Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Catalina Taco Salads
I have grown up eating this Taco Salad. Literally, from birth I can remember the crunch of Fritos and the zesty tang of the Catalina Dressing. It's a favorite summertime entree that is hearty enough to fill you, yet light enough to save plenty of room for that homemade ice cream for dessert (Or Magnum and Klondike bars that might perhaps be spilling out of your freezer in every flavor. Just PERHAPS, I'm not committing to anything).
If only every meal could be this easy. Wistful Sigh....
Anyway, let's get on with the show - you're ready to put those pot roast and pot pie recipes to the back of the stack for chilly days that are months away. Let's focus on this tasty treat that makes you say Ole! - Catalina Style.
It's a basic taco salad...sans the sour cream and salsa. Ready?
1 pound of ground beef, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 packet of taco seasoning
5 cups of green leaf lettuce - rinsed, dried and chopped
1 can of kidney or pinto beans - drained
1 large tomato, chopped
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag of Fritos
1 bottle of Catalina dressing (look for the red stuff made by Kraft)
After cooking your ground beef, add the taco seasoning packet and stir well. That is the hardest, most labor intensive part of this entire meal. Next, you need to make an important decision...do I make one massive salad that everyone scoops from for their meal? OR do I make individual salads for each person? Let's make individual salads this round, shall we? In each bowl, layer the following: lettuce, ground taco meat, some beans, some tomato and some cheese. THEN you put on a big massive handful of Fritos. THEN you pour Catalina dressing on top and THEN you take two forks and toss it all up so the dressing goes through the entire salad and no frito is left behind when it comes to the saucy goodness of the dressing.
NOW, if you were to make this in one massive bowl and allow everyone to treat it family style, follow all of the above steps except for adding the Fritos. Let each person add their own. Why? Well, should you have leftovers, the Fritos will be soggy and gross the next day. You won't want to eat the salad because of the sogginess, but will feel compelled to because you can't stand wasting food. Then you regret not just allowing everyone to put their own on their salads in the first place and saving you the discomfort of eating soggy fritos. Trust me on this. Each Frito to their own salads!
Enjoy folks - this is a good one!