I found two boxes of taco shells in my cabinet and I could not remember exactly when I purchased them. The boxes did not have expiration or best used by dates anywhere on them, but did say the taco shells were in seal fresh packs, so I figured they were probably still good. There was a recipe on the back of the box for Taco Casserole that looked delicious, so I decided it would be dinner. The recipe called for taco sauce, which I did not have on hand, so I found a recipe for homemade taco sauce. It was extremely easy to make and tasted better than taco sauces I've purchased from the store!
The recipe also called for a packet of taco seasoning - another ingredient I did not have. Okay, so I should have gone shopping before deciding on dinner! Once again, I found a recipe for homemade taco seasoning. Very simple to make and tasted just like the premade seasoning packets I've bought in the past. I don't think I'll ever purchase taco sauce or taco seasoning again!
Okay, here is the best part of the story. After I prepared seasoned the cooked ground turkey and got ready to fill the casserole dish with the broken taco shells as directed, I noticed a funny smell. A smell coming from the just opened seal fresh taco pack. I thought I'd better taste a piece of taco shell and it was so NOT fresh! For a moment, I considered calling the poison hotline because I could not get the horrible taste out of my mouth! What's even worse, is that after searching and searching I finally found a production date of...
I threw the shells away, but then had to figure out what to do about dinner. I couldn't just serve a dish full of taco meat. I mixed up a cornbread batter and spread it over the taco seasoned ground turkey (to which I added corn kernels... just because I love corn). I baked everything at 400 for about 20 minutes, sprinkled cheddar cheese on top and had a tasty cornbread taco dinner!
Here are the recipes I used for the homemade sauce and seasoning mix.
Homemade Taco Sauce
1 can (8 ounces) unseasoned tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
hot sauce to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Let set for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.