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Six Easy Taco Seasoning Recipes!

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Five things to do with taco seasoning! It's Cinco De Mayo Time which means it's time for some easy Mexican inspired recipes and a cold beverage! These tips are such time savers and they are also easy flavor boosters! You know those little packets of taco seasoning you can buy at the store? You know the ones. They cost about a dollar or less each for store brands - and a bit more for name brands. You open them toss them on some ground beef and make tacos. Yep, you know what I am talking about. Well here are five more things you can do with these packets rather than just make tacos!

1. Taco Shrimp! Why not use that packet of seasoning for some Easy Taco shrimp! You can marinade the shrimp in the seasoning mixed with some water or beer and a bit of oil. Or, use the seasoning disolved in a liquid for basting. Extra seasoning can be used as a intense rub or mixed with other seasonings for sprinkling over shrimp as they cook as you would salt and pepper.You can grill, bake, saute, or cook the shrimp how ever you want. Enjoy them by them selves, as part of a salad, or as a Shrimp Taco!

2. Taco Burgers! Use a packet to season your next batch of hamburger patties or even your neat meatloaf. Use ground beef or even ground turkey. Mix in the seasoning packet, some onion and even some crushed tortilla chips. Serve your burgers or meat loaf topped with salsa.

3. Easy Salsa! Speaking of salsa: in a bowl, combine a chopped onion, add some dice tomatoes, rinsed black beans, diced bell peppers, diced hot peppers if desired, some lemon juice and your packet of taco seasoning. Cover and chill. You can add some hot sauce for an added boost! Ally and I use this method for chips and veggies as well as a great topping for grilled pork chops.

4. Taco or Tex-Mex Dip! I said dip above, but here is something besides homemade salsa. Try a homemade Tex-Mex creamy dip. Combine 1/2 of a packet of taco seasoning with a large container of sour cream, some chopped onion, minced garlic, a dash of hot-sauce and a few spoonfuls of homemade salsa. I’ve even stirred in spinach on occasion.

5. An Easy Rib Rub! Did I mention ribs yet? A packet of taco seasoning adds lots of flavor in the form of a pre-made rub. Try it for your next rib-a-thon. I rub them down with the seasoning, after I remove the membrane, and wrap them in cling wrap overnight. The ribs soak up the seasoning and are ready to cook! Don’t forget to remove the cling wrap. This rub idea works great for chicken, steaks, pork and more!

6. An Easy Sauce! Ever had that thick sauce at a Mexican restaurant that has that deep taste and the slight hint of chocolate? That’s a mole sauce. Here is a quick and easy cheating method. In a sauce pan combine a cup and a half of water with your taco seasoning packet. Cook until the water begins to boil. Stir in a teaspoon of flour and a few squares of chocolate. Not too much. Reduce the heat to low and stir until the chocolate is dissolved and flour is mixed in. Serve hot as a dipping sauce or drizzled over your food like they do at your favorite restaurant.

Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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