Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos

With the busy lifestyles that most of us see ourselves immersed in, a quick and easy but satisfying meal must always be in your back pocket. Tacos are mine, and I can say that with full confidence. Tacos are like fancy sandwiches - anything goes and you can find components in your refrigerator on any day of the week. Stop for some fish on the way home from work, or go vegetarian for the evening - there are lots of topping options!

There are many pre-made seasoning mixtures out there, and they tend to have fillers so I have always steered away from them. Having one that you like and can tailor to your palate is something I would suggest you do.

I love this seasoning mix - it can truly go on anything and could be altered a few ways to make it more spicy, or even less.

To keep a fresh salsa on the ready is going to get you through any busy schedule of unknown meals. All you need is a small blender!

 A rub can be used on many meats, including fresh fish, and should be applied pre-roasting or grilling. This one has a mild flavour and my children enjoy it. Either toss the raw meat with the rub, or just sprinkle it on the presentation side of the meat. Brushing on a mild bbq sauce during cooking is a nice compliment to this base flavour.

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

 2. Pour into a jar and keep it in a cool, dry place for up to a month.

 NOTE: I like to use coconut sugar - it is like brown sugar but has less moisture and I just started keeping it on hand in my pantry. Substitute light or dark brown sugar if you’d like.

Tomatillos are an exciting vegetable that grows quite well here in Manitoba! No, they are not just unripe tomatoes, although they are from the nightshade family and grow encased in a paper husk. Perhaps you know what a cape gooseberry is? They are sometimes used as a garnish for plated desserts. Anyhow, these orange berries are from the same family as tomatillos, which are green in color and high in vitamin C. Fresh tomatillos are quite acidic when raw, which makes them great for salsas, and are delicious quartered and roasted or pan-fried as a side dish to your southern-styled meal. NOTE: Superstore now tends to carry tomatillos in cello-wrapped packages of 5-6 pieces year-round.

  1. Wash and quarter the tomatillos, placing them in the base of your blender.

  2. Slice the garlic and add it and the onions and remaining ingredients to the tomatillos.

  3. Blend well, about 2-3 minutes. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until use. This will store well for about a week or 10 days, if it lasts that long!

Smoked Paprika Rub

Makes 2+ cups

1/2 cup smoked paprika

1/2 cup paprika

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup kosher salt

3 Tbs fresh-ground black pepper

3 Tbs garlic powder

3 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs chili powder

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Makes about 2 cups

5-7 (340g) fresh whole tomatillos

2-3 cloves garlic

1/3 cup diced onion

1 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp kosher salt

There are no rules about what has to go into tacos. That makes them easy to have more than once a week!

There are no rules about what has to go into tacos. That makes them easy to have more than once a week!

For the tacos:

The sky’s the limit - use what garnishes you and your family like. Here are some ideas - use all or some of them!

  • freshly chopped cilantro

  • corn

  • beans

  • avocado

  • cheese (a smoked cheese compliments the above recipes very well)

  • rice

  • charred green onions

  • grilled or roasted protein (leftovers are great for this too)

  • sour cream

  • grilled or roasted peppers

  • pickled onions

  • taco shells - I love the corn tortillas made here in southern Manitoba - by La Cocina - and they are available in most grocery stores.

Tacos don’t only need to be eaten on Tuesdays. Enjoy the feast!

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