Benjamin's Spicy (Whatever's in the fridge) Tacos
If you're here looking for a step by step recipe, then you've never met me in the kitchen!
Alright, before we get into it, let's get some things out of the way.
Why cooking? Why post any kind of recipe if I don't measure or know what I'm doing? I find there are many different tasks that can help stimulate the brains of people with Cognitive Disabilities. I'm trying to fill my life with these tasks, and just want to show other people you don't need to be an expert, or have a "marketable" level of skill in a craft. The important thing is to have fun, and enjoy what you like doing.
I love cooking for my wife, and want to cook for others that I care about. Since we've moved in together, I've grown a lot in the kitchen, and I just have fun! (As Brad Leone from Bon Appetit would say, just riff while you cook!) So I'm going to post some things that I cook along the way, and hope I inspire others. To do this (and for my own sanity) I won't be putting amounts I use for the things that can be "riffed." Feel free to remove, or add anything you want, have fun!!
What I used:
1 Package of lean ground pork (Cheaper than ground beef)
6 Soft Shell Tortillas
1 Old El Paso Taco kit (Okay, stick with me here)
Sliced Strips of Yellow and Red Peppers, and white onions
Shredded Marble Cheese (Any cheese you want really)
Club House Lemon and Herbs
Club House Parmesan and Herbs
Ground Black Pepper
Cooking Oil (I use Olive Oil)
So to start, you'll want to grab a pan, make sure it will have enough room for all of your vegetables, and the separated ground pork. You won't have to worry about them being together in this pan! Pour your oil into the pan, I would say enough that all the veggies will be submerged up to their ankles. (If they had them) Bring your burner up to a low-medium heat, and once it feels right, throw those veggies in.
Thankfully, my amazing wife pre-slices all of our veggies, so I used about enough to fit flatly across the whole pan. Let them sit in the lower heat, now mix together a sproozle of the Lemon and Herb spices, a small sprizzle of Seasoning Salt, a pinch of the Black Pepper (I'm not a huge pepper person, but it helps balance out flavour) a hefty helping of paprika, and finally a druzzle of Garlic Powder into a small sauce bowl. Shake the spices together, and shower about half of the mixture on top of the vegetables.
Now you'll want to bring up the heat, to medium-high, and use tongs or something to move those veggies around, let them coat in the oil and initial spices. You'll want to do this until they start to soften, while they're cooking, spray some Sriracha sauce over top all of the vegetables. You will be adding more later, so don't worry about adding too much here.
Now shower the rest of that spice mix on top again. Mix them again like you did the first time. Next have some fun, if you prefer still having a crunch to the veggies, or like them being very soft, it will all depend on how much longer you keep them on. I kept them on for a decent amount afterwards, shaking the pan along the burner. (I use an induction, which is only reason I'm this brave cooking with oil!)
Once the vegetables are done, turn the heat back down to a low-medium, remove them and place them in a bowl nearby, without removing the oil from the pan. (Covered if possible) Now I carefully added the ground pork to the pan. (Be VERY careful, you are dropping something into a pan of hot oil, be cautious you don't let it splash!)
Split the ground pork into small chunks, at this point I am using a spatula for this. We're gonna grab that Old El Paso kit, take the Taco Seasoning from inside the kit, and put a quarter of it into the spice bowl from before. Now add to the bowl a decent amount of Garlic Powder, (If we had fresh cloves in the house, we would be leaning more on those, but Garlic Powder is still good for getting the taste deeper embedded) a tiny bit more Black Pepper, a good ol' helping of Parmesan and Herbs mix, a fat-finger pinch of Seasoning Salt, and another storm of Paprika. Shake this mix up like the previous one, and drizzle some of it on top of the cooking meat.
At this point, you can start separating the meat out more. Bring the heat up to a high medium. Now as you're cooking and separating the meat, drizzle more and more of the spice mix over the meat; mixing it in each time. Twice while the meat is cooking, shower Sriracha over the meat and mix it in. By the end, your meat should be well seasoned, but at this point you can add more spices and Sriracha if it doesn't have your preferred kick yet.
Turn your burner off, it's time to prep the final dish. We're going back into that Old El Paso kit, this time take the sauce that comes with it. Grab a mixing bowl/any pot with a lid, pour your meat in, toss your vegetables in; and finally pour all the sauce out over top. Throw the lid on, and shake the S@!T out of it! (Admittedly I could have used a smaller pot...)
Boom, once you've shredded your cheese, place both our mix and the cheese into Tortillas. We didn't use the ones inside the Old El Paso kit, but you can if you want!
I find that it served the two of us nicely. Would have used a Sour Cream too, but we didn't have it in the house; but would cut the spice nicely.
Cooking doesn't need to be expensive, or fancy, it can just be fun. You can use and explore with almost anything in your kitchen! Look at me, I have no previous cooking experience, never even took a course in high school. Anybody can cook.
Anyway, hope this helps inspire you to try cooking too! Have a fantastic day!