Bacon, Swiss and Onion Quiche

Bacon, Swiss and Onion Quiche

Quiche is one of my favorite breakfast and brunch go to recipes as they are so versatile.  I have many versions of quiche that I enjoy, but this one is a quiche in a simplistic, yet oh so delicious form!

Ingredients:

1 package of bacon

2 tablespoons of butter

2 small sweet onions, or 1 large

3/4 lb of swiss cheese, grated

6 eggs, whisked

1 & 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 store bought unbaked pie crust (the kind that you unroll)

salt & pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions:

*heat oven to 325*

Start by cooking bacon until it is nice and crisp.  I like to cook my bacon in the oven on a wire rack until it is crisp and golden brown.

quichebacon

Crispy Bacon

 

Next sauté the onions in the butter until they are golden brown and sweet. Salt and pepper to taste.

quicheonion

Sautéed Onions

 

Whisk together eggs and heavy whipping cream.  After they are blended together, whisk in the swiss cheese.  Next add the cooled onions and bacon to the custard mixture.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the custard mixture into the unrolled pie crust.

quichecheese

Swiss Cheese

 

Bake uncovered at 325* until the entire pie is golden brown and puffed up in the middle.  Also, the middle should no longer be jiggly.  Serve with a light salad or fruit for a complete meal!

Quick Mulligatawny Curry

Quick Mulligatawny Curry

I’m in love with Mulligatawny soup, well, and just about any kind of curry in general.  I was recently experimenting with a quick mulligatawny recipe and came up with the following, which is great on these cold winter days.

Let me preface this by saying this is a very thick soup — almost as thick as a curry!  You could serve it over basmati or jasmine rice for a filling meal.  If you like a thinner soup, simply add chicken stock to lighten it up!

I also separate 2 cup portions into pyrex and freeze for quick work lunches.  The best thing to serve with this soup is garlic naan bread (Trader Joe’s brand is my favorite) or if you can’t find that a nice piece of crusty french bread would be great too!

Ingredients:

4 whole Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, Cut Into Bite-Sized Pieces

Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

4 Tablespoons Butter

1 whole sweet yellow onion, diced

1 large shallot, minced

1 large knob of ginger, minced finely

5 cloves garlic, minced finely

1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

2 Tablespoon Curry Powder – or more to taste!

2 cans of coconut milk

2 cups Half-and-half

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar or more (or less) to taste

2 teaspoons Salt, More To Taste

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Cayenne Pepper (optional, for extra heat)

Preparation Instructions:

Season diced chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

In the same pot, add butter and reduce heat to medium. Add diced onion, shallot, ginger and garlic and stir to cook. The onions and garlic mixture should start turn a nice golden brown.

Sprinkle flour over onions and chicken. Stir to combine, then stir in curry powder. Sometimes I use more curry powder than stated.  Start with 2 tablespoons and then go from there!

Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly and letting the curry powder become fragrant.

Pour in both cans of coconut milk. Stir to combine, then cook for five minutes. Add half and half, salt, pepper, and sugar, then cook for another five minutes or so.  I’ve actually cooked this soup all day on low before and it just becomes more lovely as time passes.

Add diced apple and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off and allow to stand 5 or 10 minutes before serving. Taste for seasonings that need to be adjusted!  Serve with bread or rice – yum!

Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

My husband absolutely loves bread pudding, which is odd because he truly does not eat a lot of sweets.  However, in his big heart he has a soft spot for a good bread pudding.  Over the years of our marriage, I have worked on and perfected my bread pudding recipes.  I have quite a few different ones, but this is by far one is one of his favorites.

First start off with six stale croissants.  Rip them to shreds and place them in a sprayed or buttered baking dish

Next melt 4 tablespoons of butter and pour it over the croissant bits

After that sprinkle on some dark chocolate chips.

Once you have the croissant/chocolate/butter in place, pour of the rich delicious custard

Make sure to push down the croissants into the custard mixture so it is all covered.  Let the custard sit and absorb into the bread.

Bake for 45 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered!

 

Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

*six stale croissants

* 4 tablespoons melted butter

*eight eggs – beaten

* 1& 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

*3/4 cup of 2% milk

*1 cup of sugar

*1 tablespoon of good vanilla

*1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

* Preheat oven to 350*

Beat 8 eggs with the heavy whipping cream, milk, sugar and vanilla.  Set aside.

