I’m not sure who coined the phrase atop this recipe but after enjoying this hearty salad I discovered it to be quite true!
The mere mention of Thousand Island dressing takes my laughs back to the 1980s with this memorable scene from the movie “Cracked Up” where Jerry Lewis’ character gets a little more service than he bargained for thanks to this rigorously exhaustive waitress!
Despite my salad sign as a Leo, fate had a fresh bottle of Thousand Island dressing in my hands so that’s what I used. What’s your salad sign?
❤ I’ve included Mom’s original recipe scan below. I enjoyed the way the ingredients were organized (chop, toss, crunch, slice, brown, decorate) but I’ve taken liberties to put the typed instructions in order to help make it easy for you to prepare.
❤ Red, white, or yellow onion – it’s all up to you! If you prefer your onion cooked you can add it to the beef medley when browning; otherwise get ready for a little “oompf” from the uncooked fresh onion kick, as did I.
❤ While I’m 99% confident that Mom used tortilla chips for this dish I went with tortilla strips – their multi-colors are more festive than their typical chip cousin plus they’re easier to eat with a fork! Tip: HEB makes tasty Tri Color Tortilla Strips that I stock in my kitchen. Now if you’re eating this dish with your hands, step up to the plate (or bowl) and get some full-sized tortilla chips … or better yet a bag of Fritos Scoops!
❤ This recipe makes A LOT of salad. I believe in its entirety this dish will serve up to 6 as a main course and even more as a sidekick! You can easily half the ingredients for 2-3 people.
❤ Make sure and introduce your tortilla chips (strips), avocado, and tomatoes just before serving; nobody likes a limp tortilla chip, brown avocado or mushy tomato! As you would guess it this dish is best consumed fresh as with leftovers the dressing will make your lettuce turn sad and soggy.
for the salad:
1 head | lettuce, chopped
1 | onion, chopped
4 | tomatoes, chopped
8 ounces | thousand island or french dressing
4 ounces | cheddar cheese, grated
to top | tortilla chips or strips
to top | avocado, sliced or cubed
ii. what to do
1. In a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat brown the beef. Halfway through browining add the kidney beans and the salt. While the meat-medley is simmering for 10 minutes…
2. In a large serving bowl introduce the salad ingredients – lettuce, onion (unless browning), tomatoes. Pour your dressing on top and mix well. You can set this into your refrigerator to chill for a few minutes or if your beef is ready…
3. Give one last mix to stir things up a bit… then toss in your beef mixture, top with cheese, chips, and your avocado. Serve pronto!
Yields up to 6 servings (using full ingredients)
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
From Russia, With Love
Turns out I didn’t know much about savory stroganoff growing up; I surely didn’t know how to spell it or make it … but I sure knew how to eat it!
While researching a bit for my first stroganoff post back in 2011, I learned that stroganoff (as it’s name would imply) is a dish inspired from Russian cooking. I Googled “Russian Food Facts” and found this interesting passage …”Russia is mainly a northern country with a long-lasting cold winter. The food should give us much energy and warmth to survive during the winter time. So, the essential components of Russian cuisine are the ones, which provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins.”
Yup. Those are my roots – carbs and fat (light on the proteins). LOL. Enough of the history lesson – let’s cook!
foodie tip ~
♥ Noodles or rice? Go for some wide noodles (shown) … nothing’s better!
♥ For you stroganoff fans out there give Mom’s Sausage Stroganoff recipe a whirl. It’s a different take on this beef stroganoff, it’s just as tasty and if you’re in a hurry to get your stroganoff fix, it’ll do the trick!
¼ cup | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | pepper
1 ½ pounds | beef, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons | butter
1 cup | onion, sliced
1 clove | garlic, minced
½ cup | water
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons | catsup
4-ounce can | button mushrooms
¾ cup | buttermilk
to serve | noodles or rice
ii. what to do
1. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat cubes of meat with this mixture.
2. In a large pan, brown the meat slowly with the butter. When the meat is brown on all sides, add the onion, garlic, water, worcestershire sauce, catsup and liquid drained from canned mushrooms. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Trust me, it’s worth the time as the meat should finish out very tender!
3. Stir in the mushrooms and the buttermilk and cook only until heated through.
Serve over noodles or rice.
OK. I lied about no more history lessons!
As you can see by examples of my Mom’s handwritten recipe cards here on Betty’s Cook Nook, Betty had great penmanship. This morning I was admiring her handwriting in her recipe card above and noticed the funny little “ands” … Mom wrote them like a little “o” with a cross through it. A few online clicks later and I found out this character stems from shorthand – a form of abbreviated writing – that was invented before recording devices- back then the tape recorder. The connection to this recipe?
