Taco Salad, a la Française; Don’t tell him he was right….

Taco Salad, a la Française Frenchtaco

  He was right.

Not that I'll ever tell him, but…

He was right.

Remember, back in the beginning of time, when I was searching for plates and forks so we could eat?

I was complaining because he, apparently bored labeling boxes, ended up listing some of them as 'Stuff she never uses'.

I, of course, would neither acknowledge or admit that such a possibility existed in my kitchen.

Now that I have cabinets (photos tomorrow) I can unpack the rest of the kitchen boxes.

After 8 months of managing to cook very nicely with what I had to hand I am looking at some of these things a bit differently.

Today I unpacked:

1. Stainless steel upright asparagus cooker.

I manged to get through the entire asparagus season without remembering I owned this.

2. Hand-held electric onion chopper.

This would be very useful if I ever needed to chop 5 kilos of onions in under 10 seconds.

3. Angel Food cake pan.

Well, let me think a minute…. When was the last time I made an Angel Food Cake?  Hmm…..  It must have been….  Oh, wait…. I remember.
I've never made an Angel Food cake in my life!  Thank heavens I have the pan, though…. One never knows.

3. Set of six stainless steel nesting bowls, ranging from tiny to 'what the hell would I ever use something this huge for?'

I don't think these are mine.  He bought them and packed them just to prove his point.  I never would have had room in a cabinet for them.  I'm sure they're not mine.

4.  Corn-on-the-cob cooker.

We all know that one cannot cook corn on the cob in just any old pot!

5. Pasta cooker with strainer.

See Corn cooker.

6. Spring form pan for cheesecake; 18 cup cupcake pan; bundt cake pan; copper jelly pan; 2 pasta makers, one hand crank, one for the kitchen-aid; Jello molds; sausage maker; apple baker; ravioli press; electric orange juicer; set of 6 raclette plates….

Then the moment of revelation came:

I should retire from writing a food blog.  Actually, not only should I retire, I should first apologize to the blogisphere for perpetrating this fraud for so long.

Instead of unpacking each treasure, gazing at it lovingly and letting my mind race in happy anticipation of the next time I would create something utterly delicious with it….

I looked at whatever and had 2 other thoughts:

1.  What the h-ll did I keep this for?

2.  Where the h-ll am I going to put it?

I am not throwing anything out, though.  Maybe it's just the last 8 months that has dried up the creative juices. 

Maybe, once the kitchen is unpacked, the lawn mowed, the garden planted, the windows painted, the bedroom done, the house finished and mon mari stops taking his holidays in hospital (he'll be out in a mere 2 1/2 weeks)…. Maybe, then I'll get inspired to use something.

Like that double-sided, hinged, Spanish tortilla maker…  I could do something with that…..

I can be creative….

Like this French Taco Salad:

Taco Salad, a la Française

Taco Salad, a la Française

1/2 lb ground turkey or beef
1/3 cup couscous
2/3 cup beef stock
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red and/or green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
16 oz (500gr) taco sauce, divided The jars I get are small – about 1 cup each. I use one 'mild' but and one hot, and divide between the meat and 'at table' .
8 slice goat cheese
Lettuce – enough for 2 main meal salads
French Dressing

Heat stock to boiling. When boiling, add couscous, remove from heat and cover. Uncover after 10 minutes and fluff with fork.
Chop onions, green pepper and celery. Mince garlic. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chili powder and sauté briefly (30 seconds) Add onion, garlic, celery, pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add turkey/beef and continue cooking until meat is done. Add 1 cup of the taco sauce – you want the meat mixture to be thick so don't add all of the sauce if it is not needed – serve the rest on the side. Take meat mixture off heat.
Cut tomatoes in half. Slice avocado. Make French Dressing. Prepare lettuce and put into a large bowl. Add some of the dressing and toss well. Taste, add more dressing if desired.
Divide salad and put on 2 plates. Divide couscous and make 4 little 'piles' on each salad. Top couscous with a spoonful of the meat. Lay a slice of goat cheese on top. Arrange tomato and avocado around salad and serve with any remaining salsa and meat sauce on the side.

