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Spice Up Summertime With Inspired Taco-Margarita Pairings

MINNEAPOLIS, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The inspiration for a great taco can be found in many places – from farmers' markets to food trucks to upscale restaurants. All across the country, chefs and home cooks alike are reinventing the taco with global flavors and fresh ingredients.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130424/NY00084 )

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the Betty Crocker Kitchens in partnership with Old El Paso have created five trend-forward tacos to spice up summertime celebrations.

"We were inspired by the creative tacos we've been seeing, and wanted to bring these global influences home with some simple ideas for fresh taco-and-margarita pairings," said Jennifer Kalinowski, Food Content Strategy, Betty Crocker Kitchens.

The ideas all feature the five elements that make an awesome taco experience: a shell + hot filling + cold topping + sauce + finishing touch such as a fresh garnish. Take this formula and then customize and experiment – tacos are the ultimate fun, casual food.

Enjoy a global taste experience at home with these five taco twists and margaritas beyond the mix:

Tex-Mex InspiredThe Betty Crocker Kitchens' take on the puffy taco shell, widely served at restaurants. The make-at-home secret: Old El Paso flour tortillas transformed into puffy shells.

Chipotle Chicken Puffy Tacos: Puffy taco shells stuffed with pulled rotisserie chicken in chipotle sauce, topped with fresh guacamole, salsa and favorite toppings like lettuce, tomato and queso fresco. Citrus Margarita with Smoky Chile Salt: Triple citrus (orange, lemon, lime) margarita with a smoky chile salt rim. Chile salt is hand mixed with fine sea salt, ancho and chipotle chile powders.

Mexican InspiredThis fun mash-up of flavors plays on the wildly popular fish taco, paired with a hibiscus-infused margarita.

Beer Battered Fish Tacos: Crispy, Mexican beer-battered fried fish wrapped in warm flour tortillas, topped with shredded red cabbage, chimichurri aioli and fresh jalapenos. Hibiscus Lime Margarita: Homemade hibiscus syrup adds bright flavor and vibrant color to a fresh lime margarita.

Thai InspiredGrilled, fresh and light, this taco features the unexpected flavor of green apple, matched with a margarita that's lighter on calories but packed with flavor.

Coconut Curry Chicken Tacos: Grilled tortillas filled with coconut curry chicken, green apple and Thai basil, topped with mango chile sauce and crunchy peanuts. Mango Thai Basil Margarita: Mango margarita infused with the flavors of lime and Thai basil.

Vietnamese Inspired A combination of fresh flavors that takes its cues from the popular Banh Mi sandwich.

Banh Mi Pork Tacos: Spicy, honey-glazed pork wrapped in warm tortillas, topped with carrot daikon slaw, Sriracha mayo and fresh toppings like jalapenos, cilantro and cucumber slices. Cucumber Cilantro Margarita: Muddled cucumber and cilantro add fresh flavor to a lime margarita.

Middle Eastern InspiredThis gluten-free, vegetarian option highlights spicy harissa and sweet potatoes, along with a "skinny" margarita.

Harissa Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos (Gluten Free): Warm corn tortillas filled with harissa roasted sweet potatoes, topped with herbed feta, Greek yogurt and crunchy quinoa. Honey Lemon Margarita (Gluten Free): Fresh, light and lemony margarita sweetened with a touch of honey.

Wherever the inspiration comes from, tacos are a popular meal choice. According to a recent Mintel survey, 63 percent of respondents said they had eaten Mexican or Hispanic food at home or at a restaurant in the past month.

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