Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taco Casserole or Dip

This a great weeknight dinner- it's pretty quick and could also be made ahead of time and then baked when you need it.  It would also make good party food or could be used as a hearty appetizer.

What you need:
1 pound lean ground beef (or if you are like me and on an island where you can't get lean ground beef, see my tips on de-fatting below)
1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
2 stalks of celery
1 red bell pepper
4-5 pickled serrano or jalapeno peppers
1/2 medium zucchini
1 packet taco seasoning (I used a hot and spicy kind)
2-3 teaspoons soy sauce
2-3 fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic powder (or less if you're not a garlic person)
1 cup of your favorite salsa
3/4 cup taco sauce
1 can refried beans (I used a can of low fat refried black beans this time around)
1 cup shredded cheese (a mixture of cheddar and monterey jack is good)
Tortilla chips, for dipping
Salsa, guacamole, sour cream

Brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium heat.  Once it is cooked through, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, serrano peppers, zucchini, taco seasoning, and soy sauce.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, garlic, salsa, and taco sauce.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally  until all vegetables are cooked and the sauce is thick, between 5-10 minutes.   While this is cooking, spread the black beans in a 9x9 inch pan.  Pour beef and vegetable mixture over the beans.  Sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and LIGHTLY browned on top.

Serve with tortilla chips and your favorite taco additions, such as salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.  Or skip the chips and just use a fork.  It works well too.


If using fatty ground beef (the stuff we have here is 20 % fat), try this:  Line a largish bowl with a thick layer of paper towels- I use 8 or 9, folded on top of one another.  After the beef has cooked, dump it into this bowl and wrap the edges of the paper towels up around it.  Place a few more paper towels on top.  Now squeeze the fat out!  The beef is going to be pretty hot, so you could try wearing gloves or using a spatula to help you (though I generally just go for it and I haven't suffered any major burns yet).  Once the first set of paper towels is soaked through, repeat with another, and that should do it.  It's actually pretty satisfying to see how much fat you get out and kinda makes me want to keep buying fatty beef even when I someday don't have to.  

No comments:

Post a Comment