French Dressing

1 1/2 tbs ketchup
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 tbs olive oil, the good stuff

Mix ketchup, vinegar chili powder and mustard. Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly.

Back to work; I wonder what treasures I'll unpack tomorrow

7 thoughts on “Taco Salad, a la Française; Don’t tell him he was right….”

  1. I have a huge rack in the garage full of “stuff” I rarely, if ever, use. Bundt pan, jumbo muffin tin, ice cream maker,….BUT I DON’T HAVE NEAR THE ‘STUFF’ YOU HAVE!!! (tho I think I would use the juicer…nah, forget it)
    On the other hand, I think I WILL keep the French taco salad recipe!

  2. Well, keep the angel food cake pan, I’ll make one when I come. Oh and keep the Spanish tortilla maker, probably the babes will make tortillas one day.
    For sure keep the French taco salad! Looks lovely.
    Was he grumpier today? or getting comfy?

  3. Never heard of a corn cob pan?? You can throw that out with the pasta cooker, I’ve seen many gorgeous pasta-dishes here without you having used it, so you don’t really need it… probably…i think… ah but once you have it you cán use it…once it’s gone the craving starts that you need it.
    I know it, but on the other hand, some might spurr your mind to make something in it. And baking gear; don’t throw it out, wearing panties and all, you never know what there is to come!!

  4. Ha, ha, ha… fun! You’ve got so many kitchen tools!!! I’m starting my collection now and only have a cutting machine for embutidos and my dough machine, but I’m afraid I’m following your steps ;D

  5. I’ve been considering that a pasta cooker with a strainer might be useful. Then I could re-use the water the pasta had cooked in instead of throwing it down the drain.
    And not long ago, we were thinking how useful an Angel Food cake pan would be. And I’ve always secretly wanted a bundt cake pan….
    I also don’t have most of the things you listed.
    Dibs on the following when you realize that you really don’t want them cluttering up your beautiful new kitchen anymore: stainless steel nesting bowls, sausage maker, ravioli press, tortilla maker
    I don’t need the rest of the things though. I don’t really have quite enough room in the area that I’ll be hiding those potentially useful items from my husband. He’d have a conniption if he knew I was even considering adding even one more item that I won’t use every day… errmmmmm… ever….
    (Would you like some scallop shells for when you make Coquilles St. Jacques? I have 6 that have hardly been used – I believe that only two of them have been used once each in the more than 20 years I’ve had them…)

  6. I am hanging my head in shame with you! I have two bookcases in the kitchen, threatening to topple over at any moment, covered with cookbooks, tea and cooking tools. There is an entire cupboard in the kitchen, drawer and all, devoted to cooking gadgets and special baking pans. The rest is in the pantry because they are too big for the shelves in the kitchen, which already house: a bread machine, mixers, sake cups and server (in case I decide to start drinking it), canning pot, cheese dome (never used), one of those huge metal cones for making tomato sauce and such, a waffle maker… We ought to all devote a post on our blogs of our most obscene kitchen tools 🙂
    I refuse to take the sole blame in the house, though. OK, so I bought two enormous pizza peels, 4 flan dishes, 2 more ramekins, and a cookie cutter in the last three weeks — not an addict, really! My husband is just as guilty; he bought a potato slicer for making french fries over a month ago and has yet to use it.

  7. Cindy, everything had a purpose… once. And got used… once
    Tanna, I have actually baked bread in the Angel Food Cake pan.
    Lien, in the US, people take their corn on the cob seriously…. But this was too much!
    Nuria, it starts slowly… watch out!
    Elizabeth, I do my shopping alone, and unpacking alone. I hate it when he won’t leave after I come back from the store…. I’ll trade you my 6 fondue plates (and 97 fondue forks) for the scallop shells. And give up my nesting bowls?????
    Cymry, the problem is having a pantry. I’ve had one in my last two houses. Now I don’t. It’s way too easy to tuck stuff into a pantry!

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