so always buy already grated mozzarella cheese.) into a bowl.
This entire process literally took about 15 minutes! I always like to let my little one help out in the kitchen so she found it fun to help wash the lettuce, and mix the mince but always on a low heat so it wouldnt spatter on her. So making it is fun for everyone!
Making the Tacos was tricky. We literally, put in the mince, then added salsa, cheese and lettuce last but everyone else would no doubt add the ingredients according to their own personal taste.
- End result -
The tacos are quite tricky to eat. They are a hard shell, almost like a large dorito crisp and the second you bit into it, it literally all falls apart! So disappointing, so if you were hoping to eat it with your hands, think again and make sure you have a plate to hand. I literally ended up eating it with a spoon, which I didn't mind, but think my partner was more annoyed as he bit into it his first, using his hands (being the greedy pig he is) and a lot of it ended up on his lap! Haha! I was disappointed as they are literally all one size so was quite difficult for my 2 year old daughter to eat. I just cut the taco into small pieces and mixed the mince, salsa and lettuce together and put the cheese on top so she could easily manage to eat it with her little knife and fork. The Taco spice mix is literally what makes this dish. It does actually give the mince a nice subtle mexican flavour but it is very succullent and my partner could smell it cooking which I think is what is most enticing about this dish. The mixture of the flavours; mince, cheese and salsa sauce is what is most delicious and I always thought of mexican food as overly spicy but this isn't at all and we all loved it!
The ingredients in the box alone are suitable for vegetarians, as an alternative it can be good to add refried beans and extra mexican toppings like guacamole or sour cream yum yum! I would most definitely make it again, and I am looking forward to adding it to my shopping basket next time we hit the supermarket! This time we bought the set, but now I feel like a pro at making this dish I will just buy the Taco shells on their own, the jar of old el paso salsa and the separate packet of Taco spice mix. I'm totally looking forward to going and experimenting! Definitely would recommend, for all to try!
I had never tried a taco before until a few years back when I saw this kit in the supermarket and thought I'd give it a try. Well now I have these at least once a week! I love them!
Inside the box you get 8 taco shells, spice mix and salsa sauce. The pack says you can make it with beef mince(or quorn mince if your veggie) but I use chicken for mine. Just cook the chicken in the spice mix and the taco shells in the oven for several mins. Serve with a nice salad with cherry tomatoes, onion, rocket and avocado, salsa sauce, light mayo with lime squeezed in it and some cheese too if you like. Once you've piled it all into your taco you have to learn the skills of eating it without it going everywhere - but to be honest thats part of the fun! Messy but completely delicious and very filling!
Quick, easy and relatively cheap to make (but remember to factor in the cost for meat, salad etc) this is great food to share with friends.
Tacos are a gorgeous Mexican meal that is can be shared with friends and family. The Old El Paso Taco kits make it so quick and simple to cook at home.
For those of you that don't know, Tacos are like giant nachos that you stuff with spicy mince, salsa, lettuce and cheese.... gorgeous!
There are different kinds of Taco kit that Old El Paso make. I am reviewing the Original Beef Taco kit which cost me about £2.97 from Tesco.com
The Taco kit contains 12 Crunchy Taco Shells, 1 packet of Spice Mix for the meat and 1 packet of Taco Salsa. All that you need to add is 500g of Mince Beef, 1 Lettuce, 2 Tomatoes and 125g of grated Cheese.
All it takes it 20 minutes and it claims to serves 3 - 4. We tend to have the whole kit between the two of us, just. If we were sharing it out between 4, I think we'd still be hungry afterwards!
The box that the kit comes in is very brightly coloured, Yellow, Red and Green, which makes it very easy to spot on the supermarket shelves. On the back there is a "Go Create" section which gives you ideas on how you can make changes to your Tacos. All the instructions that you need are on the back and they are very simple to follow.
The Tacos have a great crunch to them and the Spice Mix isn't too spicy so it can be enjoyed by everyone.
All you have to do is brown the mince and then add the Spice Mix to the mince with 100ml of water. Give it a stir to mix it all together and then all you have to do is leave it to simmer for 10 minutes! It is a simple as that!
After you've warmed up the Tacos for about 4 minutes in the oven you're ready to eat! We usually but the pan in the middle of the table with all the extras in bowls around it, then you grab your Tacos and stuff them with whatever you want! Mmmmmm
Here are those all important health details...
