Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Semi-Mexican Christa Style

Taco Soup
2 14 1/2 oz. cans diced stewed tomatoes (I like to use the "no salt added" variety)
1 can of black beans (drained of most liquid, but not rinsed and the same for all the beans)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of corn (drained)
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 medium to large white onion chopped in a small to medium dice
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. lean ground beef
I've made this with taco seasoning. If you do, I wouldn't use the entire package. Maybe 1/2-3/4. I think that it tends to be too much if you use all of it. What I prefer to use is cumin and paprika. Cumin has a smoky flavor that's similar to the packaged stuff, but not as salty or overpowering. If you use cumin and paprika, I would use about a tablespoon of each, or do it to your taste. I think they are the best combo.
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan that you will be making the soup in. Add the onion to the hot pan and saute for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Break up the ground beef into the pan and brown. (Season it with salt and pepper at this point.) Use lean ground beef so that you don't really have to drain. If there's a lot, then by all means drain it. Add the garlic when the meat is almost browned. If you add it before it will burn and not taste good. Add all the canned items and whatever seasoning you choose. There should be enough liquid in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and what's left in the beans, that you won't have to add any other. If it seems to thick, or there's not enough, add some water. You be the judge as to how much. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve over corn chips. I've also made tortilla strips from flour tortillas. Stack up 3-4 tortillas on a cutting board and using a pizza cutter, cut into thin strips. About 1/2 inch. Heat vegetable oil in a pan, about a quarter of an inch in the bottom. Enough so that they will float and deep fry. It will only take a couple of minutes. Take them out when they start to turn golden brown. Put them on paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot. Sprinkle them over the top or at the bottom of the bowl and serve the soup on top. Top with cheese.

Mexican Pie
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 package taco seasoning
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced stewed tomatoes (no salt added)
1 large can black olives, chop them

Brown the ground beef and onions. Add the taco seasoning. When thoroughly browned, add the green chilies, can of tomatoes and chopped olives. Bring to a boil and them simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid cooks off. You don't want it to be too runny.

Topping
1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup Bisquick or other baking mix, like Jiffy
3 eggs
1/8 tsp. red pepper sauce (if you like a little heat)

Mix all together with an electric mixer until smooth.

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 9x13 baking dish. Pour in ground beef mixture. Top with cheese. Pour over topping. Bake until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. About 25-30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Garnish with peppers and shredded cheese if desired.