In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Place chips in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Spread beef mixture evenly over the top. Cover with lettuce. For each star, arrange five olive slices together in the upper left corner. To form stripes, add cheese and tomatoes in alternating rows. Serve immediately.
Editor’s Note: If you wish to prepare this salad in advance, omit the layer of chips and serve them with the salad.
1 cup: 0 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate (0g sugars, 0g fiber), 0g protein Originally published as Patriotic Taco Salad in Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002, p211
2 cups self-rising white cornmeal
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large jalapeno, chopped fine
2 cups buttermilk
8 cups peanut oil, for frying
In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, onions, jalapeno and a pinch of salt. Add enough of the buttermilk to make a stiff batter. You may not need the whole 2 cups.
Heat the peanut oil in a deep fryer or a large heavy bottomed pot to 250 degrees F.
Drop the batter into the hot oil by teaspoonfuls. The hushpuppies will turn over in the oil as they cook. They are done when they are brown all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and season with salt. Keep the hushpuppies warm while you fry the remaining batter. Serve hot.
Cook’s Note: If you can’t find self-rising cornmeal, substitute 2 cups cornmeal plus 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.