Each individual Taco contains,
Compared to the Fajita Kit that I reviewed before this is a much healthier choice.
Be warned though... Tacos can be very messy! As the Taco Shells are very crunchy they often fall apart once bitten in to. I love Tacos. They are so much fun!
Grab them, Stuff them, Enjoy!
I love Tacos !! I had them first when i was a child and loved them but for years i never had them but then when out shopping one day spotted them on the shelf and decided to introduce my other half to the wonder that is tacos !!
The Old el Paso dinner kit comes with the basic ingredients to make tacos
You get 12 shells,the taco spicing and also the salsa dip.The box also lists the other ingredients needed which includes 500g of mince, tomatoes,lettuce and cheese.These bits are definitely needed for the full taco experience.The kit has nice clear instructions that are easy to follow.I would advise when picking out a pack to take one further from the back as i have just grabbed some right off the shelf then got them home and found that alot of the shells are broken which doesnt make them un edible but it does make them harder to eat.
The tacos have to go in the oven and they do become crunchy so when eating expect to make a little mess so not a meal to eat out on a first date...lol
The boxes do stand out on the supermarket shelf very well, they are bright yellow and red and clearly labelled.The taco dinner kit is around £2 but alot of the time you can get special deals and more often than that buy one get one free which is great as its such a quick and easy meal to make its ideal after a busy day at work to prepare.
I have tried a few other brands taco meal kits and found that they do not compare to Old El Paso, there is a slight edge that Old el paso have that the other brands just havent cottoned onto yet.There is a standard meal kit and there is also a stand and stuff kit which on reading i thought would be excellent but its actually not for me....I found that with every bite the tacos just fell apart !! I would definitely just stick to the standard Old el paso taco kit.
Taco Meal Kits come in many forms - I actually prefer Tescos own but have used Old El Paso on many occassions.
They are socialable way to have a meal, probably taste nothing like real mexican food but are good fun.
Each pack contains Taco Shells - a sort of pancake that looks as though it has been deep fried in a pocket shape. a sachet of seasoning and a sachet of Salsa.
Its quite usual for all the taco shells to be broken when you get them out the packet but it just means you use them as a scoop rather than filling them and then breaking them.
The Seasoning varies, depending which variety you buy - my family happen to prefer the original but I always end up adding a little more of either chilli powder or black pepper and crushed mustard seed to give it a kick.
The salsa is OK - but again I prefer to make my own if I've got time.
So what else do you need to make this meal.
Firstly - minced beef, which you fry off then add the seasoning and conintue frying for another 5 minutes or so. You do not need any additional oil so it makes it reasonably healthy.
Secondly - a good mixed leaf salad for stuffing in the tacos along with everything else.
Thirdly - grated cheese - I use a cheddar that has a good flavour, otherwise you just get a mothful of fat !
I also make coleslaw using savoy cabbage and red onion which is much more interesting that shop bought coleslaw.
Everyone helps themselves and you can stuff the taco shell as full as you like - but do remember that they break as soon as you bite into them. You can use the taco as you would tortilla chips, which is especially useful when they've all broken even before you've begun.
They are a useful item to have in the cupboard when you fancy something a little different and have got the time to assemble all the goodies you need.
The Meal Kit costs around £2 plus the rest of the ingredients adn you should be able to provide a meal for 4 for well under £5.
I live in the United States in a city with a whole bunch of Mexican restaurants so it seems sort of silly to take home a few shells in a box with some meat seasoning and expect to make something worth eating when I can go to any great restaurant any time I like. The problem is that my favorite local restaurant that really had the feel and spirit of downtown Cancun recently began serving Sam and Ella with all their meals.They poisoned 38 people and I knew it was just a matter of time before the immigration Service took their revenge. The swooped in and nicked 58 employees from one chain and any good Mexican cooks split town. So for the time being a man has to make his own tacos or go to Taco Bell.
Ironically I have been buying these kits when I travel all over. I got painted up with a bunch of Latino prison gang tattoos when I was a kid. So now that I am reformed and got saved everyone still expects me to be able to make a good Taco. So wherever I go in the world I take Taco kits and Tabasco sauce (except to Mexico). I have gone to Russia on my past 5 trips and you should see the look on the customs people's faces when they open my suitcases and see food. They react like"America is a prosperous country why do you bring food to Russia where food is cheap?"
