The origin of the Taco
On this day, the revered National Taco Day, I think it is important to look back at the origins of this simple dish. Most places when you look up the history of the Taco, don’t have a really good idea of when or exactly how it started. If you are looking for some insight into the history click here for more information.
My ode to Tacos
Oh the taco, how I love you. Your simplicity, Your complexity
Your crunch and spice, your versatility, To work with many different fillings
Oh how I love you, taco
Tacos, a simple food
The taco, in my opinion, is quite possibly one of the easiest dishes to make and also one of the most satisfying to eat. Although I am not a poet, I hope that you can feel just how much a taco can improve my day. The simple taco hits my recipe list for so many different reasons:
- My family loves them
- I can use leftover meat as filling
- I can make them with easy ingredients
But probably one of the best reasons is that my family can customize the taco anyway they want. Someone might want sour cream or lettuce, an adventurous sibling might want hot sauce. It doesn’t matter. I set out the toppings and away they go!
Soft vs Crunchy
In some families, I know that this can be a heated topic, of jalapeno proportions (LOL). I actually remember when all you could really find was the crunchy taco shells, but now with a choice, your taco options are endless! Which can make it a bit more difficult. I have to decide, do I want the soft smoothness of the flour tortilla, where the taco is almost a burrito or the snap of the corn shell.
Usually, I choose the flour tortilla at home, mainly for simplicity’s sake. They last longer once the package is opened versus the corn taco shells. They also don’t come out of the package broken. But sometimes the contrasting texture is what I really want.
What type of fillings do you like? Give me chicken, pork, beef (shredded or ground), fish and even veggies can be used to make the best tacos. Do you like your fillings spicy or mild? I tend to go a bit middle of the road so that I can enjoy the cooling nature of the sour cream or tortilla that accompanies the filling.
And that taco, which is so simple all on its own, can be simplified! What?! I don’t believe it, nor should I consider a fundamental change to the Taco, but I did.
I guess what I am proposing should no longer be called a taco due to the fact that you don’t fold it up and you can’t walk around with it. But if you have had too many tacos (is it possible?) or you have leftover taco meat but no tortillas or shells what do you do? I convert it to a bubble-up!
Bubble-Up? What’s that?
I know, it sounds a bit odd. When I first learned about bubble-ups I thought that it was some type of fizzy drink! In 2011, when Rowan was going through her leukemia treatment, I was looking for ways to make quick and easy meals that she would eat and that the rest of the family would enjoy. Pizza bubble-up to the rescue. For those of you who don’t know what a bubble-up is, it is a type of bake (or casserole/hot-dish) that uses the canned buttermilk biscuits (the ones that are in the exploding dough cans). Each biscuit is cut into 8 pieces and then mixed with the ingredients and baked.
So for Pizza (It is National Pizza Month), it takes:
- Pizza Sauce
- Mozzarella Cheese
See how easy!
But while I enjoy pizza as much as the next person, IT’S TACO TIME! So how does that recipe change?
- Taco Meat/Veggies of your choice
It’s even easier! And once it comes out of the oven, your family can still customize with the same toppings that they would have put on a regular taco!
While it isn’t a taco, I do believe that it should be included because it tastes so good! Here is a link to the Taco Bubble-Up Recipe originally from Pillsbury. I have modified it to match my family’s likes.
- 9×13 Pan
- 1 lb Cooked Taco Meat Make with your favorite meat and seasoning
- 2 cups Shredded Cheese Use your favorite kind. I used Shredded Taco Style Cheese (not with the seasoning)
- 1 can Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk Biscuits 16.3 oz can
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each into 8 pieces.
- In a large bowl, using a spatula, mix biscuit pieces and taco meat mixture, and 1 cup of cheese, stirring gently to combine.
- Spoon evenly into the baking dish.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and the biscuits in the center of the casserole are baked through.
- Sprinkle top with the remaining cheese and bake an addition 5 minutes until melted.
- Serve with your traditional taco toppings!
P.S. I made this and didn’t even have time to take a picture before my very picky son, LIAM, had two helpings and gave me his enthusiastic 2 thumbs up. Yes, I gave myself a pat on the back because I never get that kind of endorsement from him!
So what do you think? Will your family eat a taco bubble-up? What’re their favorite toppings?