Nuttin' fancy, but good to the last bite...
Momma made taco salads many times, especially on hurried days when little time was had for prepping dinner. We also enjoyed this at the beach during stays in the summer and still do now on vacations. It is quick, easy and good.
There are so many variations to this meal, many of you have your own way of making it, but I thought I would share our way plus give you a spice recipe I have tinkered with over the years.
serves 3 to 4 - double the recipe when company stops by
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced-optional
1 pound lean ground beef
Taco Seasoning Mix -see below
1/2 cup tomato sauce (4 oz)
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon cider vinegar, crazy I know, but it works
Fritos corn chips or tortilla chips broken up
Ranch style beans, refried beans or my Frijoles Charros
Grated cheddar and/or Monterey jack cheese
Chopped green onions
Sliced black olives
Pickled jalapeno slices
Picante sauce or salsa
Sour cream or Ranch dressing
Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot but not smoking. Add in the onion, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the spice mix and stir. Add the beef and cook lifting up from the bottom and breaking the meat up. Cook about 5 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth and vinegar. Simmer on medium low uncovered for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced and mixture is thick enough to hold together but not dry. Check and add additional salt if needed. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Warm the chips in the oven.
Spread chips on plates, followed with the meat mixture, beans, grated cheese, lettuce, tomato, green onions and more cheese. Add other toppings and sour cream or ranch dressing.
Taco Seasoning Mix
my take on Old Paso Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon Maize corn flour or AP flour
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt -adjust for recipe
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon annato powder -optional
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix together in a bowl thoroughly before using.
For Ground Beef Tacos: Add to 1 pound lean ground beef after browning. Add 1/2 cup beef broth and 1/2 cup tomato sauce,bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until thickened. Or use my mouth-watering recipe like I make for salads above.
For Chicken or Steak Tacos: Sprinkle meat with seasoning. Sear with a little oil in a hot pan, grill or broil until desired doneness. Let rest a few minutes before slicing in thin strips.