Sometimes you just need some fast-food to put in front of a bunch of hungry men, and this is just one of those recipes.
Yesterday I had a birthday party to attend (for which I prepared the birthday cake and some stuffed mushrooms--photos coming on those soon), AND it was man-Sunday, so I had to be really creative. Time was at a premium.
I decided on lazy man nachos, since I could prep the ground meat the day before and just throw it together. After fifteen minutes in a 400*F oven, they were ready to go.
Fifteen minutes after that, they were gone.
Lazy Man Nachos
serves 6 hungry men
2-1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 85% lean ground round)
two packets taco seasoning mix or loose-mix taco seasoning
water (according to directions on taco seasoning)
1 can red kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups shredded cheddar, monterey jack or 'taco blend' cheese
2 18-ounce bags corn chips
Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain fat and add taco seasoning mix and water according to package directions.
This is the stuff I use.
The package directions were to use 2/3 cup water and 1/4 cup seasoning per pound of meat, so I doubled that.
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Liquid should be significantly reduced.
At this point I packed up the cooked meat and refrigerated it for the next day, which made it super easy to throw together at the last minute.
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Now you'll need two large pans; disposable foil roasters from the dollar store are perfect for this use. Spray pans with canola spray and put one bag of chips in each. Sprinkle cooked ground beef evenly over both pans. Try to get even coverage.
Sprinkle drained beans over meat. I only used one can for both pans; you could, of course, add more if you like.
Now some people like salsa and others don't, so I dolloped our favorite salsa over one of the pans and left the other pan without.
Sprinkle two cups of shredded cheese over each pan; place in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve hot.
And there will be much rejoicing.
Now my brother brought in some bags of shredded lettuce/salad blend for those who wanted to make a taco salad out of the mixture; I think that was really a great idea. Along with condiments such as hot sauce, ranch dressing and extra salsa, this was a versatile dish to feed several hungry men without emptying the pocketbook.
While I would not recommend this as a meal in itself, it was a reasonably filling heavy snack for the fellas. Try it at your next party when it's cold outside. Your guests will love it.