Last night, I was fully in charge of dinner for the first time in weeks. I had two leftover hot Italian sausages from a grill-out night earlier in the week. I had a bag full of russet potatoes in the pantry, because they last for freaking ever. And I had some whole wheat tortillas in the freezer. Mix that with a helluva hankerin' for some spicy tacos, and my killer Sausage Potato Tacos were born. So here's the story:
Y'all know how we've been grilling up a storm over here, right? Basically every single night since I gifted sweet Joe with a new grill for his 40th, we've used it to make dinner. I should also note, the grill is kinda Joe's domain... I'm in no way used to cooking with such high temperatures and WITHOUT ANY PANS. I honestly don't know what I'd do with myself. That said, Joe's been working like a dog in the real estate market, and last night my sweet hubby didn't get home until 9:30PM. I knew that I needed to make the meal before he got home so he could just dive right into grub and Baber/pupper time.
We are still not eating out at restaurants, especially with the uptick in cases in our region, so we're doing our best to eat around the globe at home. We've gone Greek and Mediterranean, Hawaiian, Japanese, Polish, Southern and Tex-Mex. But much to my dismay, we haven't travelled South of the border for far too long. Mexican inspired food ranks right up there for me with Indian, Thai and Japanese. (Wait. I need to try some homemade Indian food really soon!) Any meal that has heat from chilis, big handfuls of cilantro, garlic and onion and my favorite spices like cumin and coriander will get my blood pumping. Last night's was no exception.
How I made these super fast tacos
I removed the meat from the casing and broke it into meaty crumbles. The flavor was already big - you could taste the fennel, red pepper flakes and salt right off the bat. I tossed in half an onion, the potato and a small handful of garlic. Next came the seasonings necessary to turn this more into a Mexican affair than an Italian one. Lots of smoky heat came from my smoked hot paprika alongside ground chipotle chilis to reinforce that flavor profile. Cumin and coriander seemed like natural accompaniments. I didn't need to add any oregano because of the Italian sausage. I added a handful of plain ol' chili powder at the end to get the beautiful red hue I was searching for. The result was deliciously spicy, salty, and oh-so-satisying.
When Joe walked through the door, I handed him a Rita's Lime Margarita (they're a bit sweet for me, but he loves them) and told him dinner would be ready in five. I toasted up some tortillas, loaded them up with the taco mix, sprinkled on some feta, and finished them off with cilantro, green onions, Trader Joe's Jalapeno Sauce and Cholula. They. Were. Awesome.
What is even more exceptional about this dish is how a humble potato helped to stretch the two links of sausage into a solid meal with leftovers. These sausage potato tacos cost about $5 and fed us both, twice. Another trick I learned from Leanne Brown: stretch meat with vegetables, and meat won't be a budget killer. (The fact that I love carbs on carbs doesn't hurt in this scenario.)
Ways to switch things up
This recipe would work equally well with any kind of ground meat you've got on hand. Mexican chorizo would honestly be the best, if you happen to have it. But turkey, pork, beef, chicken would all be acceptable. Just be sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly with extra oregano, red pepper flakes and the like. Also, the more traditional cheese would be cotija, but I used what we had in the fridge.
And if the sausage you have is more of the breakfast variety, feel free to dress these up as breakfast tacos with some scrambled eggs! Actually, I just might have to make some of those myself and freeze them for the week. Frozen breakfast burritos are basically the surest way of getting me out of bed early and happy. Until next time, have fun cooking! And perhaps more importantly, enjoy what you make. That's the best part!
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Sausage Potato Tacos
- 2 links Uncooked Sausage of Choice or sub any ground meat or meat substitute
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Russet Potato peeled and diced small
- ½ Yellow Onion chopped
- 6 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Hot Paprika or Smoked Sweet Paprika if you don't like spicy
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Lime halved
- Remove casing from sausage and put in a sautee pan over medium heat with olive oil. Cook sausage, breaking up pieces with spatula as you go.
- When sausage is almost completely cooked through, add potatoes and onion. Add some salt to help the vegetables sweat.Add garlic, herbs and spices to mix. Sautee until potatoes begin to lightly brown on the outside and are fork tender. Finish with lime juice from one lime, cooking until liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble tacos, heat tortilla in a sautee pan with a bit of oil or butter. Scoop in ¼ of the mix, then top with feta, green onions, cilantro, Cholula and TJ's Jalapeno Sauce. Enjoy!