Sunday Dinner: Taco Bake

IMAG1014My husband used to wax nostalgic about something he’d have at school for lunch that had taco meat and crushed Frito corn chips in it. Don’t worry, that’s not what I made for dinner here.

So when I saw a version of this recipe somewhere, I decided to make it my own. The original recipe has refried beans and extra salsa, which I took out. I think the salsa is a bit unnecessary since there’s fresh tomatoes in it, and the beans I omitted because the beef adds enough protein. The refried beans can be full of fat. You can certainly add a can of black beans, though, if you miss that flavor.

It wasn’t my husband’s original elementary school lunch recipe, and thank goodness! We think it’s better :).

Taco Crunch Bake

1 lbs. ground beef
1 package low sodium taco seasoning
1 cup of corn kernels (canned is fine)
2 cups broken tortilla chips
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar
3 green onions, chopped
Plain Greek yogurt
1 sliced avocado
Shredded lettuce (optional)

Prepare ground beef with seasoning as directed. Drain well.

Line bottom of 9×11 pan with the chips. Layer the beef on top in on even layer. Follow with the corn, tomatoes, olives, then cheese. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Serve with the yogurt and fresh avocado slices. Add shredded lettuce to make into a taco salad, if desired.

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The Best of San Francisco Street Food

Street food is definitively proving that it’s no flash in the pan fad here in San Francisco.  With both a trip to Off the Grid and the Foodbuzz Festival’s kickoff dinner at the Herbst Pavilion last week, here’s some of the best I had there.

Sisig Taco w/Chicharrone Topping from @adobohobo

I’ve gotta say, the Sisig Taco with crunchy chicharrones and creamy sauce from Adobo Hobo (@adobohobo) was the best damn thing I had that night.  There was the tender, juicy meat with that distinctive vinegary flavor, along with the cool creamy sauce and the crunchy salty bite of the chicharrones. And like @inuyaki and I were discussing, their tortillas were warmed by a brief visit to the grill, which made all the difference. What a perfect, inventive, and unexpected combination and a true winner! Further proof that Filipino food is the new food trend to hit the scene.

Korean Shortrib Nachos from @bbqkalbi

This dish from BBQ Kalbi (@bbqkalbi) was either born out of laziness or sheer genius because it is so good (and so terribly bad for you, I know). How can you go wrong with a marriage of creamy processed nacho cheese and homemade, flavorful Korean shortribs? Answer: you can’t. Oh, and it’s not always on the menu so make sure you ask if they have it that day.

Korean Tacos from @namusf

The boys from Namu (@namusf) do it again! I always love the tang of that fluffy flavored rice, the creamy sauce, the lovely marinated shortribs, and the cool zesty tomatoes and scallions. Some complain the nori it sits on makes it more of an open faced sushi roll, or that it may get too soggy, but I’ll always be a devoted fan.

Porchetta Sandwich & Roasted Potatoes from @roliroti

This is a CLASSIC! No one can touch the perfection that is this famous Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti (@roliroti).  Succulent pork belly, garlic and spices, crunchy pork skin for texture, and the juices that seep into that roll. Pure perfection. But amazingly, it wasn’t the standout of the night (perhaps because it’s something that’s so reliably good).

Jalapeno Marinated Pork Loin Sandwich from @4505_Meats

Who the hell would think of taking the liquid from pickled jalapenos and using it to marinate a whole pork loin and then giving it a cornmeal crust, making it one of the most outrageously unusual and imaginative sandwiches you’ll ever eat? Ryan Farr, that’s who! He’s the genius from 4505 Meats (@4505_Meats) who makes the best damn chicharrones in the world (I’m not exaggerating, trust me. Pork rinds that are light, airy, crisp and spicy). Now he can say he’s made one of the moistest, most flavorful, inventive pieces of pork anyone’s ever put between two pieces of bread. Is this thing on his regular menu, because it damn well should be!

And special props to the guys at Curry Up Now (@curryupnow) who make their fabulous Chicken Tikka Masala Burrito a dish that I now have to eat at least once a week. Thankfully, I can find them all over the Bay Area and not just in San Francisco.

I’ve gotta make it out to Off the Grid again soon because there was SO MUCH I didn’t even get to try!