Social media abound with recipes for taco soup, also known as 5-can soup. It’s a good pantry recipe that requires few fresh items. The 5 cans refer to two different cans of beans, a can of hominy, a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, and a can of whole kernel corn. (The ingredients vary, but it’s basically a soup with similar elements)
Taco seasoning mix, a can or cup of chicken broth, a pound of ground meat, and an onion round out the recipe. Some versions include a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, but mine doesn’t. My version includes a bit of garlic powder instead. I also add a cup of tomato sauce.
Today I wanted to cook taco soup but had no canned beans.Fortunately, I use pressure cookers. There’s no need for canned beans when I have a pressure cooker and dried beans. Cooking a pound of dried beans takes less than an hour. I mixed a cup of pinto beans and a cup of black beans, cooked them under pressure 40 minutes, and allowed pressure to drop on its own.
Meanwhile, I browned a pound of ground turkey and chopped the onion. I added all the cans (corn, Rotel, hominy, and tomato sauce), broth, seasonings, and browned ground turkey and onions to the beans to slow-cook until mealtime.
Taco soup can be served with a variety of toppings, such as cheese, cilantro, and/or crumbled tortilla chips. It’s an inexpensive soup that yields 6-8 servings.
Those who follow Dixie Pixie Dust (my travels blog) may remember we spent our wedding anniversary in El Reno, Oklahoma, dining at Sid’s, home of the original onion burger. It’s a classic diner along historic Route 66.
Today I duplicated the experience in our kitchen. I need to tweak my technique a bit, but we were pleased with the results.
I toasted whole wheat hamburger buns, which I discovered hidden in my freezer, on the griddle while frozen fries cooked in the air fryer.
Using two quarter-pound burgers from the freezer and one onion, chopped, I grilled the onions first before adding the burger. Onion burgers are created by pressing the meat into the onions, incorporating the onions into the meat. Sid’s uses 3 ounces beef, which yields a thinner burger.
The onion burger was born in the Great Depression as an economic move to stretch beef. Like many recipes of that era it’s now a popular, beloved dish. Onion burgers are a way to reduce red meat and add a vegetable to a meal.Unfortunately, I already had 4-ounce patties. Next time I will use 3 ounces of meat for a better meat-to-onions ratio.
I can’t compete with Sid’s Diner, but this was a close knock-off. Not bad quarantine cuisine.
I previously posted about salmon croquettes made from canned salmon. Today I took advantage of this pantry favorite and made enough patties for dinner today and again tomorrow (with different vegetables as sides).
Equipment used: While the croquettes browned in my large cast iron skillet, I steamed the squash and onions over low heat in my 1 quart stainless steel saucepan. The fresh green beans cooked in my pressure cooker for two minutes. Leftover salmon croquettes will be reheated a couple of minutes in my air fryer oven.
Salmon croquettes make a quick and satisfying meal. The salmon mixture can be prepared up to a day ahead.A 14 3/4 oz. can of salmon yields four servings.
We are out of bread. I’ve made bread in a bread machine for 30 years or so, but I never made it from scratch. Inspired by Becky Walker (Hillbilly Kitchen), I made my first loaf of her QuarantineBread. Her very comprehensive tutorial is excellent if you’re interested.