Monday, September 29, 2008

Taco Salad

As I have said many times,when you live abroad many of the things you loved in your home country arent available in your new one. It's up to you to recreate those wonderful dishes. The problem with that sometimes is that you cant find the original ingredients. I found that out with cream of mushroom soup. I have yet to find it here. While speaking with another expat she told me to look for the powder form of mushroom soup and add only enough water to make it into a thick form of the cream of mushroom soup we are used to. I found it,tried it,and thankfully it worked! I am more lucky in the mexican food products. You can find a variety of mexican food items in certain stores here in the netherlands. I find myself looking with wide eyes when I see how much more we have to pay for those items but it's got to be done if you want it.

Taco salad is such an easy meal to make and you can add or take away things depending on your families likes. You might want to add in more of the ingredients or maybe add in mild flavored jalapenos,this is just a rough list of whats in there.I will give you our version of it and hope that you make it. Alot of times taco salad calls for Catalina,Thousand Island or Ranch Dressing to be added. I find that those take away from the over all taste so I came up with my own version of a dressing wich I will include. This also makes alot. It will easily feed 8 people or with our family of 4 we can eat once and have enough for leftovers tomorrow. Also with any of my recipes feel free to add in onion as you like it. We are not an onion eating family so whenever it calls for it I leave it out. Feel free to add one onion chopped up and cook it along with the beef. **For those living in NL,I went to Albert Heijn and bought two medium cans of the red kidney beans..not the super tiny can.**
Taco Salad
1 1/2 lbs of Ground Beef
1 packet of Taco Seasoning
1 can of Kidney Beans; drained and rinsed
1-2 cans of chopped Black Olives;drained
2 large Tomatoes;seeded and chopped up
2 cups or more of your choice of Shredded Cheese
1 1/2 heads of Lettuce;chopped up or torn into pieces
1 bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
Between 1 and 1/2 cups of Sour Cream
Mild Flavored Taco Sauce
Brown the ground beef in a large pan. While that is cooking take your lettuce and tear it into pieces and put in a large serving bowl. Take your tomatoes,seed it and chop it up and add it to the lettuce. When your ground beef is brown,drain if needed and add the kidney beans. Then add your taco seasoning and fill the packet just under full with water. Mix it together,bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and let the beef,kidney beans and seasoning packet simmer for about 10mins. After you have simmered it you need to turn the heat off and let it sit while you make the other ingredients to give it some time to cool off before adding it to the lettuce mixture. Meanwhile add in your olives,cheese and take your bag of doritos and crush the chips inside. I find that simply opening up the bag and carefully crushing the bag all over works best. Take your dressing recipe and again this is just simply eyeballing it and going from there. I added in a bowl about 1 1/2 cups of sour cream and then tipped the jar of taco seasoning in there a few times. It gives it a very nice creamy texture. I also didnt add the dressing into the mixture but left it out instead to let everyone decide how much of it they wanted. When your beef mixture has cooled down for maybe 10 mins add it to the lettuce mixture and toss to coat. I added two dollops of the dressing and was one happy camper:o)