Tortilla Pie

They say you’re not a true cook until you’ve owned (or at least cooked in) a cast iron skillet. I don’t know who “they” are, but I do know why “they” love the cast iron. Cast iron provides the most even cooking temperature, it’s oven safe, and the more you use it the better your food tastes.

I’ve always dreamed of using a cast iron skillet. I’ve even gotten really close to buying my own – but I chicken out at the price. I’ve seen many recipes that require or heavily suggest the use of a cast iron skillet. I always save these recipes but they’re filed under the “yeah-right-that’ll-never-happen” category. (Like ice cream maker recipes, until my husband gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas!)

These cast iron skillet recipes are no longer only in my dreams because I am now the happy owner of a cast iron skillet. But not just any cast iron skillet! I have Stuart’s grandfather’s skillet! My mother-in-law had two and generously gave me one.

Naturally the first thing I use it for is Mexican Monday!

This tortilla pie tastes better than it looks (now that the sun goes down at 5:30 it’s impossible to get good food photography). If you want to see photos that do this pie justice check out the original recipe. There are a lot of steps but they can easily be done in advance. And let me tell you, it’s completely worth it. This tortilla pie takes the flavors of enchiladas, combines it with the volume of a burrito, and assembles it in pie form. Crispy on the top and creamy on the inside.

The size tortillas you use will depend on the size of your skillet. Because my skillet is a square, my tortillas were smaller than the original, therefore I used less of the filling. What was left of the filling ingredients created a perfect burrito that Stuart took to work for lunch.

Tortilla Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 C beef broth
  • 1 – 2 tbsp canola oil, divided use
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 can (15oz) refried beans
  • 1 C enchilada sauce
  • 5 flour tortillas (size to fit in cast iron skillet)
  • 1 – 2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese

Steps:

  1. In a cast iron skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Season with taco seasoning and add the beef broth. Cook until reduced. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl.
  2. Add up to 1 tbsp oil to the skillet (if needed) and saute the onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook 60 seconds. Remove and add to the beef.
  3. Create a roux by putting 1 tbsp of oil in the skillet and whisking in 1 tbsp flour. Reduce heat to medium and slowly add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly. When thickened add the beef and onions. Add scallions. Remove from skillet.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Wipe out skillet. (Careful, it’s hot!) Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. In a bowl, mix together refried beans and enchilada sauce.
  7. Place 1 tortilla in the cast iron skillet. Top with up-to half of the bean mixture. (This will depend on the size of your tortillas.) Place a tortilla on top of the beans. Top with up-to half of the beef mixture. Repeat. Top pie with last tortilla, cover with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until golden brown.

*This recipe is adapted from Anita at http://www.hungrycouplenyc.com/2014/06/mexican-tortilla-pie.html *

Tortilla Pie

Baby Baked Beef Burritos

Where it all began - this photo taken after graduation, 2010
Where it all began – this photo taken after graduation 2010

Stuart and I met working at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Auburn and whenever we go to a Moe’s we’re always silently critiquing the employee’s burrito rolling skill. On a full size burrito (not the baby ones in this recipe) we would always mix the filling ingredients by “shimmying” the tortilla around the filling. Not only does doing this ensure a perfect bite every time, but it also creates a nice shape to roll a mess-free burrito. Because the “shimmying” method isn’t often used, I don’t particularly like burritos. They’re usually too big for me and my bites have either only meat or only toppings. But when I saw this recipe for baked burritos I thought I’d give it a shot. I liked the idea of a crispy burrito. But when I went to make my grocery list I didn’t examine the tortillas I had on hand well enough – they weren’t burrito sized, they were taco sized. And let me tell you, these baby sized burritos were just perfect for me – every bite had everything!

It was a really long day at work and I was very tempted to forego Mexican Monday for something simpler but I am so glad I made these. Every meal the rest of the week failed to compare.

How to roll a Burrito

Baby Baked Beef Burritos

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 C corn kernels, drained/thawed
  • 1/2 C black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 C vegetable or beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 6″ flour tortillas
  • 1 C shredded Mexican blend cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute onion and jalapeno in canola oil 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up. Once cooked drain excess fat, if needed.
  3. Stir in 1 tbsp tomato paste. Add corn, black beans, and broth. Stir and add cumin, oregano, chili powder, brown sugar, and salt. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Assemble burritos with cheese and beef filling. (See photos above) Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Spray burritos with cooking spray and bake 18-20 minutes.
  5. Serve with salsa, queso, sour cream, or guacamole if desired.

*This recipe is modified from http://karmelowy.pl/chrupiace-burrito-z-wolowinacrispy-beef-burritos/*

Baby Baked Beef Burritos

Updated July 2016: I have made these burritos multiple times, often doubling the recipe to bring to a potluck or for serving to my extended family. The last time I made these, a couple of weeks ago, we had some new friends over for dinner. They were in the process of moving to Alabama. Having just completed a cross country move ourselves I knew they’d appreciate a home cooked meal before they hit the road, so we invited them over the night their belongings were being boxed up. We served them with salsa, guacamole, and taco seasoning spiked Greek yogurt. These mini burritos are definitely one of my favorite recipes here on the blog! They’re easy to do with little ones underfoot, too, as I can make the filling ahead of time, roll them at a separate time, and simply bake them before we’re ready to eat. Bonus: my kids have enjoyed them every time – eating only the filling.

Baby Baked Beef Burritos  Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

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