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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Taco Salad with Tortilla Whiskers

Notes: Up to 1 day ahead, shred lettuce (chill airtight) and make tortilla whiskers (store airtight at room temperature).

Sunset JUNE 2001

  • Yield: Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings


  • 3 corn tortillas (about 6 in. wide)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • About 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 pound boneless tender beef steak such as top loin, fat trimmed, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 quarts finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 can (about 15 oz.) reduced-sodium or regular black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
  • 1 1/4 cups guacamole
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 cups fresh tomato salsa


1. Stack tortillas and cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-wide strips. In a 12- by 17-inch baking pan, mix strips with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and chili powder.

2. Bake tortilla strips in a 425° regular or convection oven, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour out of pan and let cool.

3. Meanwhile, cut steak across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stack a few slices at a time and cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, cumin, and cinnamon.

4. Place a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat. When hot, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and quickly swirl to coat bottom. Add beef at once and stir just until browned on the surface and still pink in the center (cut to test), about 1 minute. Add vinegar mixture and stir just until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute.

5. Mound lettuce in the center of a large, shallow bowl. Surround with tortilla whiskers. Layer beans, cheese, then steak evenly over lettuce. Top with guacamole and sour cream and sprinkle with green onions. Gently spoon salad onto plates; serve with salsa.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 426
  • Calories from fat: 53%
  • Protein: 27g
  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrate: 30g
  • Fiber: 7.2g
  • Sodium: 1100mg
  • Cholesterol: 60mg