Let’s Set Up a Taco Bar for Father’s Day!

[This post is sponsored by McCormick! In 2017, I’m teaming up with them to share some delicious recipes that I can’t wait to tell you about!]

Let’s taco ‘bout this taco party!

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I might not be able to participate in most real bar activities these days given the bun in my oven, but I CAN fully participate in a taco bar! Sounds like a good weekend brunch plan to me, even if I have to subtract the margaritas and mojitos.

And, what better way to celebrate Father’s Day next weekend than setting up a big old taco bar where everyone can make their own tacos? Hello. Yes please.

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The weekend before my first cookbook released, Eddie put together a little party and we had a taco stand actually come to our house. It was super fun and while they offered a few different flavor options, they made they tacos fully before serving. Ever since, I’ve wanted to set up a huge taco bar with my own toppings so I could have a ton of different tacos at once, of course. I mean, these are the things I can get away with being a millennial and all.

Can you even take those beautiful toppings?! AH!

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Here’s how I did this thing.

First up, a super quick and basic homemade spice mix. An easy one that would work on both chicken and flank steak, so I could give both a quick rub and throw them on the grill. I used the McCormick Garlic Powder, McCormick Smoked Paprika, McCormick Ground Cumin and McCormick Chili Powder – mixed it all together and off to the smoky grill we went!

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When it comes to the toppings? Uh, hello – life is alllll about the toppings! I like to serve some traditional taco toppings, because my family doesn’t love when I make “weird food,” so we have salsas (let’s have a variety!) and then some shredded lettuce, cheese and guacamole.

But! On my tacos I also love pickled onions, grilled corn and some queso fresco cheese – it’s all there and we have the best of both worlds!

And perhaps my favorite part is the fried egg! Or should I say, Eddie’s favorite part. His ideal taco was filled with steak and topped with an egg. What isn’t good with an egg on top, after all?

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I realize that it looks a bit complicated, but all of these toppings can be prepped ahead of time. Even the guac!

I often make guacamole an hour or two before serving it, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. This is just so I’m not making a gigantic mess in the kitchen while everyone is over. You know? You can also rub the steak and chicken and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight. All it takes is setting a few things out and grilling your meat to put the whole shebang together and give your dad or husband a super fun day (or at least a taco?) to remember.

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And then, the fun for Father’s Day begins!

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If I was any good at math, I’d be able to tell you the exact number of combinations you can put together with all of these delish toppings. But since my only math skill is beginner’s addition, let’s just say that two tacos plus two tacos equals HEAVEN.

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Yield: 8 with leftovers!
Let's Set Up a Taco Bar for Father's Day.
  • 1 2-pound flank steak
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 12 to 16 corn or flour tortillas for serving
quick pickled onions
  • red onion thinly sliced
  • 3/4  cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
my favorite quick guacamole
  • 3 avocados chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
quick pico de gallo
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
  • ¼ sweet onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced
  • other topping options
  • grilled corn cut from the cob
  • fresh cilantro
  • salsa red or green!
  • sliced scallions
  • freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • shredded lettuce
  • sliced fresh jalapeño pepper
  • sliced avocado
  • fresh lime
  1. Place the steak and chicken in two baking dishes.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Sprinkle it over the flank steak and the chicken thighs. If desired, you can let these sit in the fridge to marinate!
  3. Heat your grill to the highest setting. Place the flank steak directly on the grill. If it’s about 1-inch thick, grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side to still have some pink in the steak. When you remove the steak from the grill, let it rest for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, slice the steak against the grain in to super thin strips.
  5. Place the chicken on the grill. Grill it about 5 to 6 minutes per side, then remove and let it sit for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken or pull it apart with two forks.
  6. While the steak and chicken are resting, set out your toppings! Many of them can be prepped and made ahead of time and if you’re serving a crowd, I suggest getting the prep work out of the way. You can also wrap your tortillas in foil and warm them in a 200 degrees F oven.
  7. Grab your friends and have a taco party!
quick pickled onions
  1. Place the onions in a jar or cup. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for an hour. You can obviously make this ahead of time and once made, store it in the fridge in a sealed container or jar.
my favorite quick guacamole
  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Stir in the, peppers, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix until combined and you have the desired consistency of smashed versus mashed (< your call!). Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper or more lime juice if needed.
quick pico de gallo
  1. In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juiced, stirring well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

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I appreciate you so much!

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P.S. if tacos aren’t your speed, last year we did a flank steak toppings bar for Father’s Day! Ooooh yes.