Okay, I know many of us make taco salad. For me, it's a quick, delicious dinner that the whole family loves. I especially enjoy it during the summer when it's so hot outside. But, this time, I stumbled upon a happy accident that put a fancier twist on our taco salad. Here's the finished product-
You know those uncooked tortillas you can buy at Costco? If not, check them out! They are usually in the refrigerated section (near the cheeses) and are in 2 bags. You just warm them on a frying pan and voila, fresh, warm tortillas that taste almost homemade!
Here's what they look like un-cooked-
Well, yours probably don't look quite like this, because your pan is nice and new and shiny looking. Mine looks like it's been through a war. In my defense, it's 12 years old and it sees A LOT of action!
Anyway, if you put these babies in the oven, they do this:
Cool, right?! So, I immediately though of making Taco Salad shells for our dinner. I just took a steak knife and carefully cut a portion of the top off like this:
Then, just fill with the toppings of your choice. Now, for last night's dinner, I really scored in the re-use department. I had grilled steaks the night before, so I had put the leftover steak in the crock-pot early that morning. I added a few slices of habanero chilis, black beans, and salt and pepper while it was cooking. The meat was tender and shredded by dinnertime.
For our salad tonight I put a bed of romaine lettuce in the bottom of the shells, added shredded cheese, tomatoes, leftover corn removed from the cob, meat & bean mixture, and topped with sour cream and a few radish garnishes.
Here's a finished salad:
The troops were thrilled and I was a dinner hero (gotta take these wins, it's not often that all three kids give me two thumbs up!)
Inspired by my success, I poked holes in a few remaining uncooked tortillas, spread a tiny bit of butter on them, sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar and put them in the oven. When they came out, I drizzled a little honey on them, and they tasted very much like sopapillas (Disclaimer: they are not EXACTLY like those delicious fried desserts, but reminiscent of them, and a bit healthier).
Oh YEAH!! I was on fire tonight! :)
Taco Salad Recipe
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place uncooked tortillas on baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes until they are puffy and light brown (mine took exactly 7 minutes)
Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few moments
Take sharp steak knive and gently cut a center hole in the tortilla (you can break up the cap for chip garnish)
Fill tortilla bowls with your choice of salad ingredients. Some ingredients we enjoy--lettuce, shredded cheese, meat (steak, hamburger meat, chicken or shrimp, it's very versatile), avocado, salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, rice, corn.
This is a great meal for using up leftovers. Put almost anything in those crispy shells and they will be a winner!
Almost Sopapilla Recipe
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place uncooked tortillas on baking sheet
Use a fork to poke holes in tortillas
Smear with a thin amount of butter
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to taste
Place in oven for 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy
Remove from oven
While still warm, drizzle with honey
Cut with kitchen shears or pizza knife and enjoy!