Rip croissants into bite sized pieces and place in sprayed or buttered baking dish.  Next pour 4 tablespoons of melted butter over the croissant pieces.  After that sprinkle croissant/butter mixture with dark chocolate chips.  Pour the custard over the croissant mixture and make sure all pieces are covered.  Push down the croissants if needed.  Let the croissants sit in the custard mixture for 10 minutes or so to soak up the moisture.

Bake covered for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the pudding is set, golden brown and no longer jiggly!

Roasted Mushroom Tart

Roasted Mushroom Tart

Roasted Mushroom Tart

Mushrooms combine deliciously with béchamel and fried sage in this recipe by eatHalifax:

Roasted Mushroom Tart

Serves 4-6 as a main

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: Less than 1 hour

Ingredients for tart:

  • 2 1/2 lbs. mixed mushrooms (like whole cremini, whole button, halved king oyster, whole enoki)
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves removed and peeled
  • 1/2 small lemon, sliced in rounds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

Ingredients for béchamel:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg + more to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigianino Reggiano

Ingredients for fried sage:

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Bunch of fresh sage, stems removed
  • Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Toss together the mushrooms (except the enoki), garlic, lemon, olive oil, herbs, and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until golden brown but still tender, about 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. If using enoki mushrooms, add in the last 5 minutes. Remove the herb stalks and lemon slices.

Meanwhile make the béchamel. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan until hot and bubbling. Add the flour. Cook for 1 minute, whisking often. Whisk in the milk gradually. Bring to a boil. Cook, whisking frequently, until thick and smooth, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg and cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper and more nutmeg if desired.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a larger square. Fold over the edges ½ inch to create a border. Prick the centre lightly with a fork. Bake 10 minutes. Pour the béchamel into the crust. If it all doesn’t fit without pouring over the edge, save it and serve with the tart. Bake an additional 10 minutes until set. Arrange the mushrooms and roasted garlic on top. Bake 5 minutes more or until the pastry is golden brown.

For the fried sage, heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1/3 of the sage leaves and cook until crisp, only 2-3 seconds. Transfer to paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining leaves. Crumble over the tart to serve.

More information and recipe ideas can be found at www.mushrooms.ca.

Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.

www.newscanada.com

Beef and Mushroom Meatball Sliders

Beef and Mushroom Meatball Sliders

Beef and Mushroom Meatball Sliders

Living Lou is a popular Canadian food blogger with an expertise in cooking and baking – and she also brings a youthful, innovative approach to the kitchen.

“I wanted to lighten up my favourite meatball sliders and using the ‘blend and extend’ method is the perfect way to do this,” Louisa points out. “Who would think that finely chopped mushrooms would blend in seamlessly with ground beef? It’s quite the revelation and something that I’ve been using in all sorts of recipes. Not only does it add volume, vitamins and minerals to dishes, it makes eating beef more affordable.”

Sliders are great, she adds, for feeding a crowd and are especially kid friendly. These sliders are a little on the spicy side, but you can omit the red pepper flakes if you want to keep things a bit milder.

Beef and Mushroom Meatball Sliders

Makes 12

Ingredients:

4 oz white button mushrooms1 clove garlic, minced1 lb lean ground beef1/3 cup bread crumbs1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley1 egg

2 tbsp +1/4 cup barbecue sauce1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (can omit)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

2. In a food processor, process mushrooms and garlic.

3. In a large bowl, combine mushroom mixture with beef, bread crumbs, parsley, egg, 2 tbsp barbecue sauce and red pepper flakes.

4. Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop mixture into 12 even meatballs.

5. Brush with remaining ¼ cup of barbecue sauce.

6. Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes or until fully cooked.

More information and recipe ideas can be found at www.mushrooms.ca.

Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.

www.newscanada.com

Florida Grapefruit and Jicama Vietnamese Salad

Florida Grapefruit and Jicama Vietnamese Salad

Florida Grapefruit and Jicama Vietnamese Salad

Following a healthy diet doesn’t mean that you have to eat the same dish every day. As the seasons change, so should your meals and the ingredients you add to them. Each season offers its own unique variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be added to recipes for a boost of freshness and originality.

“Winter is peak season for Florida grapefruit, the sweetest and juiciest variety of grapefruit in the world,” says Emily Richards, a home economist. “And that’s just one benefit of this healthy, versatile ingredient that will tantalize your taste buds and provide nutrients to support good health. One-half of a Florida grapefruit contains 100 per cent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, so this touch of natural sweetness in your meals will also help support a healthy immune system.

