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Taco Salad with Tortilla Whiskers



  • 3 corn tortillas (about 6 inches wide)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • About 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 pound boneless tender beef steak such as top loin, fat trimmed, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 quarts finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can reduced-sodium or regular black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (4 ounce) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups guacamole
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 cups fresh tomato salsa


  1. Stack tortillas and cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch wide strips. In a 12 x 17-inch baking pan, mix strips with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and chili powder.
  2. Bake tortilla strips in a 425 degrees F regular or convection oven, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Pour tortilla strips out of pan and let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, cut steak across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Stack a few slices at a time and cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long.
  5. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, cumin and cinnamon.
  6. Place a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat. When hot, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and quickly swirl to coat bottom. Add beef at once and stir just until browned on the surface and still pink in the center (cut to test), about 1 minute.
  7. Add vinegar mixture and stir just until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute.
  8. Mound lettuce in the center of a large, shallow bowl. Surround with tortilla whiskers. Layer beans, cheese, then steak evenly over lettuce. Top with guacamole and sour cream and sprinkle with green onions.
  9. Gently spoon salad onto places; serve with salsa.
  10. Guacamole: Pit and peel 2 ripe avocados (1 pound total). In a bowl, using a fork, coarsely mash avocados with 1 tablespoon each lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Add salt and cayenne to taste.
  11. Serve, or chill airtight up to 2 hours.

Yields 4 to 6 servings; 1 1/4 cups Guacamole

Source: Sunset magazine - June 2001


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