Harissa Tacos de Pau
Another The Recipe ReDux Challenge this month with creating a healthy and tasty “Taco Tuesday.” In France the taco sensation is still catching on, but Old El Paso products are easily found at the grocery store for those who miss Mexican food. My kids like eating tacos, they enjoy the ‘conviviality’ of eating this around the table, filling the tacos with grated cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and spicy beef. An easy and fun meal for everyone.
For this month’s Taco Tuesday I wanted to make something different, something with a “Frenchie” touch. And I think I found it: a Taco made with typical Moroccan spices–harissa, honey, cinnamon, lemon. France has a large Moroccan population (around 1.5 million Moroccans live here), and you can find delicious Moroccan food in every major French town. I was inspired to make tacos with harissa, because I discovered that in Lyon, a large gastronomic city about an eight hour drive from Pau, there is a new popular taco street food/fast-food chain that makes tacos with a combination of merguez and harissa. You can consult their menu (in French) here: Le Tacos de Lyon.
I have adapted this street food taco idea and made a lighter taco (the taco versions at Le Tacos de Lyon are laden with tons of cheese sauce and french fries). My version has spiced ground beef with harissa, honey and cinnamon, a splash of lemon juice to cool things off, and creme fraiche to blend fire with softness. These tacos are not too spicy, I made them kids-friendly (my 16 year-old son loved them and ate three tacos). You can double the harissa dose from 1 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons to make these tacos fiery hot. These tacos are grilled after to make them crispy or you can keep them soft like a wrap. The unique part in these tacos is the harissa, I wanted you to discover this; here is more information.
Harissa is a red pepper fiery paste that is a main component of Moroccan food. I used it in another recipe for slow cooker chicken and here is how you can make your own. I buy harissa here for less than dollar, it comes in a paste. You’ll pay a bit more, but you can find it on Amazon, and you only need a small amount for your recipes. Here are some food ideas on experimenting with harissa and a link to buy on Amazon if you feel inspired.
Enjoy my Tacos from Pau, Tacos de Pau. Let me know how yours comes out.
Moroccan Spiced Harissa Tacos de Pau
Ingredients for 12 tacos:
- 12 Soft wheat tortillas
- 1 Pound ground beef (I used the 15% fat ground beef because the 5% fat is too dry in these tacos)
- 1 Small onion, minced
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 Tablespoon Harissa (double this if you want these tacos extra spicy)
- 1/2 cup (approximately) creme fraîche (you can substitute sour cream)
- Dash of Fresh chopped mint(or dried)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 Teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon of sunflower oil
- Half a head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
- Salt to adjust seasonings
- Warm up the tortilla taco shells for a few minutes in an oven or toasting oven until they are soft. (I wrap mine in aluminum foil)
- In a sauté pan, sauté the ground beef and onions together until the beef is cooked completely through.
- Add the harissa, honey, cinnamon to the ground beef. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust for salt. Add a dash of fresh mint and the fresh lemon juice, mix again.
- Prepare the tacos.
- Lay down some shredded iceberg lettuce inside the tortilla taco shell, a few spoons of meat, a blob of creme fraiche.
- Fold over one side of the taco so that all the inside is covered by the tortilla.
- Heat up sunflower oil in a frying pan (if you have a sandwich (panini griller), this is better). Cook the taco until it is hot (a few minutes on each side).
- Serve immediately.
Check out my fellow dietitian’s Taco Tuesday recipes in the round-up here. Buenos Dias Todos!
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