Florida’s unique fertile soil and lush subtropical climate provide ideal growing conditions for grapefruit to thrive. Growers there have knowledge plus experience – and the lush citrus groves produce the fresh juicy taste that is inside every Florida grapefruit.

Richards reminds us that putting a salad on our menu is a great way to get the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables – and it’s also a good way to experiment with in-season produce.

“Best of all, salads can be salty or sweet, hot or cold, and made with a variety of textures,” she points out. “The recipe for Florida Grapefruit and Jicama Vietnamese Salad, for example, combines flavours from Florida grapefruit, soy sauce and rice vinegar with the crunchy texture of Mexican jicama. It is a spiced up, refreshing salad, that is a great addition to serve alongside your favourite protein or fish. Using in-season produce makes this dish as fresh as it is flavourful.”

More information and additional recipes are available at www.facebook.com/FloridaGrapefruitCA.

Florida Grapefruit and Jicama Vietnamese Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 cups (2 L)

Ingredients:

1 small jicama, peeled (about 1 1/4 lb/600 g)

3 cups (750 ml) shredded napa cabbage

2 Florida ruby red grapefruits, peeled and segmented

1 carrot, shredded

1 cup (250 ml) diced English cucumber

3 tbsp (45 ml) Florida ruby red grapefruit juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) each soy sauce and rice vinegar

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp (30 ml) liquid honey

2 tsp (10 ml) sriracha chili sauce

Directions:

Thinly slice jicama and stack slices. Cut into 2 inch (5 cm) matchstick size strips and place in a large bowl. Add cabbage, Florida grapefruit segments, carrot and cucumber.

In a small bowl, whisk together Florida grapefruit juice, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, honey and chili sauce. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes before serving for flavours to develop.

Makes 8 servings.

www.newscanada.com

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Making your own apple cider vinegar is a great way to make use of those apple skins, scraps, and cores that you might normally toss out.  This method only takes about 8 weeks to make, and produces a wonderful homemade vinegar to use in cooking or cleaning.

The kind of apples that you want to use really depends on you!  Using locally grown apples is a great way to celebrate the seasonal fruits of your surroundings.  There are sweet apples like Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Gala, and Red Delicious to use; tart apples like Granny Smith, McIntosh, Liberty, and Winesap; and bitter apples like crabapples and Cortland.  Braeburn apples have a tart and sweet flavor. You can mix it up to your liking, and then change up the recipe later depending on your taste.

If you use peels in your vinegar, you will want your apple peels to have been washed very well.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

What you need:

  • A jar or multiple jars, just depending on how much you want to make, for storing the vinegar
  • Apple pieces cut from the apple including skins, cores, and scraps – you will want enough to fill at least one jar to the top with apples
  • Cheesecloth to cover the jar(s)
  • Filtered water
  • Rubber band(s) or string to tie with
  • Raw sugar – 1 tsp. per apple used (optional since apples already have sugar, adding more sugar will help speed the fermentation process)

How to make:

  1. Set the apple pieces aside to air out.
  2. Once the apple scraps have turned brown, place them in the jar(s).  Fill the jar(s) to the top with the apple scraps.
  3. Mix the filtered water with the sugar.
  4. Fill the jar with apple scraps to the top with water.
  5. Leave the jar out for 1 week, stirring occasionally.
  6. Cover the jar(s) with cheesecloth, securing it around the top with a rubber band or tie.  Do not cover with a lid, the mixture needs the air for breathing.
  7. Place the jar in a warm, dark area (with a temperature between 60 and 80 degrees F.), a cupboard or pantry will do.
  8. After 3-4 weeks, you can start taste testing the vinegar solution, a culture will most likely have formed on the top.
  9. Once the vinegar is to your liking (it could take up to 8 weeks using this method), strain out all of the apple scraps.
  10. Bottle the vinegar at this point for future use!  Make sure it is not bottled using anything metallic, as metal will cause a bad reaction with the vinegar.

Note: the vinegar will likely be cloudy, which is fine, however if you want for it to be more clear, you can filter it through a coffee filter.

Also see: Apple Cider Vinegar – Multiple Uses for Every Day Maladies

Thai Florida Grapefruit Curry

Thai Florida Grapefruit Curry

Thai Florida Grapefruit Curry

Why not turn your go-to dishes into crowd-pleasing masterpieces by mixing and matching unexpected ingredients? For example, experimenting with in-season produce and international classics can help upgrade your regular stir-fry into a unique Thai curry, a simple meal with a complex depth of flavour.

