Kitchen Adventures: A tasty treat for taco Tuesday

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

After looking at a photo of a taco dish baked in the oven so the cheese was melted on top, I decided to try to recreate it.

The first step was a trip to the grocery for taco shells. Since tacos bake best if they can sit up so the cheese can melt, flat-bottom taco shells looked like they would work best. They were called fiesta flats and can be found in the taco shell section of the grocery.

For the filling, brown ground hamburger in a skillet.

You can make this dish any way you want. Everyone likes their tacos served differently, so go with what tastes best for you.

For mine, the dish had a fajita style. To make it like this, chop some peppers, onions and tomatoes and add the mixture to the beef once it has browned a bit and cook until the veggies are tender. Add taco seasoning and taco sauce for more flavor.

While that was cooking, the house had a wonderful smell as all the flavors blended.

Scoop the filling into the taco shells and cover with cheese. You can buy a Mexican-style shredded cheese or mix a few of your favorites. Cheddar and Monterey Jack work well together, but any combination will do.

Since the meat already is cooked, you are only leaving the dish in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt and be gooey on top.

When you remove the tacos from the oven, you can top them with more tomatoes, peppers and anything else you’d like.

The melted cheese on top wasn’t the only benefit to baking the dish rather than just topping with shredded cheese like the typical taco. The shell also was warm, which added a nice touch to the dish and all the flavors came together while it was baking.

A nice dollop of sour cream adds a cool taste to the spicy flavors. Ranch dressing drizzled on top can be used instead of sour cream for a little extra flavor.

You can serve it with any side dish. Since vegetables are fresh from the garden this year, pair it with a variety of veggies. For this meal, I used sliced zucchini and squash cooked on a griddle pan that were left over from the night before.

If you like tacos and want to change it up slightly, try baking them.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Baked Taco Treats
1 pound ground beef
1 pouch taco seasoning
Shredded cheese (whatever your taco preference)
Green pepper
Taco sauce
Taco shells (something with a flat bottom that will sit up in the oven)

Brown ground beef in a skillet. When it’s almost brown add the chopped pepper and tomato and cook a bit longer. Add taco seasoning and stir while cooking.
Remove from heat and place mixture into taco shells. Top with your favorite kinds of cheese (cheddar and Monterey Jack work well).
Bake in a 400 degree oven for five to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted on top.
Top with your favorite taco toppings.