- 1 package corn tortilla chips, any brand or color (yellow, blue, red or white) will do
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped, divided
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Coarse salt and black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 2 firm Haas avocados
- 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- A handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups each shredded Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese (10 ounces each)
Lightly crush the chips by popping open the bag and giving the chips a few light whacks with a frying pan – be careful that they don't fly out of the sack! Hold the bag loosely at the top with one hand while you crush the chips with the other.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the beef to the skillet and brown and crumble it, 5 minutes. To the browned meat, add half the jalapeño peppers, three-quarters of the chopped onions and all of the garlic. Season the meat with the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook together for 5 minutes more, then add the water and reduce the heat to low. Adjust the salt, to taste.
Halve and separate the avocados. Remove the avocado pits with a spoon. With the skin intact, using a small knife, dice the avocado while still in the skin. Scoop out the diced flesh and place in a bowl. Combine the tomatoes, remaining onions, jalapeños, and cilantro gently with the avocado and dress the salad with the juice of 1 lemon, remaining EVOO, and salt, to taste.
Layer a 1-2 handfuls of chips in soup or chili bowls and top with a handful of cheese. Fill the bowls with taco meat and top with more cheese, then mound up some salad on top and serve.