Back in the years B.P.–before Pinterest–I got the new recipes I tried from either friends or family, cookbooks, or Taste of Home. And I started getting that particular magazine a year or so after I got married (my 17th anniversary is coming up this December!), so I’ve still got a lot of recipes saved up to try. I don’t get to them much anymore (because Pinterest!), but the other day I decided to go through the ‘entree’ stack of ‘clip and keep’ recipe cards with an eye to what could be useful to me in my current stage of life. This meant that anything requiring firmly out-of-season ingredients got the ax, as did anything requiring too much work right before dinner or too much thought about substituting undesirable ingredients. Oh, AND anything that no one in the family besides me is going to eat well. This left me with quite a small stack to be going on with, and so I looked through that stack the next time I needed a meal plan. Success! This Barbecue Beef Taco Plate was (shockingly!) a hit with everyone.
Of course, anything in the ‘Cooking for a Crowd’ section needs to be reduced in size for MY family, but this one was very easy to cut into fourths. I didn’t bother with the chopped green onions, partly because I browned the ground beef with chopped regular onion (it makes the smell SO much more appealing), but I did add chopped olives to about half of the plate, since three of us love them. I didn’t have honey barbecue sauce, so I used a ‘sweet and tangy’ variety of Bullseye, which was just fine. And it was tasty! Only my hubby scooped it up onto chips; it’s my preference (and much easier for the kids) to crush the chips underneath to make taco salad. And the only complaint I got was that the cream cheese layer was a little much. (I think that was more because I didn’t spread it out thinly enough, honestly. My plates weren’t the best size for this. I’m thinking a 9 by 13 pan would be better.) The barbecue sauce made a nice accent, but I forgot about it when we ate the leftovers, and while it was absolutely nice to have it, we didn’t necessarily miss it. (The flavor was a bit different, but good either way.) I was afraid the green chilies might add too much heat for some of us–we’re wimpy at our house–but they were actually a nice addition. What was ESPECIALLY nice about the recipe, though, was that you built the taco salad on the plate. By the time I served it, it required minimal effort to be ready to eat, and that is a fabulous thing when you’re used to building three separate servings of anything with a lot of toppings. (My eight-year-old can do a lot of the building herself, but she’s short, with short arms, and can’t reach everything.) The bottom line? We are definitely making this again, which means that you should try it. Because EVEN MY PICKY MIDDLE loved it–and you can’t get a better endorsement than that.