Tacos, fajitas, Mexican of any kind is among my favorite meals. So naturally, I wanted to make them as much from the garden as possible.
In the summer, I have tomatoes for the tacos and peppers and onions for the fajitas, as well as homemade salsa, but surely there was more I could do.
Then it came to me. Seasonings. I was sure I had most of what they are made up of.
I started experimenting and looking at other recipes and came up with a fajita seasoning mix and a taco seasoning mix.
To create my own ingredients, I ground up some of my chili peppers and cayenne peppers.
Note: where a mask over your nose and mouth when grinding the peppers so you don’t inhale them.
You can even make your own paprika. I like to dehydrate and grind up red Hungarian wax peppers to make the paprika, but I have red you can use any number of red peppers depending on how hot you want it to be.
For the fajita mix it takes: 1 T. cornstarch, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp. cumin. Even the small amount of cayenne pepper will add some kick to the seasoning, so if you want it milder, I would leave the cayenne out all together.
For taco seasoning, you will need: 1 T. chili powder, 3/4 tsp. garlic powder, 3/4 tsp. onion powder, 3/4 tsp. dried oregano, 1 1/2 tsp. paprika, 4 1/2 tsp. cumin, 3 tsp. sea salt and 3 tsp. pepper. Note: 3 T. of seasoning equals one packet of store bought seasoning.
After mixing each of these, they can be stored in airtight jars on your shelf until needed.
They add some great flavor to Mexican dishes, using a lot of homegrown ingredients.
Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!
Julie Clements is a Butler County Master Gardener.
Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at firstname.lastname@example.org and some will be featured in upcoming columns.