Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Walking Taco Casserole

It seems that everyone eats tacos these days.  When I was growing up we never heard of tacos or pizza for that matter.  I think I was in high school before I heard of pizza.  The first time I heard of it was when my elderly aunt ordered a piece of Pizza Pie while we were out to eat with her.  At least I thought she was elderly.  When I was 14 she was 51.  Now, 51 years of age is a youngster to me.  My aunt lived in Madison Wisconsin where they were more progressive in many ways including food choices.  I thought she ordered a piece of Peach Pie.  I was shocked when the piece of pizza came.  I was sure they made a big mistake with her order.  Soon after that experience a little pizza place opened in my home town.  I think it was called Bob and Bonnies.  They had a greasy cheesy pizza with a unique taste that I have not tasted since.  I heard later the taste was from fennel seed, but I'm not sure.  For all I know, the taste could have been from never cleaning the oven.  One time my aunt came to visit us and wanted to take a pizza back to Madison on the bus.  She called when she got home and said everyone on the bus could smell her pizza.  I never developed a taste for pizza pie's, but it has become the mainstay for most American households.  I do however like tacos.  I don't remember when I was introduced to them.  I think it was later than pizza.  Times sure have changed, but every generation says that.

My recipe for today is for a Walking Taco Casserole.  Although I like tacos, they can be messy to make and eat.  This casserole cuts in squares and includes my favorite food in the world, FRITOS.  I think the original walking taco recipe put a serving of this meat mixture in a snack size bag of fritos and topped it with lettuce, tomato, salsa and sour cream.  Then you just eat out of the bag with a fork.

This recipe also reminds me of one of the only pizzas I like.  Our daughter's both worked at Pizza Hut during high school and college.  We liked to go there when they were working but I never knew what to order.  When I discovered the Taco Pizza, that became my favorite.  I haven't had it in years, but it is a good memory.

I made half a batch because we always have so many leftovers.

Walking Taco Casserole

1 ½ pounds Ground Beef
⅓ large onion, chopped
1 small can green chilies
1 15 oz. can enchilada or tomato sauce
Taco seasoning powder to taste
2 oz. cream cheese
1 bag Fritos corn chips or Doritos
1 8 oz. bag shredded cheese

 ¾ cup lettuce, shredded
½ cup tomato, diced
16 oz. salsa
8 oz. sour cream

Brown ground beef with the onion.
Add the green chilies, taco seasoning, enchilada sauce and cream cheese.
In a 9 x 13 pan, layer fritos, meat mixture and shredded cheese
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until the cheese bubbles.
Top with shredded lettuce, dice tomatoes, salsa and sour cream