The kits travel well since the corn shells are saddled one inside the other though some do break. The flour shells are as indestructable as inedible. The spice kit to season the beef is simply too weak or too little to produce enough potent beef or chicken to fill 12 shells, hence the need for tobasco and chilli powder. The salsa they provide tastes good but the small metallic pouch it comes in is too small and hard to use.
Typically half of the shells are broken by the time I get abroad so I end up using them as garnish in what I call a taco salad. I am able to serve the corn shells straight but I like to use Sunflower oil to fry the flour shells. I put around an inch of oil in a pan and submere the shells one by one into the oil until they blister and get a few brown spots. Then I flip them over. I leave them on some paper towels to drain off the grease.
I usually use a kg of ground beef, fresh not frozen, I use the seasoning packet that is included but add a ton of onions, a clove of garlic, a little butter and about a quarter ounce of chili powder and then add about half a bottle of regular tobasco. I fry the meat until it is browned. I serve the meat along side bowls of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese (white not yellow), sour cream and black olives and a few peppers. If I feel like it I go Dahmer on some tomatoes and add onion, garlic, lots of cilantro and a touch of vinegar and tobasco to make myown salsa instead of that bland brown sauce that comes with it.
I will never forget the first time I served Tacos to my wife's family. It did not help that my wife (who had only been in America for 4 months) told everyone I was making "Taco Bells". They love spicy food and I made three batches of meat in varying degrees of spiciness as well as a bowl of spiced prawns. It was fun to show them how tacos were made and everyone got to make their own. I noticed that after the vodka was flowing that all these Russians seemed to be using my cheese and lettuce an salsa on other dishes while packing tacos, the corn ones full of beef with Carrot salad (cabbage, carrots, oil, dill). I guess it was easier to fit Russian and Mexican food together than Russian and Mexican people!!!!!
These are good kits if you are serving them to people who do not know any better but also try the Ortega brand. Do not accepttheir wor that the kit include everything you need as you will need lettuce, tomato, cram and cheese. Good luck with your feeble attempt to recreate Mexican food
I really like to eat different things for dinner each day, I try never to serve the same meal twice in one week. So last week I went and bought Old El Paso Taco Dinner Kit. I really like Taco's as they give a bit of flavour and a nice change to your normal diet. I don't like to buy the ready made ones as they seem to taste pretty bad, like they've lost their flavour whilst they've been waiting to be bought. So I like to make me own, this can take a while to find all the ingredients and make sure that I have enough of them all. So when I came across this kit in Tesco's for just £1.84 for 12 Taco's I snapped it up. I knew it was going to be good quality because it was an Old El Paso brand; I really like most of the things they make and have never had a problem with them.
The kit comes in a big yellow box with Old El Paso logo on it and Original Taco's written in big writing on the front and a picture of some very tasty looking Taco's in the bottom left hand corner. On the back there is a list of all the nutritional information and instructions on how to make the food.
Inside the packet there is: 12 hard taco shells, 1 original taco spice mix and one packet of mild original salsa. The only problem with this packet is that it doesn't contain the recommended filling of minced beef and cheese but these can be easily bought at quite a low price from most supermarkets. I only bought minced beef as I didn't feel it needed any cheese.
To make this fabulous meal you are given instructions, which are quite simple to follow. They go as follows:
Put some oil in a pan and warm it until it's hot
Add the minced beef
Cook until it is brown all over
Drain any liquid
Empty the packet of spice mix into a jug
Add 100ml of water to it and stir
Tip mixture of minced beef and allow to boil
Turn down the temperature and let them simmer for 10 minutes (uncovered)
Keep stirring and let it simmer until all the liquid is gone
Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4
Put the Taco Shells on a baking tray
Make sure they are open end down
Bake for 2 or 3 minutes
OR you can do them as I did:
Place the Taco's 6 at a time into the microwave on full power for 1 minute
Fill the taco shells with the salsa, minced beef mixture and, as the box recommends, cheese and lettuce.
As you can see it's really easy to cook these and I was finished within 20 minutes, woo!
