I originally made this recipe almost a year ago. I was completely surprised and happily gave the recipe 5-stars. The only down-side was that it made a huge mess. I’ve added some details to the recipe below to help choreograph the preparation and reduced the mess to medium. I also better used my time and reduced the preparation time from 60 minutes down to 35. Without the avocado I could only give it 4-1/2 stars.
- I accidentally used a regular, rather than non-stick, skillet. It made cleanup more difficult, but I don’t believe it changed any flavors.
- The recipe calls for 90% lean ground beef, but 80% was on sale for $1.79/lb. To prevent the salad from being too greasy, I cooked the onion/chili powder longer on it’s own; then removed it from the skillet while browning the beef. I then used power towels to mop up some of the excess grease, before adding the onion/chili powder back to the skillet.
- Unfortunately, Hass avocados are out-of-season, so I decided to skip the green, Florida avocado.
Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Start time 6:00pm. Dinner time at 6:35pm.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 garlic cloves
1-lb 90% lean ground beef
8-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 head romaine lettuce
4-oz cheddar cheese, or Mexican cheese blend
Tortila chips for serving
- Mince onion and peel 4 garlic cloves.
- Preheat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in 12” non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and chili powder for 4 minutes until the onion has softened. Press 4 cloves of garlic directly into skillet and cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in ground beef, breaking into smallish pieces. Cook for 9 minutes until slightly browned. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
- While beef cooks tear romaine lettuce into bit-sized pieces and put on a very large serving platter. Grate cheese; set aside. Also core and cut your two tomatoes into medium-sized dice, and cut your avocado into 1/2” cubes. Set tomatoes and avocado aside separately.
- Season beef mixture with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then set aside to cool slightly while making dressing.
Lime Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 jalapeño chile
1 small garlic clove
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2-1/2 to 3 limes)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Peel garlic and shallot, and cut into rough quarters. Add to blender.
- Stem jalapeno and remove seeds. Add to blender.
- Freshly squeezed lime juice is key for flavor here, so squeeze the limes into measuring cup for more accurate measuring.
- Add 5 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to blender.
- Process for 15 seconds.
- Roughly chop cilantro and measure 1/2-cup. Add to blender.
- With blender running, add oil, and continue to process for 15 more seconds, or until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
- Toss 1/2-cup of vinaigrette with torn lettuce until evenly coated.
- Place a ring of tortilla chips around the outer edge of serving plate, tucking under the lettuce if necessary. Top with beef. Sprinkle grated cheese, diced tomatoes, and avocado cubes. Drizzle anther 1/4-cup of vinaigrette over top of salad. Pass the remaining dressing separately.
- When serving to individual plates I like to first lay down a bed of tortilla chips. It can also be served with salsa or sour cream.