We have a joke in our family that real Jewish cooking is simply a matter of being able to make boxed/canned/frozen food edible by dressing it up with fresh ingredients. This is how my midwestern mother's taco recipe came to be. It should be noted that my father, a native Angeleno (hi Dad!), requests these tacos every year for his birthday. They may not be autentico, but they are super satisfying!
(makes 8-12 depending on shell size):
1lb 80/20 ground beef (for cooking newbies, this means 20% fat)
1 can refried beans (NOT the lowfat kind)
1 small can diced mild green chiles
1 packet taco seasoning (I prefer McCormicks)
1 package crispy corn taco shells
Sliced black olives
Green taco sauce
Red taco sauce
1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet until browned, and then drain most of the leftover fat. Just don't drain it in your sink--it will destroy your garbage disposal when it solidifies. I've done it. You've been warned.
2. Add the refried beans, green chiles and taco seasoning to the beef, and stir over low-medium heat until hot all the way through.
3. Spoon a few tablespoons of the mixture into each shell, leaving plenty of room for the toppings.
4. Place all the toppings (cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, avocado, sour cream, taco sauce, etc) in bowls on the serving table.
5. Place the tacos on a serving tray and watch them disappear.
Oh man. I really want a taco now...