They smell really good when they are mixed and the spiciness is clear from the smell. They do however taste even better than they smell. The tacos had a definite crunch to them which was really pleasant; I like my tacos to crunch and had a slightly salty taste to them. The filling was great; I found that the lettuce helped to cool down the taste of the salsa and spices, which thankfully weren't too hot anyway. I didn't have any cheese with this food so I can't tell you how it would taste but my husband enjoyed his cheese and said it just added to the flavour.
For those of you who want to know what's in your food, here are the ingredients. It is all vegetarian in the packet and you can choose to use something else rather mince if you don't want meat:
Corn Flour, Vegetable Oil, Salt
Tomato, Chopped Onion, Tomato Paste, Green Peppers, Water, Salt, Vinegar, Dehydrated Onion, Sugar, Onion Powder, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Guajillo Chilli Pepper, Garlic, Coriander, Cumin, Oregano, Black Pepper, Colour: Paprika Extract, Citric Acid
Taco Spice Mix:
Dextrose, Red Pepper Powder, Salt, Flavourings, Black Pepper, Cumin, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Colour: Paprika Extract
Overall I think that this is a really great product and definitely recommend it to anybody who likes spicy foods. The only downside was that it lacked the minced beef and cheese in the kit. I give it 9 out of 10.
Before reading any further into the review, I would like to point out that the ordinary taco kit is not the one Dooyoo has above. I have tried both kits, so will discuss both however.
Tacos are a Mexican food that is very popular in the United States. Those of you who have read my homemade taco recipe review will already know all about the origins of the taco and how much I LOVE tacos. I have to say, Mexican food was one thing I seriously missed when I first moved here and when the kits and tortillas and fixings began to appear, I was overjoyed.
I do love making my own homemade tacos, but like most people, quite often I am caught short of time. It is for these times I keep a couple Taco Kits and Nacho kits to hand.
In the "classic" taco kit box, you get 12 hard taco shells, a mild tomato salsa, and a packet of taco meat seasoning. In the fancier version you get 6 hard taco shells, 6 soft tortilla waps that are taco sized, the packet of mild tomato salsa, and the packet of meat seasoning (its rather like chili seasoning). You add your own cheese and choice of meat. They reccomend beef mince, but you can use shredded chicken breast, vegetarian mince, cooked lentils, turkey miince, or even finely diced pork. You also add your own lettuce, diced tomatoes and any other toppings you may wish. We like to put soured cream or plain yogurt on top of the salsa and under the cheese. The soft taco shells make a wrap sort of taco though not large enough to actually wrap closed. I have to say a much better option for soft tacos with less mess is to simply buy large soft tortillas (or make them), and make your own kit. That way, they are much less messy to eat due to the floppines of the tortilla.
Priced at £2.19, with what you have to add, this may seem steep, but to be honest, it is not. Properly filled, two tacos will happily feed a hungry adult with a little room left for a dessert. Children may wish to have 1-2 tacos depending on appetite. The salsa is quite mild, so if you like it spicy, you might wish to add jalapenos to your layer of sala as well. Feeding myself and two children with a kit on family movie night, I prepare 6 and use only half the packet of seasoning, having enough to place the remaining shells and the clipped packet of remaining seasoning into the freezer (to prevent staleness) for another quickie meal, so I find it quite economical for a "packet" meal.
As you first brown the meat and drain off any fat, and can select your own cheese, the meal is not overly loaded with fats like a pizza or burgers and chips would be. Indeed, fully half of each taco is filled with veggies, and make a great way to sneak salad into a kid's diet. We like to use a sharp cheddar, but from time to time if the deli counter has Monterey Jack, we like to grate some of this on, especially if it has a bit of peppers in.
Where to buy? Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Waitrose...basically all the usual suspects in the major supermarket leagues sell these and often there own versions as well. I find the salsa on the own versions to be inferior and sweet, so be warned. Old El Paso is quality and worth the few extra pence. If you are having guests over and need more than the kit supplies, I can tell you that you can simply add an extra tablespoon of chili powder to the meat mixture and buy a secondary pack of just the shells which are about 99 p, and a spare jar of salsa, and this will easily stretch to a cheap meal for a large group without having to resort to a second packet or sacrificing taste.
