We don’t eat much fast food, if any. We may get pizza (I don’t consider that fast food) but you won’t see us running to Pizza Hut or some place like that. We go local. Not only do we like supporting local spots but honestly? They make a better pie. When we do indulge in a little fast food, sometimes we get a craving for Taco Bell. Yeah it’s crappy and bad for you and all that, but it’s also really, really good.
One of my favorite dishes ever created and served at Taco Bell is their Crunch Wrap Supreme. It has the nice seared flour tortilla and that crunchy corn tortilla on the inside and the combination gives you a nice contrast in texture. It’s cheesy and gooey and salty and meaty. Mmmm. It’s got all the aspects of everything I like. And when you give a little sour cream and taco sauce to put on it, I’m a happy cat. So my lovely lady saw a “make your own crunch wrap supreme” on Pinterest and thought of me. (She’s pretty good like that.) And you know what? It was pretty easy to make. You just need the key components.
Adapted from Culinary Couture
1 pack of large flour tortillas
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 pound of ground meat of choice
Taco seasoning (I make my own, see below)
4-6 oz. Greek yogurt
Medley of shredded cheese
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Tomatoes, scooped and diced
Green (or purple!) peppers, minced
Olive or sunflower oil as necessary
First thing I did was render off the meat. We used some leftover venison that was taking up space in the freezer, but you can use whatever kind of meat you want: ground beef, turkey, bison, etc. When you prepare taco meat, you’ve got to get your pan hot before you can sear off the meat and start mashing it and seasoning it.
Since meat tends to chunk up when you cook it, I like to use a mashed potato masher to separate the meat. The one I use was my great aunt’s, I think. It’s that good old fashioned hand masher. It’s really just the best thing to use when stirring up your meat because you can kill two birds with one stone. You shouldn’t season your meat right away because you’ve got to pour some of that grease out of the pan. Strain about ¾ of the grease out and then put the meat back in the pan. You want a little fat (otherwise it’ll get dry) but not a lot. Shortly after returning it to the pan, you’ll have the perfect ratio of fat to meat content. That’s the best time to season it and it will cook down in that meat really well.
Yep, fancy recycling 😉 because I’ve always made my own taco seasoning. I have a nice little blend going that works really well. My taco spice has 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1/4 tablespoon of ground coriander, 4 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons of granulated garlic, little bit of salt and 2 tablespoons of adobo from Goya. I’ve always like the Goya adobo because it pairs really well with things like tacos.
Next we took our corn tortilla chips and baked them. 5 minutes, 350 degrees. No biggie. They worked well but in my opinion, the next time I would get the big corn tortillas instead and fry them off. If you use a tortilla, you definitely want to make it crispy. You’re putting them inside a tortilla with a lot of stuff it in so naturally it’s going to soften up. We shredded our own cheese for this and made a mix of cheddar, mozzarella, and Queso Ibores. As another “next time,” I would make a cheese sauce. I think Taco Bell uses a nacho cheese sauce, so that only makes sense. I want that ooey gooey.
The tomatoes and peppers we used were both from a local farm. Any time you can get fresh local produce, it’s always better than what you buy in the store. Hands down.
That pepper was kind of cool because it was purple on the outside but green on the inside. It tasted just like a green pepper but had a real fresh taste.
I used a little electric flattop to sear it. It’s a great little gadget: kicks at like 350, 400 degrees. I used 350 for the crunch wraps. I’d suggest using a good oil like an olive or sunflower. Make sure your surface is hot so you get that crispy initial sear. Also, if it’s not hot enough, it won’t hold.
To put it together, I went flour tortilla, meat, cheese, vegetables, tortilla chips and then wrapped. When you wrap it, you have to wrap it small parts at a time. You can’t just make four folds. When you fold up six or eight times, it holds so much better. You have to sear it fold side down or else it will not stay together. Any time you put something over heat, it contracts and moisture comes out, so if you put flat side down, it’s going to start to fall apart as the heat hits it.
Of course, I served it with Greek yogurt. I love it and everyone’s going to keep hearing about how much I love it. For this dish, it’s like sour cream but a healthier version. In fact, it’s better than sour cream, period. I love it. I already said that? Oh.
We had plenty of stuff left over this from this dish and we mixed it up for leftover night. Just because you have ingredients for a specific dish doesn’t mean you can’t experiment and make something else. We opted for nachos, but we easily could have made burritos or quesadillas. Btw, those are really all the same things with different name but hey, isn’t that what Taco Bell does anyway? I mean, they have like 7 ingredients and make 100 “different” dishes.
You could also enhance what you’ve got with very little effort. Take that Greek yogurt and mix in some ranch and tomato paste to make a spicy ranch. Ranch gets a little fatty, so a little bit goes a long way. Throw some salsa in with the Greek for something different. Add chopped mango. Fresh cilantro. Fine minced red onion. Whatever you want, it takes that old dish and makes a new flavor profile.