I Ate This: Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the nacho cheese (a la Doritos) taco shell is a staple at most Taco Bells, yes? I don’t frequent the joint, but after all the fuss that surrounded the introduction of such creations a few years ago, I imagine it became a menu standard. But if it’s not a thing at your Taco Bell, then you might want to head to your grocery store, because there you may be able to pick up this product with a loooong name: Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells.

NEW! and BOLD — what could be wrong with that?

When Taco Hell Bell introduced the Doritos Locos taco, we had to head to the nearest establishment to scoop up a couple. While I did not indulge in them, I was assured by my husband that they were quite delicious. After the meal, we wondered how long it would be before we’d be able to get nacho cheese flavored taco shells in the grocery stores. The gods of taco shells must have heard us that day; however were seemingly too busy (with stand-up flour tortillas, perhaps) to answer our call right away. Yes, it took a couple years, but eventually we were enabled by the people of Old El Paso to recreate the Doritos Locos taco at home, safe from the trappings of Taco Bell’s “food.”

Old El Paso’s Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells, aside from having the least user-friendly name in the history of taco shells, are just like regular taco shells, except that they are each infused with a coating of neon-orange nacho cheese.

Awaiting the oven’s fiery glow…

As far as I know, they only come in the “stand and stuff” variety. No harm done there except that you only get 10 shells per package as opposed to 12 that generally come in your regular packages of regular taco shells.  So is the content cut and intense color worth it?

Yes…for the love of Tex-Mex, YES!

In fact, these nacho taco shells have become our new staple, and they are the only taco shells I currently purchase. Let’s review the pros and cons (if I can think of any while I’m typing).

PROS

  • They are a tad bit thinner than normal taco shells, which means they crisp up nicely in the oven and stay crispy once filled.
  • Though the box claims a BOLD flavor, the cheese flavoring is actually subdued with hints of bell pepper, black pepper, and onion. They are spicy, but not hot. (They have more taste than regular taco shells, but they don’t taste like Doritos.)
  • Because the nacho cheese doesn’t overpower the shells, the flavoring lends a lot to your own ingredients. So if you don’t like super spicy taco meant and/or beans, these shells would be just the ticket to add in some spice without getting too risqué.
  • The cheese is not super powdery, so you’re not left with orange fingers after eating a round of tacos.
  • Though you get fewer shells per package than you might with normal taco shells, the price for the nacho cheese shells is comparable to other products. No wallet strain.

CONS (okay, I did think of a couple)

  • The cheese flavoring is a little salty, so you may have to experiment with the spicing of your fillings accordingly.
  • Once in the oven, they crisp up very quickly – in about 3-4 minutes in a 375 degree oven as opposed to 5-7 minutes with normal taco shells. If you leave them in too long, they’ll absolutely burn, so you have to keep a very close eye on them while they are warming up.

I highly recommend Old El Paso’s Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells, especially if you fancy those Doritos Locos tacos but don’t want to hassle with actually going to Taco Bell. They won’t break your grocery budget, are very tasty, and will easily spice up any “Taco Tuesday.” Even if you try them for novelty’s sake, I bet they’ll become a regular addition to your pantry too.

Homer *drooooools*


While Cary’s happy to talk food here, she’s also pretty good at doling out words about video games at United We Game while simultaneously maintaining her own blog, Recollections of Play. You can also find an archive of fun, geeky articles from her and like-minded souls at Geek Force Network.

Vegetable stir-fry (with tofu and/or meat)

With gardening now officially done at our house, the time has come when we must deal once again with store-bought vegetables. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but you know what they say: “Once you go black, you can never go back!”

Um…that’s not… …right? …

Anyway, making stir-fries is one of my favorite ways to manage our vegetable intake during the winter. They’re quick, savory, and a little goes a very long way, especially with the addition of a protein such as tofu or chicken or whatever you like.  The recipe below heartily serves 3-4 people. And loners need not fret, because it re-heats very well as a leftover! (It also bears mentioning that you can use just about any combination of vegetables here.)

Vegetable stir-fry (with tofu and/or meat)

Ingredients

vegetable oil
1 small onion, shopped
1 chili, seeded and diced
1/2 of a red, green, yellow pepper, chopped
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 small can bamboo shoots, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped if large
1 cup snow peas, chopped, or left whole if small
4-6 scallions, sliced into rounds
1 package of extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed and/or 1 chicken breast, chopped, or 1 small sirloin steak cut into strips, or other meat/fish

For sauce:
1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce (use more if you like a thinner sauce)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Splash of cooking sherry (optional)

Cooked white or brown rice

Instructions
  1. Prepare 1-2 cups of white or brown rice in a style of your choosing.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  3. If using tofu, heat oven to 425 degrees and bake tofu for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. (Turn once if you remember. I never do. This process dehydrates the tofu a little, making it less mushy.)
  4. If using meat, in a hot wok or large frying pan pour in about a tablespoon of oil. Let it heat up over medium-high heat for a minute and then add the beef/chicken/whatever.  Sauté for about 5 minutes in just the oil, then add in a tablespoon or so of the sauce and cook for a minute more. Remove meat from pan keeping any remaining oil/sauce in the pan.
  5. Back in the wok, over medium-high heat, add in the onion, chili, pepper, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Add in the broccoli and snow peas. Stir the mixture and sauté for a few minutes until the broccoli turns bright green. Add in the tofu and/or meat saute for about another 5 minutes until the snow peas and broccoli become tender.
  7. Pour remaining sauce over everything in the pan and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes. (Any longer and the sauce will turn very dark and sticky.)

Top with fresh scallions and serve immediately over rice.


Let’s see just how many blogs Cary can put on her roster before going mad! While you’ll find her here on occasion, you’ll more likely to catch her over on United We Game or Geek Force Network; or better yet, working on her own blog about gaming and nostalgia and such, Recollections of Play.