Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Taco Pie

A few days ago I saw something labeled as Taco Pie on Pinterest. The thought of it struck with me and I decided to make my own version. I think the Pinned version had a potato flake crust, which just seemed a bit odd to me. So I changed up the crust and made a few other adjustments, such as taking out the packaged taco seasoning and came up with this version which I think is pretty awesome. I basically took the idea of a 7 layer dip and made it into a meal instead of an appetizer. My husband took one bite and said, "Oh my god, this is SO good." Of course my 4.5 year old twins looked at it and said, "Ew... it looks disgusting." Once I got them to taste it though, they were pleasantly surprised and told me it tasted better than it looked. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Cornmeal Crust
3/4 cup of cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup of cold butter
4-5 tbsp of ice cold water

I used to make pie crusts in a food processor before my food processor bit the dust a few months ago. I'll describe both methods.
Food Processor: Put flours and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add cut up butter and pulse until it resembled wet sand. Add ice water one tablespoon at at a time until dough pulls from the side and makes a ball. Do not over process. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in your fridge to rest for about 15-20 minutes.

By hand: Mix flours and salt in a large bowl. Add cubed butter. With two knives start "cutting" the butter into the flour. You do this by holding a knife in each hand and cut across the flour and butter, this is cutting the butter and incorporating it into the flour. Again you are left with sand like texture. Add your ice water and with your hands gently massage the dough until it forms a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and put in your fridge to rest for about 15-20 minutes.

Taco Meat:
1/2 onion
1 bell pepper
1 lb ground beef
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper
3-4 tbsp of tomato paste
3 tbsp cornmeal

Cut onion into small pieces and saute in a bit of butter with bell pepper. Add garlic and seasonings. Add ground beef. Stir the beef as it is cooking so it crumbles into small pieces. When the beef is cooked through, add tomato paste and then the cornmeal. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Cheese Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp cumin
garlic (powder or clove)
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a small sauce pan. Add 2 tbsp flour and whisk together. Add 3/4 cup of milk and whisk until there are no lumps. Add  tsp of tomato paste, 1/2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper and either some garlic powder or a grated clove of garlic. Last add cheese (I used monterrey jack, but cheddar or your favorite would work.) Stir until melted. Set aside.

Taco Pie Assembly!

1 Cornmeal Crust
1 recipe cheese sauce
Refried Beans
Sour Cream
chopped lettuce

Roll out pie crust by liberally sprinkling counter with flour. Place in pie plate and form the pie shell. Scoop taco meat in the pie crust. Top with cheese. Add left over refried beans, or some from a can. (Check your ingredients if you used can and do not buy refried beans with hydrogenated oils.) Top with some cheese and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until crust gets crispy.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. (This helps with the cutting.) Top with salsa, sour cream, chopped lettuce and olives. Other toppings that would be good are avocados or tomatoes. I hop you enjoy!

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