David's Cold Weather Necessary Food! - Food Adventures In Western North Carolina! Blog at Allrecipes.com - 252492

Food Adventures In Western North Carolina!

David's Cold Weather Necessary Food! 
Oct. 4, 2011 12:15 pm 
Updated: Oct. 7, 2011 4:28 am
My husband David and I just moved from Houston, Texas (yes, where the temperature went over 100 for most of the summer!) to the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.  Within 2 months of getting here, fall has arrived and with it blessed cooler weather and spectacular fall colors.  BUT...David really dislikes cold winters (he hates Texas summers too!).  So he's decided that every time the temperature drops below 45 (at night) he gets to request what Cold Weather Necessary Food I will cook for him.  No hardship for me...I love cold weather, I love to cook, especially for him...and most important, I don't get the usual "whatever you want" when I ask what he wants for dinner!!!!  It's a win win!

So temperatures have really been falling this past week.  Went into the 30's already!  And his first request:

David's Taco Casserole

1 T olive oil
1 med. yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1lb. lean ground beef (or we've used bison)
1 pkg. taco seasoning (we like Ortega)
1 23 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (we like Muir Glen)
1 16 oz pkg wide noodles, cooked
2 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering.  Add the onions and garlic.  Cook until just translucent.  Add the ground beef.  Cook, stirring, until the ground beef is cooked and just beginning to brown.  Drain any excess fat from the pan.  Sprinkle in the taco seasoning, add the diced tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer while you cook the noodles.  The meat mixture will thicken somewhat. In a 2 quart casserole dish, put 1 layer of noodles, 1 layer of meat mixture, top with 1 C of the cheese.  Repeat layers.  Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Goes extremely well with a cold frosty beer, several slices of cornbread and a tossed salad with avocados!

Does not freeze well because of the noodles, but leftovers reheat in the microwave very well.  Which is especially important if the temperatures at our house fall before 50 the next night!!!! 

David waiting on his Taco Casserole!
Photo Detail
Oct. 4, 2011 3:57 pm
That actually sounds good. I might add a jalapeno pepper
Oct. 4, 2011 4:25 pm
Sounds great! I agree with KingSparta - add a jalepeno and/or some green chilies. Will give it a try! Alley
Oct. 5, 2011 4:13 am
Yep jalapeños are a staple in my house. I love western NC mountains, we are usually heading there this time of year in our RV for fall. But too many events this year keeping us in FL. That fireplace will get a lot of use.
Oct. 5, 2011 6:46 pm
Adding the chili pepper to this is a great suggestion! Thanks. Hmmmm, wouldn't adding grilled Hatch chili's really "bump this up a notch!" And since it seems we're going to be in for plenty of cold weather this winter I should have plenty of opportunities to try it out!
Oct. 7, 2011 4:28 am
Your recipe does sound good - and that's funny as I am not a fan of Mexican cuisine! You are going to love your newly adopted state - good for you!
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About Me
I'm the former owner of Mint Condition Herb Farm, an organic herb nursery, gardening shop and cooking school in Seabrook, Texas. In July my husband and I moved from Texas to Asheville, North Carolina and began a whole new adventure...farmer's markets are everywhere and small farms are just down the road. it's a cooks paradise! I'm found every Saturday am at the UNC Farmer's Market picking what's fresh for our meals the next week!
My favorite things to cook
Chicken, seafood (NC seafood is awesome!), & I'm experimenting constantly with Shrimp & Grits. With so much local organic produce I'm canning, dehydrating and freezing as much as possible for the coming winter. Love to bake bread, any kind of bread. We no longer eat turkey though...we have huge flocks that wander our yard and it would seem too much like eating a pet! Guess it will be ham for the holidays this year!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cinnamon sticky buns during the Texas/A&M grudge match at Thanksgiving! Chicken Noodle Soup with Fresh Rosemary and Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies for whenever my husband isn't feel well!
My cooking triumphs
I catered lunch and snacks for the cast and crew of a History Channel documentary on The Making of the Alamo and even got screen credit! Having written 3 cookbooks (San Bernard River Recipes) that are now out of print, I'm working on Mint Condition Herb Farm's new cookbook! And hoping that will be my future cooking triumph! I'm also a former food writer and restaurant reviewer for the Houston Chronicle.
My cooking tragedies
My first loaf of bread...my boyfriend (now my husband of 34 years!) went around knocking on neighbor's doors with it, it was so hard!!!! I've gotten much much better he says!
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