Because I’m a food writer people ask me all the time, “What’s your favorite food.”
Last week, I was traveling and met some new people. After a go around with introductions, the conversation turned to professions, “What do you do for a living?”
Sometimes, when I don’t feel like having a long conversation about food, I’ll tell them my second favorite food—tacos. It ends the conversation abruptly. No questions are asked. They’re thinking, tacos? Really? I can see the wheels turning as they try to understand—you must be a boring food writer/recipe creator. No, I just REALLY like Tacos (and pizza, but that’ll put them over the edge).
If I can tell someone is truly interested, I tell them my number one food. It’s usually a surprise to those that don’t know me. My all-time favorite food is a dish with turmeric chicken, sumac, lime, and a basmati rice tahdig (no that’s not a misspelling), but it’s labor-intensive so I only make it once or twice a year. I’d love to food-geek out on them and tell them more, but I hold back.
I think people are curious because we all eat. Everyday. Three times a day or more, if you’re like me. I love my midmorning snack or my second after-dinner dessert. People wonder because if I can cook and bake anything myself, I must do something different from them. Nope. I’m the same.
Food is one thing that ties us all together. We may vote differently—but guess what, we all eat—every day—and maybe we eat the same thing? It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear or the color of your hair, we all eat. We could disagree on million different topics, but yet we both could love tacos or ice cream or cake. We do have common ground with each other if we try and look for it. Food is one way to find those commonalities.
We may not agree on everything, but maybe we can celebrate the fact that we both love tacos?
Pan-Fried “Peace” Tacos (Crunch Wrap Supremes)
1 lb. of ground beef
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vinegar
4 Tbsp. butter
8 small tortillas
2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped lettuce
4 hard shell taco shells—prepared per box instructions and broken in half
1/2 cup queso
1/3 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, flour, cumin, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and brown sugar; set aside.
In a large skillet over medium/high heat. Cook the ground beef until browned. Add the spice mix; cook for 1 additional minute and add the water and vinegar. Cook for 3-4 more minutes; set aside. Layout all 8 tortillas and spread one side with 1/4 cup of the beef mixture and 1 Tbsp. queso, then place a half of the broken hard shell on top, and spread with 1 Tbsp. sour cream and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold each tortilla in half; set aside.
Heat a large non-stick griddle or non-stick frypan over medium/low heat. Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter over the surface and place a filled tortilla on the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Add more butter to the skillet for the other side and cook for 2 more minutes until the tortillas are golden brown, and the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining tacos. Add lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce (optional) to the inside of each taco and serve immediately.
Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes by emailing her at email@example.com.