“Buying in-season produce will ensure that you have the freshest and most flavourful ingredients for a delicious meal,” says Emily Richards, a home economist. “In Canada, we are lucky to have access to fresh in-season produce from Florida even in the winter months. For example, this time of year is peak season for Florida grapefruit, and although it might not look like it from the exterior, this fruit is the sweetest and juiciest variety in the world.”

Florida’s unique fertile soil and lush subtropical climate provide ideal growing conditions for grapefruit to thrive. Growers there have knowledge plus experience – and the lush citrus groves produce the fresh juicy taste that is inside every Florida grapefruit.

This spicy curry enhanced by the grapefruit is easy to make and even easier to enjoy, with flavours of sweet, tangy, spicy and creamy. It’s a perfect combination to serve up at dinner time, and the harmonious blend of zest, spice and texture is sure to surprise and impress every palate.

Richards adds, “I particularly like the recipe because the curry blend offers a balance of warm spicy and sweet flavours that help make this dish memorable and will leave your family and guests wanting more. Grapefruit is a healthy, versatile ingredient and adding it to this dish not only adds a pop of natural sweetness, but also essential vitamins and nutrients.”

More information and additional recipes are available at www.facebook.com/FloridaGrapefruitCA.

Thai Florida Grapefruit Curry

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil

1 shallot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp (15 ml) Thai green curry paste

1 small Thai chili pepper, seeded and sliced

1/2 tsp (2 ml) grated Florida grapefruit rind

1/3 cup (75 ml) Florida ruby red grapefruit juice

1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk

2 tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce

1 lb (454 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Florida ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh cilantro or mint

1 tsp (5 ml) cornstarch

1 tsp (5 ml) water

3 cups (750 ml) cooked basmati rice

Directions:

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook shallot and garlic for two minutes. Stir in curry paste and chili pepper; cook for one minute. Add Florida grapefruit rind and juice, coconut milk and fish sauce; bring to a simmer.

Add shrimp and cook, stirring for four minutes or until firm and cooked through.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Stir into shrimp mixture along with grapefruit segments and cilantro. Spoon over rice.

Makes 4 servings.

www.newscanada.com

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage, Prosciutto and Pecorino Cheese

Easily impress with seasonal flavors and scrumptious recipes this holiday

Butternut Squash Tart (recipe below)

Butternut Squash Tart (recipe below)

(BPT) – The holidays are here and that means it’s the season for parties, events and get-togethers. Put your best dish forward with seasonally inspired recipes guaranteed to tempt your guests’ taste buds.

Packed with flavors that embody the hearty and warm tastes of the season, Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage, Prosciutto and Pecorino Cheese is easy to make and easy for guests to enjoy. Perfectly versatile, this tart is easily served as a small bite or served as a light entree.

Complete the dish with Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Chardonnay for the perfect pairing. The Chardonnay’s flavors of green apple, orange zest and buttery toast complement the golden puff pastry, sweet butternut squash and the salty prosciutto, making for an elegant pairing that is sure to please.

Crafted in California’s most renowned cool-climate region for Chardonnay, the Russian River Valley, and grown using earth-friendly practices, Frei Brother’s Reserve Chardonnay is an excellent choice to have on hand for this season’s holiday gatherings. To learn more about Frei Brothers Reserve, wine pairings, and more visit www.Facebook.com/FreiBrothersReserve.

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage, Prosciutto and Pecorino Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

3 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced

1 butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)

1 sheet puff pastry

1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beaten

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

10 sage leaves

Shaved pecorino cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place prosciutto onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until crispy. Set aside until needed. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.

Microwave the whole butternut squash for 3 minutes. This will not only make the squash easier to peel and slice but aids in pre-cooking. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. With a knife, slice the neck of the squash into 1/8-inch thick rounds. You will need 18 slices.

Roll the thawed but cold puff pastry into a 12-inch square and transfer to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, brush the puff pastry with the egg wash. Arrange butternut squash slices in an overlapping pattern on top of the pastry leaving a 1-inch border on all sides; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes until puff pastry is golden.

While the tart is baking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Working with five leaves at a time, place the sage leaves in the hot oil and fry for 20 seconds until leaves are bright green and crisp but do not turn brown. Place on a paper towel to drain.

