This is a great dish not only for a summer supper, but for a winter meal when you really need a reminder of those lovely summer days.
You can use refried beans in a can (Rosarita is a good brand) and purchased guacamole and salsa, and if you want roasted chilis, canned ones from Ortega are excellent (drain well before using). You can even make it vegetarian by omitting the meat, doubling the portion of beans, and then frying them with the ingredients specified for the meat.
An excellent choice for a pot luck, buffet, or to feed a horde of hungry kids, it’s quick, easy, cheap and tasty!
1 lb (500g) very lean chopped or ground meat of your choice (ground chicken or turkey are recommended)
1 onion finely minced
2 to 4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 bullet chilli or small jalapeño, seeded and finely minced (optional)
2 (or more) roasted Anaheim or green Pimiento chillies, chopped (optional)
½ tsp chili powder (optional)
Salt to taste
1 bag corn tortilla chips, plain or your favourite flavour
1 head of iceberg lettuce, coarsely chopped
1 cup guacamole
½ cup sour cream
2 cups refried beans
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup mild red taco sauce
1 small tin sliced black olives, drained (optional)
2 cups Salsa Fresca
1 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
1 onion, minced
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
Small bullet chili, seeded and minced (optional)
¼ cup lemon or lime juice
Sauté the first 8 ingredients together until meat is browned and crumbly. Drain well to remove fat and allow to cool. When meat has cooled, toss with cheese, taco sauce, black olives, and Salsa Fresca.
Line a large salad bowl with corn chips. Add refried beans…you can use the beans like paste to get the tortilla chips to stick to the sides of the bowl. Add the lettuce, then a layer of tortilla chips. Add the meat mixture. Top with cheese, guacamole and sour cream, in that order. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, sliced or whole jalapeños, sprinkles of chopped cilantro, and/or a few slices of olive.
Set out salad bowls or plates with tortilla chips on them and serve the salad onto the chips. Set taco sauce or hot sauce out for condiments.
Taco salad photo by EditorB, Flickr