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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Recipe: Baked Taco Salad Bowls


A few months ago, my daughter saw a TV ad for a kitchen tool that makes taco salad bowls out of tortillas. You've probably seen it. Essentially, it's a pan shaped like a taco bowl. You put in a tortilla, shape it to the pan, and bake it. Let me tell you, it was love at first sight for my daughter, and she's been asking for it ever since - I was not as impressed. The thought of another dish, small appliance, or contraption taking up space in my kitchen did not leave me wanting to pick up the phone to order.
Ironically, a few days later I stumbled upon an answer to end the begging. This is so clever and I just have to share. It's quite simple really. Just flip a muffin tin upside down and press the center of a tortilla into the crevasse in the middle of the pan. Gently put the rest of the tortilla around the muffin cups so it looks like a bowl. The tortilla will actually just sort of shape itself. Hit the tortilla with a spritz of olive oil from a mister or cooking spray and bake at 350º F for about 8 minutes or until crisp. Viola! Taco salad bowls using a pan you already have. They aren't deep fried like in a restaurant, but neither would they be if you bought the special pan from the TV commercial.
I baked a few of these up ahead of time then put out some lean taco-seasoned meat, black beans, lettuce, onion, tomato, reduced-fat cheese, and sour cream for "make your own taco salads". This is just a simple way to turn something as routine as taco night into something a bit more interesting.
My daughter's idea (and I believe the real reason she wanted this pan) was to sprinkle the tortillas with cinnamon before baking and fill them with dessert (pudding or ice cream, etc.). We haven't tried that one yet, but I can already see the possibilities.
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