This one wasn't quite a beauty queen. Kip confessed while dishing up his second large helping that he had not been, shall we say, very excited about eating it. But eat it he did. And eat more he did. And Kip is not one to eat 2 large helpings unless he darn well wants to eat 2 large helpings.
I confess that even I had my doubts about it. But first let's meet the players.
We had 1 1/2 normal tortilla shells, 1 spinach tortilla shell, 1/4 avocado that was looking a little sketchy, some homemade refried beans, about 4 small sweet peppers, and 8 oz or so of sour cream that I'd frozen. When I took the sour cream out of the freezer and dethawed it, it separated (thin skim-milk looking stuff vs chunky ricotta looking stuff) and was just a little, um, odd. These were our leftovers.
We also had some taco seasoning and cheese on hand. I could have stopped there and made a perfectly decent taco pie. But I knew I was up against a tough crowd and we also had a roll of refrigerated crescent roll dough (yeah, not a whole food, but a little weakness I sometimes indulge in), some canned olives and some canned chicken.
This is what I did:
1. Spread the crescent rolls out on the bottom of a pie pan. Just squeeze and press till they stick together and look crust-ish. I could have used the burrito shells as the crust of my pie and I almost did, but I knew Kip would like the crescent rolls better and I had an experiment in mind for the shells that I wanted to try out.
2. Combine 2-3 Tbsp taco seasoning with enough beans to spread generously on the crust (I'm guessing 1-1/2 C, but I forgot to measure). Spread this generously on the crust.
3. Top with meat if you've got any. Again with Kip in mind, I used some canned chicken--only about 1/2 can of it, so it was just a little something there for texture and a bit more flavor.
4. Put sour cream on top of this. As I said above, my sour cream was wonky from being frozen, but it tasted normal and I figured cooking would help it be normal. It did, though it was still runnier than usual. And I learned that you can freeze sour cream if you plan to cook with it or something like that, but not if you wish to use it to spread or dip things in.
5. Top with olives or vegetables if you've got them. If they're a firm vegetable like peppers, you may want to saute them in a bit of butter or oil first to soften them.
6. Top with a generous layer of cheese. I used cheddar.
7. At this point, I could have put my pie in the oven and all would have been well, but I wanted to fry up those tortilla shells in order to make a sort of "homemade" nacho. I'd never actually done this before, though I'd seen it done. Oh my. I'm so glad I tried because those little boogers were super tasty. It took a little willpower to preserve a few for the top of my taco pie. To do it, add a thin layer of oil (like canola) to a pan (like cast iron), but up the tortillas into the size you want and let them cook in the oil until golden on each side. Then let them sit on a paper-towel lined plate.
8. Throw this in the oven and bake at 350 or 375 for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is starting to brown and things are starting to bubble.
9. Ideally after you take it out of the oven, you should let it sit for 15 minutes or so to set. But we were starving. We cut right into it and it came out of the pan not like pie, but rather like glop. Big brown spoonfulls of it. I can assure that my kids were absolutely cheering with joy at the prospect of eating such a culinary delight. And at this point, I confess that even I was having some doubts. But then I diced some avocado on top of it and I ate it. And my doubts fled. It was really good. Kip and I ate a bunch and then we ate leftovers the next day. They were really good too. If there's one thing I love, it's getting leftovers from my leftovers. Oh yeah.