Taco Salad

1 med   onion, diced
1/2 med green pepper, diced
1/2 med red pepper, diced
1       Serranno chile, thinly sliced
1/2 lb  ground beef
1 TBS   oil
2 clv   garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1 pkg   taco seasoning, 1.5oz foil pack or taco seasoning mix
1       tomatoes, peeled,  diced
1/2 cup beans, cooked (kidney, pinto, pink or a mix of any)
1/3 bottle Catalina French dressing
3 cups  lettuce, cut into bit sized pieces
1   cup taco chips, coarsely crushed *
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated or small dice

Sauté onion, peppers, chile and ground beef in oil until the meat is cooked.  Drain fat.  Add garlic.  Mix in red wine, water and taco seasoning.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until liquid has reduced to a gravy consistency.  Set off heat to cool.  When cool, mix in tomatoes, beans and Catalina French dressing.  If made ahead, refrigerate, but let come to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving, toss dressing mixture with lettuce, taco chips and cheese.

Makes about 3-4 meal size servings.

As with most recipes for things like this, the amounts and the selection of items are arbitrary.

* An easy way to crush the taco chips is to leave the "dregs" in a bag of taco chips and gently roll a glass (or rolling pin) over the bag.

3 January 2003, Lynn Ashley

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