Tacos are a big deal in my family. Growing up, taco night was always something to look forward to. It was also the one time my dad did the cooking. The taco tradition comes from my dad's side of the family, and even today if we are all getting together to visit, we'll have a taco party to celebrate. It's great to have everyone in the kitchen, chopping tomatoes, shredding lettuce, frying shells, grating cheese. This is how we do it.
1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning mix (I use McCormick's)
1 package small corn tortillas (however many you want to eat--this recipe makes enough for about 15 tacos)
1-2 cups vegetable or canola oil
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cups chopped lettuce
1/4 lb mild cheddar cheese, grated
Salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and other toppings as desired
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain the fat, then mix in taco seasoning according to package directions. Keep covered on low heat while you prepare the taco shells.
In a small frying pan pour enough oil so that it is about 1/4-1/2" deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until you hear it beginning to pop. Carefully put one tortilla in the oil. Using two forks, turn it over quickly, then fold it in half. Let it sit cooking in the oil until desired hardness (I like mine chewy, which takes about 15 seconds, but if you like them hard leave it there for 30 seconds or more). Flip it to the other side and let it cook the same amount of time. Remove the folded shell from the pan and let drain, upside-down, on a plate that is covered with paper towels. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.
To assemble taco, take one shell and add a small layer of meat inside. Add layers of cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and whatever other toppings you'd like. Enjoy!