Once the tart is finished, top with crumbled prosciutto slices, shaved pecorino cheese, and fried sage. Drizzle lightly with additional olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice and serve with Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

Editor’s Note: California Table Wine, Copyright ©2014, Frei Bros. Winery, Healdsburg, CA. All rights reserved.

Family Fiesta Tacos

Boost kids’ nutrition with tips on creating a balanced plate

Family Fiesta Tacos (recipe below)

Family Fiesta Tacos (recipe below)

It’s no secret a wholesome diet helps keep kids healthy while giving them the energy and nutrients they need to concentrate and excel at school. Healthful meals and physical activity are essential for child growth and development, and parents hold the key to proper nutrition for the entire family.

Fortunately, eating right doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money or time in the kitchen. By relying on nutritious and convenient canned and frozen foods, in addition to fresh, any parent or caregiver can create quick, delicious, nutritious meals the whole family will love.

The best place to start when planning a healthy meal is to consider ingredients and portion sizes. MyPlate, the food graphic that replaced the food pyramid, is an easy guide. The graphic emphasizes building a plate with variety and appropriate portions of fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy.

Focus on fruits and vegetables: According to MyPlate, kids should be eating a variety of fruit and vegetables, with slightly more emphasis on colorful veggies. Fortunately, there are many ways to enjoy these nutrient-packed foods. All forms of fruits and vegetables, whether they are canned, fresh, frozen, dried or 100-percent juice, count toward the recommended daily intake. Stock up on canned fruit and vegetables to save on prep time and keep nutritious foods at your fingertips year-round.

Vary your protein choices: It’s easy to default to chicken and beef when it comes to getting protein into meals. But variety is the spice of life, and a diet rich in different protein sources helps children expand their palate. Animal sources of protein include meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. Plant sources of protein include beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds. Experiment with main dishes made with canned beans, seafood or chicken, nutritious protein options that can be part of dinner on any busy school night. How much is enough? Most people ages 9 and older should eat 5 to 7 ounces of protein each day, recommends the USDA. One ounce of protein is equal to: 1 ounce lean meat, poultry or seafood; one egg; 1/4 cup cooked beans or peas; 1/2 ounce nuts or seeds; or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

Add whole grains: Bread, pasta, breakfast cereals and tortillas are just a few examples of grain products people eat often. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal or barley counts. Strive to make whole-grain foods at least half of your family’s daily intake of grain by choosing whole-wheat bread and pasta or getting creative with unique sources like brown rice, barley or even canned hominy to add to soups and casseroles.

Don’t forget the dairy: As an alternative to plain milk, try offering other dairy options like yogurt and cheese. Start the school day right with an energizing breakfast of whole grain cereal topped with low fat yogurt and canned fruit like peaches or Mandarin oranges; this will keep even the pickiest eaters satisfied until their lunchtime.

Listen to health experts: A recent survey of health professionals found that the vast majority of dietitians (95 percent) regularly rely on canned ingredients at home and agree canned foods are a great way to meet dietary goals. In fact, 9 out of 10 dietitians say they regularly recommend canned food to others. And while moms and dads are turning to canned ingredients because they are convenient, often less expensive than fresh and available year-round, the survey also found they still have a number of concerning misperceptions about canned food compared to dietitians. Check out an infographic at www.mealtime.org to learn more about what these nutrition experts already know.

Keep taste top-of-mind: If kids don’t like the taste of a food, they won’t eat it. Be creative and prevent mealtime battles by adding vegetables to spaghetti or mixing them with their favorite casseroles and soups. Or try engaging kids in meal preparation or building their own plate with easy-to-make recipes like these Family Fiesta Tacos from Mealtime.org.

Family Fiesta Tacos from Mealtime.org

Ingredients:

For the taco meat filling:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 can (4 ounces) diced, mild green chilies
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, no salt added, drained
1/2 cup drained canned corn
1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned red kidney beans
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt, to taste (optional)

For serving:

Spray oil
8 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas, warm according to package directions
1/2 cup fancy, shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup finely shredded lettuce
1 cup diced avocados (optional)

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and saute until lightly browned, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
3. Add beef and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
4. Add chilies, tomatoes, corn, beans, chili powder, cumin and pepper and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes.
5. Season to taste with salt, if needed.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and keep warm.
7. To serve the original Family Fiesta Soft Tacos, plate up warm tortillas, dish up the cheese, lettuce, and avocado (if desired).
8. Serve with taco meat filling.
9. Assemble and enjoy.

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