Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell

August 29, 2014 chris
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Taco Salad Casserole and Mother’s Peach Macaroon Pie

On a hot summer day in the South, a salad is so light and refreshing. This taco salad is a little heavier than most salads, but it is oh so good. I enjoyed making this for my family this week. I used the fresh tomatoes from our garden, which are slowly coming to an end. I always try a recipe exactly how it is written the first time I prepare it. The next time I try a recipe, I always add my own “spin” to it.  I added a few of my favorite ingredients to this taco salad. This is a fun salad to put together. You can use anything that you prefer. My cousin, Jeanne Harp, suggested using bell pepper and refried beans. That sounds great! Jeanne is another wonderful family cook! Jeanne and Jim are two of my favorite people.

Taco Salad Casserole

1 pound ground chuck, browned

1 package taco seasoning

5 whole green onions, chopped, stems included

1/2 cup ketchup

8 ounces extra sharp cheese, grated

4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, grated

3 large tomatoes, or as many as you prefer, peeled and chopped

1/2 head of lettuce, 

shredded thin

Tortilla chips

salsa or picante sauce

Brown your ground chuck and green onions. Drain.  Add the taco seasoning and ketchup. Heat until all is combined. In a 9 x 13-inch Pyrex dish, crumble as many chips that will cover the bottom. I like a lot! Cover the crushed chips with the meat mixture evenly. Sprinkle both sharp and Pepper Jack cheese on top of the meat mixture (Save 1/2 cup of the sharp for the top).  Cover the cheese with the tomatoes. Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. While it is still warm, top with the lettuce and 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Cover with foil and let it rest until you are ready to serve.

Andy’s Note: If you like taco salads, I encourage you to try this recipe. The salsa or picante sauce is desperately needed.  Doug and I ate it without any sauce, but it would be much better with a sauce.  Hope you enjoy!

Mother’s Peach Macaroon Pie

1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, sweet and ripe (I sprinkled with a little Fruit Fresh)

1 can of Eagle Brand Milk

1/2 cup lemon juice

10-12 small coconut macaroons, crumbled (you can buy these at Dollar General)

1 large Cool Whip

1/2 cup chopped almonds

2 baked pie crusts

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients except the Cool Whip.  After all is combined, add the Cool Whip.  This makes two large pies.  I decorated with peach slices, coconut and a red cherry.  

Andy’s Note: This recipe in my cookbook calls for plain gelatin. Mother always used gelatin, but it is just as good without it.  It may not be quite as firm without the gelatin, but it will still be delicious. I hope you will try this pie. Keep one pie and give the other one to a REALLY close friend! 

My goal this week is to pickle okra and can some pepper jelly.  Next week, I want to share with you a stuffed jalapeno pepper recipe that my wonderful sister-in-law from Cherokee County gave me.

Happy Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Little Faces Doll Shop, Alabama Gift Company, and the New Messenger on Broad Street.