Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Easy Taco Pizza

I know, I know...  we all need to lose weight but it was Superbowl weekend.  I wanted to make something yummy to eat during the game (yadda yadda yadda).  I didn't want Buffalo Chicken Wings or anything of that sort, so I ferreted out a recipe on one of those online recipe sites.  Probably, or something like it.  It is a recipe for Easy Taco Pizza.  After reading the recipe, I decided to make my own taco seasoning for a myriad of reasons.  The first and most important reason was that I hadn't bought any taco seasoning at the grocery store.  I also figured it was more economical to make my own seasoning from what I had in the house rather than buying a packet.  So, there you have it.  A combination of laziness, lack of forethought and cheapness motivated me to make the taco seasoning myself.  Wait... I had another more altruistic reason that turned out to be completely bogus.  I thought that all taco seasoning packets had MSG in them.  I am against MSG for health reasons.  I'm sure I eat enough of it in prepared foods without adding it to foods I make myself.  In this case, I found out that I was wrong.  It seems that now McCormick is advertising that their seasoning mixes do not contain MSG! Are they doing this just for me?  I doubt it, but it is nice to know they care.  Anyway, this recipe is a nice mix of two favorite dishes into one delicious meal.

Easy Taco Pizza
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 20 min

1 pound lean ground beef
1 packet of taco seasoning mix
1 can (4-ounces) diced green chilies
1 store bought pizza crust
1 can refried beans
1 ½  cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced

1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.       Prepare ground beef according to seasoning packet directions. Be sure to drain excess fat after browning meat. Once the taco meat is prepared, stir in the chilies and set aside if still working on the other steps below.
3.       While the meat is cooking, smear the pizza crust with the refried beans.  Spread evenly across the crust leaving a ring of crust (unless you prefer to dress to the edge of the pizza).
4.       Once taco meat is done, pour it over the crust and spread evenly. Top with cheddar and green onions.
5.       Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Allow pizza to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Taco Seasoning
Prep Time: 1 Minute
Servings: 10

"This is a mixture of spices that approximates what you would buy in a package of taco seasoning. Depending on how spicy you and your family like your dishes, use as little or as much as you want."


1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper


In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Unorthodox Shepherd's Pie

I know that I mentioned how much I love to cook but did I mention that I also love to read? My favorite books are murder mysteries. Put those two hobbies together and you will understand my love of Diane Mott Davidson's books. The main character in her books is a Colorado caterer by the name of Goldie Schultz. In each of her books, Diane offers up several interesting recipes. I love reading the recipes but I have never tried making one until my son looked through Diane's latest book (which happened to be on my bookshelf) and found the recipe for Unorthodox Shepherd's Pie. He kept asking me to make it. I finally relented. I am so glad that I did. It is scrumptiously delicious. All of the recipes in Diane's books can be found on her website

Unorthodox Shepherd's Pie


· 2 pounds lean ground beef
· 2 cups chopped onions
· 2 cups chopped celery
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp
· 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
· 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
· ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
· 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, or to taste
· ¼ to ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
· 1 cup frozen baby peas
· 1 cup frozen baby corn
· 4 ½ pounds russet potatoes
· 1 ½ cups half and half
· 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
· ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
· additional sea salt, to taste
· additional freshly ground black pepper, to taste
· ½ stick unsalted butter, cut into bits
· paprika


In a very large sauté pan, sauté the ground beef, onions, and celery in the oil over medium heat until the beef is browned and the vegetables are limp. Add the flour and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble. slowly add the chicken stock. Stir until completely combined, then stir in the thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the mixture is bubbling and thickened. Stir in the peas and corn and set aside.

Bring a large quantity of salted water to boiling. Peel the potatoes and drop them into the water. cook for about 40-45 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half until it is steaming, but not boiling.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch deep-dish pie plates. Grease or line a baking sheet.

Remove the potatoes from the heat, drain, and place them in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Begin to beat the potatoes on low speed, slowly adding the hot half-and-half, the cheese, and the additional salt and pepper.

Place half the beef mixture in each of the prepared pie plates. Place half the potato mixture on top of the beef. Scatter half the butter bits on top of each potato mixture. Sprinkle generously with paprika.

Place the pies on the baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned and the pies are completely heated through.

I had never made shepherd's pie before because I thought it was made with lamb and I don't like lamb. Boy was I wrong. I put one of the pies in the freezer and pulled it out one night when I had no idea what to make for dinner. It was a hit both times. Enjoy!

The Creative Cook