Taco Bell Corp. is a California-based fast service restaurant chain that specializes in Mexican style fast food. Taco Bell--with 1995 sales in the United States of $3.5 billion dollars--held the largest share of the Mexican-style restaurant market in the United States. In mid-1997 the fast food chain was owned by the giant PepsiCo empire and was expected to soon become part of the restaurant holding company TRICON Global Restaurants, Inc., a far cry from its modest beginnings as a hot dog stand.

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Cantina Steak Quesadilla



CANTINA STEAK QUESADILLA
Taco Bell Copycat Recipes

Serves 1

3 tablespoons Mexican blend cheese
1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
5 jarred jalapeƱo slices, finely chopped
1 portabella mushroom cap (stem removed), sliced
2 oz. thinly sliced raw lean beefsteak filet
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
dash black pepper
1 medium large flour tortilla

Optional Toppings
salsa
sour cream

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine shredded cheese, cheese wedge, and jalapeƱos. Stir until uniform.

Halve portabella slices widthwise. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium high heat. Add portabella pieces, and cook and stir until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add sliced steak, sprinkle with seasonings, and cook and stir for about 2 minutes, until just cooked through.

Lay tortilla flat and spread with cheese mixture. Evenly top one half with cooked steak and mushroom slices. If needed, clean skillet. Respray and bring to medium heat. Place the loaded tortilla flat in the skillet, and cook for 2 minutes.

Using a spatula, fold the cheese-only half of the tortilla over the filling, and press lightly to seal. Carefully flip and cook until crispy, about 2 minutes. Slice into wedges.

Caramel Apple Empanada



CARAMEL APPLE EMPANADA
Taco Bell Copycat Recipe

Apple Mixture
3 apples
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Crust
3 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 cup coconut milk cream (let can of coconut milk settle for 30 minutes; the cream will settle on top) or heavy whipping cream

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Assembly
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup butter


Apples:  Peel and core apples, and chop into medium chunks. Place apples, water, brown sugar, and cinnamon into a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. Lower heat and let simmer until apples are soft. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash apples. Set aside.

Crust: Mix Bisquick and coconut milk (or heavy cream) together in a large bowl until it turns into a thick dough. Place on a clean surface and knead for five minutes. Place back in bowl and set aside. It may take a few minutes to get the dough ball to form, but if you are having problems, use your hands to mix.

Caramel Sauce: Combine butter, brown sugar, vanilla and evaporated milk in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil, constantly whisking it. Let boil until sauce reaches desired consistency, whisking the whole time.

Assembly: Immediately after removing caramel sauce from the stove, pour into apple mixture. Mix together and set aside. Melt butter in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Put the dough ball out on clean surface, and using a rolling pin, roll it out to be about 1/4 inch thick. Using a large drinking glass, cut out circles for empanada dough. Remove circles from dough, and re-roll out the remaining dough to get more circles. Repeat until no dough remains.

Taking one dough circle at a time, roll dough out until it is very thin. Holding the dough in your hand, brush one side lightly with butter, and dip that side into. Place a spoonful of caramel apple sauce into the center of the dough. Fold over, and seal shut with a fork by pressing the edges down. It is okay if caramel sauce seeps out a little bit. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Cool for five minutes on cooling rack, and serve warm.

Chicken Quesdaillas



CHICKEN QUESADILLAS
Taco Bell Copycat Recipe

Quesadilla Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons jalapenos slices, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons jalapenos slices, minced
2 teaspoons jalapeno juice
1 dash salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Quesadillas
4 chicken tenderloins
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 slices American cheese
4 flour tortillas
vegetable oil

Combine all of the sauce ingredients; stir until smooth. Set aside. Grill chicken in vegetable oil; cut into thin slices. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Lay a tortilla into hot skillet and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and 1/2 cheese slice on one side of the tortilla. Put on top of cheese about 1/4 cup chicken slices. On the other side of tortilla, spread about one tablespoon of sauce. Fold tortilla over; press down gently with kitchen spatula. Cook quesadilla until cheese is melted. Slice each into 4 pieces.

Happy Hour




Taco Bell is also promoting its "Happier Hour" on a seasonal basis, the period between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. when it makes beverages and snack items available for $1.  The Happier Hour menu offers Loaded Grillers, Freezes, Sparklers, and Medium Drinks for only $1 each.

If you're wondering what a Freeze is, it looks like Taco Bell has gotten rid of the fruit topping on their Frutista Freezes and are now just offering them as Freezes without the fruit. The ice slush drinks are available in Mountain Dew Baja Blast, Pink Lemonade, and Pina Colada. You can probably expect a rotation of flavors similar to the previous drinks.

Cheesy Double Decker Taco




Cheesy Double Decker Taco is basically the regular Double Decker Taco with added nacho cheese sauce in between the soft tortilla and the crunchy taco shell.  It is a warm, soft flour tortilla, filled with beans and nacho cheese sauce, wrapped around a classic crunchy taco filled with seasoned beef, real cheddar cheese, and crisp shredded lettuce.





It couldn't be easier to make this dish at home since you can buy everything prepackaged. The kit consists of six hard, pressed corn taco shells, six flour tortillas, a foil packet of nacho cheese sauce, and a seasoning mix, to which you just add ground beef and toppings.



OTHER TACO BELL DOUBLE TACOS:

  • Double Decker Taco - A warm, soft flour tortilla spread with hearty beans and wrapped around a crunchy, corn taco shell filled with seasoned beef, crisp shredded lettuce, and real cheddar cheese.  You can also upgrade this item with marinated and grilled all-white-meat chicken or marinated premium thick cut steak.
  • Double Decker Taco Supreme - A warm, soft flour tortilla spread with hearty beans and wrapped around a crunchy corn taco shell filled with seasoned beef, real cheddar cheese, crisp shredded lettuce, diced ripe tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream.