Cheesy Taco Noodles

I really love cheese, so any excuse to put cheese in a dish, odds are I’m going to give it a shot. This means if the dish is French, Italian or Mexican in original or claims to be one of these ethnicities, I’m sure I will love it. Because again, cheese! If you haven’t heard me say it before, cheese is life.

Now, everything in moderation. I won’t cook a dish like this except once a month, or when on vacation. Mostly because I don’t want to clog my arteries or give my doctor a heart attack. Also, I will use the 2% milkfat cheese anytime I can find them. Why? Well, because when this cools in my fridge, and I pull some out to reheat for lunch, that oil slick on top that becomes a layer of orange congealed fat is unappetizing and I will never cook the dish again. Imagine that in your body… ewwww. Reduce the fat where you can, people. I;d also suggest ground chuck (80/20) or ground round (85/15) – again, less fat equals a better you. I feel those are meatier tasting anyway.

Now in this dish, I broke my cardinal rule… in several places. First, this recipe was a glaring advertisement for No Yolks noodles. I’m not a fan, so I bought the brand I like. Also, I couldn’t find a few things at the store – December 28th and the shelves were barren. Go figure. So I made some edits along the way and this turned out (pardon the pun), delish!

Because you’ve asked, I have a few tutorials on how to chop an onion (my way) and mince a jalapeno (also my way). Apparently, the mushroom slicing was a success.

15724653_10154779202517978_8038644034456592509_o
Adapted from Delish

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 Tbls oil, extra virgin olive
1 Medium onion, white chopped
1 Small pepper, jalapeño minced
1 to taste salt, Kosher
1 1/3 Pound beef, ground chuck
2 Tbls seasoning, taco
12 Ounce(wt)s pasta, extra-wide egg noodles
3 Cups stock, chicken, low-sodium
28 Ounce(wt)s tomatoes, diced, fire-roasted
1/2 Cup cream, heavy
3 Cups cheese, Mexican blend shredded

Tools Needed:
Simply Calphalon Nonstick 5-qt. Sauté Pan & Cover
ZYLISS Lock N’ Lift Can Opener

Directions:
Chop the onion. First, cut it in half and remove the outer peel. Leave the root on the onion.
onion_half

Next, cut the half in half – you should have 4 quarters. Note: Root is still in tact – this will keep the layers from falling apart as you chop.
onion_quarter

Make slices from the root end (not quite all the way to the root) forward. Depending on the size chop you need – in this case, 1/4-inch.
onion_step3

Turn the onion quarter onto its other cut side and do the same thing. 1/4-inch slices from the root end forward.
onion_step4

Now, turn the onion 1/4 turn and slice (again 1/4-inch). Your slices will yield diced/chopped onion. Slice until you hit the end of your slices – at the root.
onion_step5

Repeat with the other 3 quarters of onion.
onion_chopped

Mincing jalapenos: Jalapenos are spicy, but often are requested to be minced with the ribs and seeds removed. What does that look like?

First, remove the stem from the top and cut it in half lengthwise.
jala_prep

Next, remove the ribs and seeds by cutting out both using a paring knife or a spoon. Use gloves or be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards or you may burn your face or mouth (or anything you touch as the oils from the pepper will stay on your fingers)
jala_seeded

Slice the pepper lengthwise into very thin strips with a sharp knife.
jala_sliced

Line up the matchsticks and cut into a very small dice crosswise.
jala_minced

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt. Cook until tender, 5 minutes.
onion_sauteed

Add jalapeño. Cook 2 minutes more.
onion_jala_sauteed

Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
add_beef

Drain the fat and return the beef mix to the pan.

beefmix_drained

Add the taco seasoning.
add_taco

Add noodles and stir until coated in beef mixture, then add fire-roasted tomatoes and chicken broth.
presimmer1

Simmer until noodles are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in heavy cream.
precream

Remove from heat and add both cheeses and toss to coat. Add additional salt to taste and serve.

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