When I made the tacos this time around, I baked the finished tacos in the oven for a few minutes in my oval French oven to allow the cheese to melt and to become one with the rest of the ingredients. Because this extra step was impromptu, the pico de gallo was warm so I had to add a bit more at the end. If you decide to make a baked version of these tacos, add the cold pico de gallo after they've baked. I enjoyed the contrast of flavors and temperatures of the cold salsa and hot, meat filling.
[For the PICO DE GALLO, I chopped up and mixed together 2-3 roma tomatoes, a handful of green onions and cilantro, and one partly deseeded jalapeño. I seasoned the mixture with 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt (to taste) and the juice of 2 limes. Store the pico de gallo in the refrigerator before making the tacos.]
Make the taco seasoning:
(go to allrecipe for a smaller version of this recipe; however, I suggest making a large portion of the seasoning to keep on hand. Below is the recipe based on a serving size of 50, which still isn't much since you'll be using 3 Tbsp of the mixture for the taco filling.)
1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp onion powder
1 14 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano or "Italian seasoning" mix
2 1/2 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp & 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp & 2 tsp sea salt (or Kosher or table salt)
1 Tbsp & 2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground or powder)
Mix all ingredients in an airtight container. You will need only 3 Tbsp of this mixture for this recipe.
Ground turkey filling
1 lb of extra lean ground turkey (around 3 grams of fat/serving), regular ground turkey, chicken, beef, or minced mushrooms or other veggies
3 Tbsp of taco seasoning (see recipe above)
1-2 Tbsp water (optional; use only to make the seasoning less intense for children or sensitive folks)
Meat or veggie filling
Block of your favorite cheese(s), grated (not the pre-grated stuff, please!)
6-8 corn tortillas
Olive oil, oil spray, or Pam
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. For two people, microwave 6-8 tortillas in a wet paper towel for about 45 seconds. Separate the tortillas carefully (I use a brush dipped in oil to separate and coat them). Brush or spray the tortillas with oil on both sides and sprinkle salt, if using, on both sides as well.
Spay the oven grates with Pam really well! Place the oil- and salt-coated tortillas on the grates of the oven. For wider tacos as the ones shown in this post, place the tortillas over two rows. Baked the tortillas for 7-10 minutes or until the taco is crunchy throughout. Take out the shells CAREFULLY by pushing them up from underneath the grates. They should pop right up if you sprayed the grates well enough.
Now fill the taco shells with your meat/veggie mixture, cheese, pico de gallo or salsa, and any other fixings you prefer. ENJOY!