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1970’s Beef Tacos!

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Total Time: 30 mins

These 1970’s Tacos are a favorite around my house. Back in the early 1970’s my dad was a Naval Officer serving in Japan and my mom (a California girl!) was desperate for Mexican food! At the naval base grocery store she was able to find canned tortillas (yikes!), canned tomato, hot sauce, vinegar, ground beef and cheddar cheese. Out at the Japanese grocery she found iceberg lettuce and 1970’s tacos were born! The tortillas here are lightly fried… an absolute necessity to make those canned tortillas palatable, but even with the great corn tortillas we can get today, lightly frying them makes a real difference and is so good! Follow this recipe exactly and you will have 1970’s Taco addicts at home too!



  • 1 lb lean ground beef

  • 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas

  • 1/2 a head of iceberg lettuce

  • 1 block of medium cheddar cheese

  • 1 16oz can plum tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup red vinegar

  • 1/8 cup Trappy's Hot Sauce or Cholula Hot Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt, divided

  • Avocado

How to Make It

First Step: Prepare the Toppings

  • Remove the core of the iceberg lettuce with a pairing knife. Wash lettuce whole with the water entering the space where the core was, allowing as much water as possible to flood the ball of lettuce. Turn off water and turn lettuce upside down and it rest a minute or so for the majority of the water to drain. Then, wrap in paper towels and place in the fridge to crisp. Do this every time you eat iceberg and you will thank me! It makes the lettuce extra crispy! The iceberg can stay in the fridge like his for 3-4 days. Just before serving, slice the lettuce like the photo.

  • Grate the cheese using a box grater

  • Make the salsa: Pour the can of tomatoes into a bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands until you have medium chunks of tomato. Add the vinegar, hot sauce, 1 tsp of the garlic salt and a zot of olive oil. Let it rest at least 30 min then test…add more hot sauce to taste.

  • Cut avocado and squeeze a bit of lime or lemon juice on the slices so they do not turn brown.

Second Step: Prepare the Meat and Tortillas

  • Heat a medium size skillet to medium. Add the onion, ground beef and 1 tsp garlic salt. Cook, chopping the meat to combine with the onion. Cook until all of the meat is nicely browned, then drain any excess juices.

  • Heat a skillet with about ½ cup of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add two corn tortillas and cook about 20 seconds. Flip the tortillas with a pair of tongs and cook 20 seconds more. Remove tortillas to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with remaining tortillas.

  • Serve immediately with all the toppings letting each person build their taco.

Bon Appétit, Enjoy, Provecho!

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