Traverse City Record-Eagle

Rebecca Lindamood: Foodie With Family

September 21, 2009

Foodie With Family: Racing kids, clock

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Variations on the Taco Joe theme

1. Serve Taco Joe filling in place of regular taco meat. You just may never switch back to regular taco meat.

2. Spread Taco Joe filling over a prepared pizza crust and top with shredded cheese. Pop in a 400 degrees oven just long enough to heat the meat and make the cheese melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, cool for five minutes, slice and serve with your favorite taco toppings. Voila -- Taco pizza!

3. Make a fast tostada by spraying corn or flour tortillas lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. Spread Taco Joe filling over the top of the crispy tortilla to within a half an inch of the edges and top with shredded cheese and other desired toppings; avocado slices, chopped onions, shredded lettuce, sour cream, etc.

4. Combine 8 c. Taco Joe filling with a can of drained and rinsed pinto or black beans for the instant chili that beats the pants off of the canned variety.

5. Welcome autumn with Hot Taco Dip. Combine 2 c. Taco Joe filling with a can of refried beans (or 11/2 c. homemade refried beans) in a small slow cooker. Stir well, cover and cook on low until heated through, about three hours. When hot, stir in a cup of shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, pepper jack or queso asadero into the dip. Serve with corn or tortilla chips.

Do you have any ideas for delicious variations on the Taco Joe theme?

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It's unmistakably autumn now and apples are everywhere. And since we're on a Tex Mex kick, let's continue it with dessert. Mexican Caramel Apple Sundaes dress up everyday vanilla ice cream with the flavors of fresh fall apples and luscious Mexican Cajeta (caramel sauce) that has just a hint of cinnamon. If you're feeling like a nut, you can toss some chopped, toasted pecans, peanuts or walnuts over the whole thing.

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