When I was growing up Mom was a court reporter. This meant she knew stenography (the process of writing in shorthand) and she was skilled at typing faster than the wind. Mom’s business tools were much different from today’s modern day tools; she often typed in duplicate and triplicate, making copies via carbon paper. To archive documents she made Xerox copy machine “copies” – not electronic scans. She had a typewriter – not a computer – until the early 1980s when technology started to transform her industry. I remember her first “green screen” IBM computer (sample above) … something that would completely revolutionize how she did work. And this funny little device called a stenomask she could place over her mouth to quietly repeat – almost in unison – what was being said in the court room; she could later come home and with a tape recorder and a “fancy” foot pedal device she could listen back-and-forth to court testimony while she typed it out the good ole fashioned way.
OK, now I’m done with the family history lessons. For now. :)
Where’s The Beef? You’re Looking At It, Kid!
We had an outdoor built-in grill growing up at 2927 Trailend.
When the grill was hot, we knew fine dining was soon within arm’s reach. Sometimes Dad grilled what he killed (wild game). Other times we’d go visit the meat counter at Jim’s Restaurants production center on Austin Highway. And we left with arm fulls of the stuff to freeze and save for a hungry, special day.
Dad was a regular at Jim’s at 8427 Broadway Street and it’s still standing today! He’d often meet his breakfast club there (mainly lots of fellow Texas oilmen) and enjoy the Huevos Rancheros. On special nights, we’d eat out at the Jim’s at the corner of Vandiver Road and Austin Highway. Sadly that location is now closed. My favorite Jim’s dish was the #4 – a Frontier Burger that was “dressed to the nines” wearing a delightful coating of chili, cheese and onions.
I think my favorite memory of my Dad occurred one holiday evening in the 1970s when he anonymously bought a priest and his wife their Jim’s meal. Way to pay it forward, Dad!
So there you have it! A great-little story about beef.
Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
5 | chopped sirloins
½ | onion, chopped
1 can | mushroom soup
to taste | milk
to taste | parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons | brown gravy mix
ii. what to do
1. Brown seasoned meat.
2. Remove meat from pan and pour off the excess drippings.
3. Sauté the chopped onion in a pan over medium heat.
4. While the onion is sautéing, mix together the soup, milk, parsley and gravy mix in a medium-sized bowl.
5. Pour the gravy mix into the pan with the sautéd onions and cook a few minutes.
6. Add the meat and cook covered about 20 minutes.
foodie tip ~
♥ Mom wrote that this danish tomato recipe was a good side with steak, so I made both on the same night!
My AWARD–WINNING chili recipe will set your guests ablaze with compliments to you, the chef.
This chili will probably also set your tummy on fire, because if there’s a way to add spice to a dish, I’ll sneak more in when nobody’s looking.
Don’t listen to what “the others” say: THE BEST CHILI ON THE PLANET HAS BEANS. BEANS, I SAY! I was born and raised in San Antonio, which has been credited as the birthplace of chili. So when I say “Beans,” you say “Chili!”
You: “Huh?” :~)
In 2005, the company I was working for had a chili cook-off. My pot won the gold. Then two more awards again in 2014. Spoons and bowls above the rest. Try one bowl and you’ll see.
PS ~ Did you catch this is an award-winning recipe?
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Mmmmm… Beer! Mom always preferred Pearl Light beer. She’d salt a lemon ~ sometimes a lime ~ and drop it on in. I usually use Miller Lite when I’m cooking at home. Read more about beer and how to make beer bread here!
♥ This is a great dish that’s served well with saltines, fritos or my jalapeño and cheese cornbread.
♥ Chili Lover? Check out this second chili recipe here at Betty’s Cook Nook. It’s a sweeter bowl of red that calls for no beans. Gasp!
2 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter
2 medium | white onions, chopped
2 cloves | garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds | chili ground beef (not ground beef)
2 tablespoons | ground cumin
1 tablespoon | oregano leaves
1 tablespoon | salt
2+ tablespoons | medium or coarse fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon | sugar
1 can | stewed tomatoes
1 can | rotel
2 cans | “chili fixins” by rotel
1 can | tomato soup
1 can | beer
2 cans | ranch-style (or pinto) beans
to taste | fresh jalapeños
ii. what to do
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add ground beef and cook until well done. Add the next 5 ingredients and cook 4 minutes.
3. Add the next 5 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add in the beans and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until thick.
4. Side ingredients can include: crackers, corn chips, white tortilla chips, cheese (sharp cheddar/pepper jack works good), fresh jalapeños and sour cream.
5. Eat it up.