We bison try not to eat too much fast food, but we get busy like everyone else. And because it’s cheap and offers a lot of options, we’ll swing by Taco Bell occasionally.
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, so 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.
With this in mind — and because everyone seems to be enjoying restaurant favorites at home lately — I decided to try my hand at making this dish using my own spice mix and cheese blend. My partner was pleasantly surprised and we didn’t have any leftovers.
- 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.
To prepare the taco seasoning, combine:
- 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
- 2 tablespoons of adobo (from Goya)
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.
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 (we shredded our own mix of cheddar, mozzarella, and Queso Ibores), 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.