Taco Night Revamped
Several months ago I ate the Old El Paso taco that broke the chihuahua’s back. Something about their taco seasoning has always troubled me, and I’ve finally pinpointed the source of my discomfort; it knows how to hide a body. Treated with a packet of OEP taco powder, the grayest hamburger in Market Basket’s clearance section and Butcher Boy ground angus would be indistinguishable. Equal parts salt, bite, and tang, the orange powdered Mexicanness doesn’t quite know what to shoot for, aside from terrifying meat-borne bacteria, and subsequently annihilates all flavor from your beef. I’m insulted by the implication that I might purchase meat in need of a disinfectant bath along the lines of SNL’s Hamburger Helper Anti-Bacterial, and have terminated my relationship with the brand. But Mr. P loves taco night, so I’ve George Costanza-ed the whole thing, and it looks like we’ll be having “tajitas” on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.
6 to 8 hard taco shells
1 pkg of 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4″ strips
1 green pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into thin rings
1/2 block white cheddar, grated
some sour cream
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried cilantro
salt and pepper
Prepare the taco shells according to package instructions. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pan over medium-high. Once it’s hot, add the peppers and onions and sauté until they’ve softened but not yet caramelized. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set them on the stove-top to warm. Add the 3rd tbsp of oil to the pan, give it a minute to heat up (we’re still on medium-high), and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is completely done, and cut open a few strips if you’re not sure; you don’t want to do time for a filthy bird. Put the vegetables back in, along with the salt, pepper and cilantro, and combine them with the chicken. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, then serve with the shells and condiments.
Before you slap the sour cream and salsa on the table in their containers, take a step back and ask yourself, “don’t I deserve more?” Three small matching bowls aren’t going to kill you when it’s time to do the dishes, and on the off chance you’re being secretly filmed, you should always set a thoughtful table.