Monday, January 28, 2013

Taco Salad

I loved Taco Salad as a kid. But the restaurant versions are usually super unhealthy and gross, not to mention, typically covered in chicken or taco meat, so I stopped eating them in recent years. SO you can imagine my excitement when I saw a post on facebook about how you can use an overturned muffin tin to bake fresh soft tortillas into little taco shell bowls! Here is our take on this dish, which turned out so delicious.

1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Turn over a muffin tin. Wet the tortilla and mold into a bowl shape. Set the bowl between the depressions in the muffin tin. Bake for about 10 minutes.

2. While the shells are baking, prepare the salad ingredients:

Romaine Lettuce (cut width-wise into strips)
Red pepper
black beans
Taco Cheese
Chicken or black bean patty (optional)

3. Remove the taco shells from the oven and let them cool. Prep the salad dressing:

Handful of Cilantro
clove of garlic
olive oil
1 tsp mayo
salt and pepper
1/2 lime, juiced
2-3 slices of jalepeno, seeded

Use a blender, cuisinart, or whisk to combine.

4. Prepare the final dish by setting each taco shell on a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle the salad ingredients and top with the dressing.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


My first experience with fondue was as a teenager on a school trip to Italy, Switzerland, and France. (Yes, I did indeed lose my fondue cherry in the Swiss town of Gruyere, and that is why I later grew up to be the ridiculous gourmand I am. (Read: food snob)). Later, fond memories include spending a week with a high school boyfriend's family in the french countryside- and eating fondue on a cold January night. They introduced me to the fun french way- or perhaps, it was just their fun way- of eating fondue: if you lost the bread off your fork, you had to basically complete a truth or dare. I remember being dared to go next door to a french farmer, and request, in french, to borrow a cup of sugar. I chickened out, but  it was a fun evening nonetheless!! (Du sucre, s'il vous plait?)

SO, when the ATX family decided to have a little Christmas Eve gathering, it seemed like this dish HAD to make an appearance! We dusted off the fondue pot and I went to look for the recipe.... only to discover that I neglected to write it out! So, re-contrsucted here, with the help of the internets, the joy of cooking, and believe it or not, the recipe that came with the fondue pot- is our fondue recipe (with a few updates!!)

1 loaf crusty french bread
3/4-1 lb Gruyere (shredded)
1/2 lb Emmenthaler Swiss (shredded)
1/2 lb Vacherin Fribourgeois
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1 1/4 cup - 1 1/2 cups dry white wine (Fendant, a swiss wine, or something like a Sauvignon Blanc)
1-2 tbsp cornstarch (add slowly until desired thickness)
2 tbsp Kirsch
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Rub the inside of a pot or the fondue pot with the garlic.
Add the white wine to the pot and simmer over medium heat. Stirring constantly, gradually add the shredded cheese.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and the kirsch. Stir it into the melted cheese mixture.
Season to taste with the sat, pepper, and lemon. If too thick, add additional wine.