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What to make when... tonight is taco night

Try these recipes for a deliciously vibrant dinner that’ll go down a treat with everyone at the table.

Image: Shutterstock

THE TACO IS a staple in Mexican cuisine, and has now become a global food trend famous for fresh and exciting flavour combinations.

A taco in its simplest form is a small corn tortilla filled with fresh salsa and meat, although if you happen to visit one of the many taco food trucks in LA or San Francisco, you could come across just about any combination of flavours!

We’ve rounded up some quick and easy taco recipes that will satisfy all tastebuds – whether you’re looking to spice up your weekend brunch or make a quick midweek meal for friends…

1. Prawn tacos with guacamole

Start off by making the guacamole: mix together finely chopped tomatoes, red onion and avocado with a fork, and stir through a generous squeeze of lime juice. Keep this in the fridge while you start making the prawns. Toss some fresh prawns in olive oil, cumin and chili powder, and fry in a pan for a few minutes until they turn pink. Spoon into warmed corn tortillas or taco shells, and top with shredded iceberg lettuce and guacamole. While we love prawn tacos, cod is also a very popular taco filling- check out this recipe by Donal Skehan for inspiration.

shutterstock_494220217 Source: Shutterstock

2. Cheesy chili beef tacos

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chili con carne, but it’s still quick to pull together from scratch. In a frying pan, heat some oil and fry garlic, fresh green chili and finely chopped onion, then add in minced beef, and a teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder. Brown the meat, then season and pour over a tin of chopped tomatoes. Summer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened, and set aside. Fill the taco shells with the chili beef, then top with mozzarella cheese, fresh coriander and serve.

3. Pork tacos with spicy pineapple salsa

Make the pineapple salsa by mixing together finely diced fresh pineapple, red onion, fresh red chili and torn fresh mint and set aside. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry thinly sliced pork tenderloin, adding in some seasoning, crushed garlic and paprika after a minute or two. Make sure the pan in very hot so the meat caramelises and, once cooked, transfer to a bowl to serve. If you have time, it’s worth slow cooking the pork as in this recipe by Sophie’s Scran, which results in a melt in the mouth pulled pork. Serve sharing style along with some sour cream, taco shells, coriander and lime.

shutterstock_699699997 Source: Shutterstock

4. Chorizo and egg breakfast tacos

Breakfast tacos make an impressive brunch dish, but are equally delicious any time of the day! Chop up some chorizo and fry in a pan with crushed garlic and chopped green pepper. Fry for five minutes, until the chorizo is fully cooked. Pour over beaten eggs and stir continuously until the eggs are cooked. Season, then serve in taco shells with sliced avocado and a drizzle of chili sauce. Want to go veggie? Nathalie Marquez Courtney has a delicious recipe on her blog, which uses refried beans instead of meat - check it out here.

5. Black bean, corn and avocado tacos

These flavoursome and fresh vegan tacos can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes and require very little prep. Heat some olive oil in a pan and gently fry finely chopped garlic and onion for 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in a teaspoon each of paprika, cumin, chili powder and ground coriander, and fry for another 2 minutes. Add in a tin each of drained black beans and drained sweetcorn, and coat in the spices. Season to taste, then remove from the heat. Top the tacos with the mixture along with some crushed avocado and fresh tomato salsa. Finally, squeeze over some lime juice for an extra flavour punch.

More: What to make when… you *really* want a takeaway>

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