Taco Potion #20

The following is Alton Brown’s recipe for something he calls Taco Potion #19. And it is the best recipe he has ever offered in my opinion, and from here on out, you may throw away that taco stuff you bought at the grocery and use this instead:

2 Tablesoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1.5 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

That’s it. Mix it up. Good for one pound or so of ground beef.

Just for public service, here is that recipe x8:

1 cup chili powder
1/2 cup ground cumin
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup hot smoked paprika
3 Tablespoons ground coriander
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper

So I’m making a mess of meat with it tonight, and I realize: Why is there salt in it?

I am not likely to just throw a pound of ground beef into a pan and steam it. When I brown ground beef I treat that stuff like it’s little steaks. Hot pan. Little morsels of meat thrown down. Kosher salt. I wait until they’re GBD and then I throw it into a bowl. So I’m adding salt.

And I’m probably not likely to use water. Especially if like tonight I have a half carton of chicken stock hanging out.

No. I propose a new iteration: Taco Potion #20.

Omit the salt.

The original proportions (now sans salt, a.k.a. Taco Potion #20):

2 Tablesoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1.5 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

And the x8 version because that is the only logical way to make it since your girlfriend and your Dad are both begging you to make it (now sans salt, a.k.a. Taco Potion #20)

1 cup chili powder
1/2 cup ground cumin
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup hot smoked paprika
3 Tablespoons ground coriander
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper

I will always endeavor to label correctly. But from now on in my kitchen, Taco Potion #20 requires that you salt your own.

A perfectly reasonable modification. I hope Alton Brown approves.

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