Foodie Fridays: Fiesta Salad with Baked Tortilla Chips
Posted by Guest in Foodie Fridays
The first time my (now) husband cooked for me, it was a pretty interesting experience. I politely cleaned my plate, but I made a mental note then and there to always think carefully before accepting any future offers of a homemade meal. Luckily, a lot changes in eight years. My husband, after years of being subjected to my foodie mindset, hours upon hours of the Food Network, and a little trial and error of his own, has turned into quite the cook and I almost never worry about what he's up to in the kitchen. That's right ladies, now I've got the awesome guy who can cook, too--I'm a lucky girl!

This recipe is all his. It stretches a pound of meat into a very generous (and filling) eight servings and it's easy to pull together from staples that many of us have in our pantries and freezers. It doesn't require a packet of taco seasoning, so you get to control not only the spice but the amount of salt in your meal. You can pack it full with as many fresh veggies as your heart desires or you can go crazy with the sour cream and cheese. My favorite part, though, is the homemade tortilla chips. We season them in a dozen different ways: plain, salted, spicy, smoky, ranch, lime and pepper, etc. They're so easy to customize according to your mood and what you're serving them with -- we haven't had to buy a bag of tortilla chips in months!

Next time you're craving a big, crunchy taco salad give this one a try. Invite some friends and family over to help you devour it or pack up the leftovers for lunches. This would be a nice communal meal served on the deck or patio for Memorial Day Weekend gatherings - and a nice break from burgers and dogs. ˇOlé!

Fiesta Salad with Homemade Tortilla Chips
1 pound lean ground beef, ground turkey, or boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into bite size pieces)
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces frozen corn
1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 16 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon lime juice
16 white or yellow corn tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Topping Ideas:
Sour Cream
Green Onions
Lime Wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush tortillas lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay tortillas in a single layer on two cookie sheets and bake for 6-9 minutes until crispy, flipping halfway through (watch them closely or they'll burn). Remove from oven and cool slightly before handling.

Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat, cumin, salt, and black and red pepper to pan and cook until meat is no longer pink. If necessary, drain off any fat. Add onion and garlic to the meat and cook 3-4 minutes until soft. Reduce heat slightly and add corn, tomatoes, beans and lime juice. Cook another 5-6 minutes until heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Break tortillas into quarters and place on a dinner plate. Top with one cup of shredded lettuce, a heaping cup of the meat mixture, tomatoes and two tablespoons cheese. Garnish with toppings as desired.

yield: 8 servings

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