South of the Border Mother’s Day fare

taco pie

Cinco de Mayo is only a memory, but I can’t seem to get Mexican food out of my head.

My favorite television chef is Shannon Lindell who does a cooking segment on my local television station each Tuesday and Thursday.  She’s way better than any chef on the Food Network.  In case you missed it or can’t pick up WCBI in Columbus, here’s her suggestion for an easy Mother’s Day menu which can be assembled on Saturday and plunked into the oven after church.

Margarita-Masters-Logo-Left

I may try to make the recipe using Shirley Dawkins’ similar recipe she makes with a cheese grits crust.  I published the recipe back in March.

Easy Taco Pie
1 tube crescent roll dough (or cheese grits?)
1 env. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 can refried beans
4 oz. sour cream
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1/2 cup liquid Ranch dressing
1 (4 oz) can sliced black olives
2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese
Spray a 13×9 glass pan with non-stick spray.  Unroll and press crescent roll dough into the bottom of the pan to form the crust, making sure to press and seal all the seams.  Bake according to package directions.  Set aside once baked.
In a small bowl, stir together refried beans and sour cream.  Spread over crescent crust.  Brown and drain ground beef.  Return beef to pan, and stir in the envelope of taco seasoning.  Spoon seasoned meat over sour cream/bean layer.  Drain Ro-Tel tomatoes well.  Combine drained tomatoes with Ranch dressing in another small bowl, stir well, and spoon over meat layer.  Drain olives and sprinkle over tomatoes.  Top with cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Eat plain, or serve with a variety of traditional taco toppings (lettuce, onion, tomato, guacamole, sour cream, and even crushed nacho chips.

If you really want to punctuate the Mexican theme, try her frozen Margarita Bars below.

Frozen Margarita Bars

Crust:
2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
Filling:
1 (10 oz) can frozen Margarita mixer, thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 (8 oz) whipped topping
1 small lime (optional)

Combine crushed pretzels, melted butter, and white sugar.  Stir until all pretzel crumbs are moistened and there are no visible dry patches.  Firmly press pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 13×9 pan, using the bottom of a glass or loaf pan will make pressing it easier.  Place crust in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
While crust is chilling, in a large bowl, combine thawed mixer, condensed milk, and softened cream cheese.  Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.  Fold in both containers of whipped topping, and turn mixer on medium high and mix for 2 minutes.  Pour onto chilled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least two hours.  You may zest the small lime to garnish the top, or cut very thin slices.  Either makes a beautiful presentation.  Pull out of freezer 20 minutes before serving to allow time to soften slightly.

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