May 6th, 2013
Cinco de Mayo has passed, but my desire for tacos has not. So, hungry mamas and papas: welcome to taco week. Ole!
That’s right: in an epic clash of ancient calendars, Greek Easter and Cinco de Mayo fell on the same day this year. (Cinco de Mayo is totally an ancient holiday.) In honor of this great alignment, I’m kicking off the first annual One Hungry Mama taco week with a taco inspired by a fusion of my heritage and favorite cuisine.
I present thee with my Greek-Style Tacos. Or, as I like to call them, Grexican Tacos. (Mexigreek Tacos? Help me out here, people.)
So, it turns out that I’m not the first person to dream up Greek-style tacos. A quick Google search turns up quite a few versions, but I’ll venture to say that mine are the best thanks to their authenticity. You read correctly. I’m Greek and well versed in traditional Mexican cooking, which qualifies me to call these authentic. At least in my own head. And on my own blog. Thank you very much.
Plus, the only thing Mexican about these is that you wrap them up in a tortilla. Otherwise, they are pretty much Greek food. So, yea, like I said: authentic!
More than that, these tacos make a fun, tasty meal. Light, fresh and easy to make. I used a combination of beef and lamb, but you can use one or the other.
And the salsa is basically a shepherd’s style Greek salad (i.e., a Greek salad without lettuce). Unlike most other salsas, you can make a whole bunch and serve whatever doesn’t make it onto the tacos as a side salad.
Now that’s smart thinking. Leave it to the Grexicans.
(can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 lb ground lamb (you can substitute a 1/2 lb ground beef, to make an all beef version)
1/2 lb ground beef (you can substitute a 1/2 lb ground lamb to make an all lamb version)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Whole wheat tortillas, warmed
Greek salsa, to serve
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add beef and lamb. Saute meat until pink and on the verge of being cooked through. Enough fat should have rendered by this point to keep the meat from sticking to the skillet but, if not, add remaining teaspoon of olive oil along with all of the spices and tomato paste. Stir to combine well and cook for 1-2 minutes, to bring flavors together and ensure that meat gets fully cooked. Remove from heat.
2. Place ground meat in warmed tortillas and top with Greek salsa. Serve warm.
*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend it starting at 10 months because of the texture. I prefer to serve this in little bite sizes safe for children already managing finger foods. If you’d like to share this with younger eaters, simply puree the meat with some Greek salsa to a desired consistency.
(can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
Makes 2 cups
1 cup diced, deseeded fresh tomato
1/2 cup diced, peeled cucumber
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives (optional)
2 scallions, washed, trimmed and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste as desired
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley, to taste (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger eaters—so long as you use pasteurized Feta cheese—I recommend this starting at 10 months because of the texture. It’s difficult to puree raw cucumbers and tomatoes to a desirable consistency. If you’d like to try, though, go for it!