So quick meal, versatile, suitable for vegetarians by way of substitution, not overly exspensive, and very tasty. So much so, that I have to now hide the fact we are having them, or I find extra kids trying for a seat at my dinner table. Now that is a great endorsement!
I love food, eating in, eating out it makes no difference I'm totally in my element when surrounded by food. Being vegetarian I often find that most meals worked best made form scratch and tend to stay clear of many packet, ready made meals as quite frankly I can do it better myself! Indian, Thai, Italian, Greek - I've mastered them all but Mexican is one area I've avoided probably because of the fear of the unknown. Now don't get me wrong I've eaten in Mexican restaurants, drank Mexican tequila but never ventured to making a full Mexican meal from scratch. I first noticed Old El Paso dinner kits a few years back, I've often taken them off the shelf in the supermarket but instantly put them back as every box has 'Just add chicken' or 'Just add minced beef' plastered across the front and being a vegetarian they just never did appeal. Last week I was bored, bored with Indian, fed up with Thai and looking to try something new. I browsed around the shelves of the supermarket and this time took a closer look at the 'TACO DINNER KIT'. Although the main ingredient to be added was chicken or mince the box itself contained 100% vegetarian ingredients so I decided that by buying the kit I'd have a head start in creating my own vegetarian tacos. The kit itself consists of 12 taco shells, a sachet of taco seasoning and a sachet of taco salsa all packaged together in a bright yellow box, so bright that it instantly jumps off the shelve! For £1.99 it seemed a cheaper option than buying the 3 items individually. If you are a meat eater the box clearly guides you through the easy process of making chicken or minced beef tacos in less than 20 minutes. (The box recipe requires meat, water, tomato, cheese and lettuce.) Within this opinion however I am going to guide you through making a vegetarian alternative, which is equally as quick and simple to make. Refried Beans are a staple part
of the Mexican diet. I have come across many recipe s and but found that this simple variation I share here worked equally as well. For the taco filling: 4 tablespoons of corn oil 1 onion finely chopped 2 x 400g tins red kidney Beans 1 tblsp chopped coriander 2 floz water Sachet of taco seasoning (from Old El Paso Dinner Kit box) Salt & Pepper to taste. In a large frying pan heat the oil and add the chopped onion. Fry until soft but not brown. Meanwhile drain the beans and put in to a large bowl, mash with a potato masher. Add beans to the onion and heat through. Add coriander, water and taco seasoning. Simmer for around 5 minutes adding a little extra water should the bean mixture stick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It really is that simple! The taco shells should be put in a microwave on full power for 1 minute. I served the bean mixture in a bowl for guests to build their own tacos as they wished. You could therefore serve a vegetarian option and a meat option should you be catering for a mixed bunch! I served these tacos with the following condiments: Homemade guacamole Sour cream Grated Cheese Shredded lettuce Sliced Tomato Salsa (from Old El Paso Dinner Kit box) Building the tacos could not be easier, just spoon whatever you like in to the shell and you're laughing! Being crispy the corn shells held the mixture well and did not fall apart as you may have expected. So what did we think? The dinner was great and worked well as a snack meal in front of the TV. Guests were unaware that I had used any packet ingredients which I think is always the test. The taste was very authentic, certainly as good as any Mexican restaurant I'd eaten in. Granted I did cheat by adding my own twist to the recipe but this was nothing difficult. The kit easily served 4 hungry people. The Tacos were really authentic, the seasoning gave
the correct Mexican twist although the salsa was a bit of a let down. We all agreed it was very synthetic tasting and probably the only ingredient that gave the 'meal kit' game away. If you choose to buy the kit I would say that the guacamole and sour cream were the key to making this meal as authentic as it was - you can pick both up easily in a decent supermarket although I always make my own guacamole as it tastes better and you get more for your money. It does annoy me that Old El Paso don't give a vegetarian option on the packs, browsing at their other meals they don't seem recognise vegetarianism. In this day and age there's no excuse. I give this kit a 4 star rating - it received 5 stars for ease but lost a star on it's synthetic salsa and it's lack of a vegetarian friendly option on the box. This is certainly a winner for meat eaters and vegetarians alike so there's no need to make a Mexican meal from scratch.
There's something for everyone: Hard Taco, Soft Taco and Hard and Soft Taco. Each kit includes shells/tortillas, taco sauce and taco seasoning.