Monday, June 14, 2010

Taco Salad

First of all, an aside.  I think I figured out how I overcooked the Pad Thai noodles - I soaked them in boiling water instead of hot tap water.  Silly me!  Won't make that mistake again - they were really mushy!

And now, on to today's recipe.  Taco salad is a great make-ahead, because all the cooking and chopping can be done and stored in the fridge until dinner time.  I usually cook the meat and add the water and taco seasonings, but don't cook it all the way down to the point that I would if I was going to eat it right away - I leave it a little runny.  Then, when it's dinner time, I just pull it out of the refrigerator, put it in the microwave for a few minutes, and it gets nice and steamy hot.

Our taco salads are pretty simple.  They include:

taco meat
iceberg lettuce
sliced olives
shredded cheese
chopped green onions or chives (we have a massive chive plant in the herb garden so I use that most of the time)
sour cream
taco sauce or salsa

Most of the time, I just use Lawry's taco seasoning packets when I cook the meat.  It has quite a bit of sodium in it, though, so when I'm organized and take the time to put it together, I like to mix up a couple of batches of this seasoning mix to have on hand:

Taco Mix Seasoning Packets
Makes enough for one pound of meat

2 tsp. minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional, if you like more heat)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin

Mix well in a small bowl.  Add to cooked meat with 1/2 cup water and cook until thickened.

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