Monday, September 2, 2013

Taco Salad

I grew up here in California, a long time ago - the 50's and 60's.  There were no Mexican Restaurants in our town, I know this is hard to believe since there is one on nearly every corner now.  I was introduced to Tacos while camping with a friend and her family.  They were simply warmed corn tortillas, ground beef, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes and the 'salsa' was actually Tabasco Sauce.  Later in life, like the late 60's and 70's, I learned about enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos, tostadas and taco salads. I have actually been to Mexico and I saw that their food is usually a little bland, compared to what we think of as Mexican Flavor.  I cook what is probably more of a Tex Mex Flavor but I call it more of a Cali Mex Style.  Here, in California, we like lots of fresh veggies and lots of flavor.  Food doesn't have to be spicy hot to have lots of flavor.

                                            TACO SALAD

1 tablespoon Oil
1 small Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 pound Ground Beef
1 to 2  tablespoons Chili Powder (to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon Salt and 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 can (14.5 ounce size) Chopped or Diced Tomatoes, with juice
1 can (8 ounce size) Tomato Sauce
1 cup Water
Tortilla Chips, broken
Lettuce, thin sliced

In a large deep fry pan, over medium heat, brown Onion, Garlic and Ground Beef in oil.  Add Chili Powder, Salt and Pepper into beef mixture.  Break up the tomatoes so that they are pretty small (I use my hands to smash up the tomatoes) and add them to the meat mixture.  Mix in the water and continue to cook on low heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened slightly.  You want a little juice left in the mixture!

Place broken Tortilla Chips on your plate, top with the cooked Ground Beef mixture and then top with Lettuce.

More Topping Suggestions:
Tomato, chopped small
Avocado, chopped or sliced
shredded Cheddar Cheese
Black Olives
Salsa (I keep prepared salsas in the pantry)
Sour Cream

Serves 4


Anonymous said...

You are so right, Pat. Mexican food is rather bland compared to our Mexican style food in California. I remember going to SoCal when I was 12 and my cousins took me out for a taco. I had no idea what a taco was! LOL! Now, we have Mexican food at least once a week. I really MUST try this one! <3 Dianne

Pat Lutzow said...

How things do change Dianne! Cal Mex has been a favorite of our family for years. I still like Tabasco too. LOL

Anonymous said...

Were your first tacos camping with Sandy's family? My first tacos too.
They were the best.
Linda....Van Duzen River Memories....

Pat Lutzow said...

Linda, Yes, it was camping on the Van Duzen River all those years ago. Nothing could be as good as I remember those tacos tasting. What wonderful memories...