Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Taco Pie

So far this summer, I have not cooked the same thing twice for dinner. It's become kind of a game for me to use up leftovers and random fridge items in unique ways. Such was the case for me last night; Lindsey, Dave and I grilled hamburgers after our 10K on Monday, and we had two leftover. Something about a re-heated cheeseburger was just not appealing to me, so I started looking for inspiration via Google blogs search about what to do with leftover ground beef. A taco pie thus was born. I felt somewhat semi-homemade making it, what with the crescent roll crust and crushed up tortilla chip topping, but it was dang tasty. Here's my version, that I'm certain could be gourmet-ified if needed.

Ground Beef Taco Pie
1 package reduced fat Pillsbury crescent rolls
1/2 lb ground beef, cooked and drained (I crumbled up my 2 leftover grilled hamburgers)
1/2 onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 can Rotel tomatoes (with juice)
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup corn kernels (frozen or canned)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, monterrey jack, pepper jack or combination)
7-10 large tortilla chips, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9" pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the crescent rolls flat in the pie pan so that they cover the bottom and sides. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven. In the meantime, sautee diced onion, garlic and pepper for 7-8 minutes, until onions are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in the can of Rotel, beans, and corn; salt & pepper again, and add cumin. Add in ground beef and taco seasoning; heat through, about 5 minutes. Place one layer of beef mixture on top of crescent roll crust, then top it with cheese, then place the remaining beef mixture on top, and top with crumbled up tortilla chips and more cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, slice and enjoy. Serve with guacamole and sour cream on the side.

My homemade guacamole:

1 ripe avocado
juice of 1/2 lime
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 Tablespoon finely diced and seeded jalapeno pepper

Combine together in small bowl; cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

See! It's so semi-homemade, what with the taco seasoning and crescent rolls. It felt very 1950s to make; I felt like I needed to be on my way to a potluck or church supper. However, it was quite tasty, and Dave and I both loved it. That crescent roll crust makes a huge impact since it's buttery and crispy, and works wonderfully with the spiciness of the filling. We don't like things incredibly spicy, so I always remove the seeds and ribs from my peppers before cooking. If you like it hotter, then include the seeds in the sauteed onion mixture. You can also top each serving with more shredded cheese if you have cheese lovers in the family. This made about 5 servings, which means leftovers for lunch! Again, not a very original recipe, but it was tasty and resourceful. This one's going in rotation!

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