Saturday, May 5, 2012

Taco Salad

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Since most everyone is making Mexican food tonight I decided I would too. - Or at least our family favorite Mexican style dish. (Since I don't actually think that they are serving taco salad in Mexico, but I wouldn't know. Never been there.)    This is the dish that my mom-in-law is known for. This was the first dish she served when I started dating my husband (although I didn't eat it because I was a vegetarian back then). And it continues to be something that we always have when she's around - either when we visit her or she visits us. My father-in-law loves it so much that when he had dental work done, and couldn't chew food for a while he had her put the taco salad in the blender and he ate it with a straw. Yuck! I don't think I love it that much, but it is very tasty. I wouldn't imagine making it any other way than how she taught me.
   It couldn't be more simple, but it is so yummy. It's all in the layering of the ingredients. The amounts of everything is to taste, but it's how all the ingredients work together that makes something magical in your mouth when you eat it. It's crunchy and soft; hot and cold; creamy and slightly spicy. It's so good!

Here's how you do it.

Dice one small onion (or half a large one).

Add it to a large skillet, with 1 pound of lean ground turkey. Cook on high, breaking up the meat as you go.

When the onions are soft and the meat is brown, add 1 packet of taco seasoning.

and 2/3 cup of water.

Drain and rinse one can of beans -we usually use red kidney beans because that's what my mom-in-law uses

Cook for a couple minutes, until the beans are hot and the liquid has mostly evaporated.
 The cooking part is done.
These are your other ingredients:
tomatoes, Romain or green leaf lettuce, ranch dressing, tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar or Mexican style cheese, salsa or hot sauce (not pictured)
 Put some chips in the bottom of a bowl.

Put another bowl on top,

and press down.

Now your chips are all crushed. :)

Top your chips with the hot meat and bean mixture.

Then comes the cheese.

Then the lettuce. Just wash it, dry it and chop it. However you like. I usually just stack up a few leaves and run my knife through it.

Put the lettuce on top of the cheese.

Dice some tomato,

and that goes on top of the lettuce.

Then comes the Ranch dressing.

A dollop of sour cream is next.

And then you can finish it with a salsa or hot sauce. I prefer the red salsa, but this is all we have right now. My wonderful husband's favorite is the green Tabasco.

Just drizzle the salsa on top an you're done!

At this point you could also add some avocado, but it's completely optional. This is how I do that:
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Twist it open.

Then I remove the pit with either my finger nail (as I did here) or with a spoon. Some people say to use a knife, but I find that too dangerous! No need to risk getting bloody for nothing. You finger nail or a spoon work just as well.

Then I slice the avocado with a knife, while it is still in the skin. I cut strips one way and then turn the fruit and cut the other direction.

Then I just scoop out the dices with a spoon.

See, easy peasy!

Then just top the salad with the avocado (and a little salt and pepper if you wish). Beautiful! And delicious too!

Here's the recipe:

Taco Salad

1 lb ground meat (we like lean turkey)
1 small onion, diced
1 15 oz can of beans (we use red kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 packet of taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
tortilla chips, crushed (to taste)
shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese (to taste)
Romain or green leaf lettuce, chopped (to taste)
vine ripe tomatoes, diced (to taste)
Ranch dressing (to taste)
sour cream (to taste)
salsa and/or hot sauce (to taste)
avocado, diced (optional)
salt and pepper (optional)
 Cook onions and meat together on high in a large skillet, breaking up the meat into small pieces.
When the onions are soft and the meat is brown, add the taco seasoning, water and beans. Stir and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Layer the taco salad as such:
chips, meat/beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ranch dressing, sour cream, salsa and/or hot sauce, avocado (optional) and salt and pepper (optional)

No comments:

Post a Comment