Thursday, October 17, 2013

Not Quite the Same

Last week, Hubs and I celebrated out 25th anniversary. (Yes, I was 4 years old when we married. Why do you ask?) 

This week, I stretched way back and blew the dust off of a recipe that I used to make as a newlywed. I seriously don't believe I have prepared it in over 15 years, but a bag of Doritos in somebody else's cart at the grocery store brought it to mind.

The Taco Bake Casserole wasn't quite what I remembered, but then, I am not the same as I was back then, either. Has Pillsbury changed the formula for their crescent rolls? or are the sheets less buttery than the actual triangular-cut rolls I used to use? Doritos seem more salty and less cheesy, but that could just be my own taste buds. Back in the day, I used Ortega taco seasoning, but these days, it was the homemade dry mix I keep on hand. I grated my sharp cheddar cheese from a block instead of using pre-shredded, and my tomato sauce and green chiles were from my garden. These minor changes might have made the slight difference when revisiting the casserole, but Taco Bake Casserole was still pure comfort food on a chilly autumn evening. Nothing fancy, just a hearty dinner On My Plate.

(adapted from Taste of Home)

1 tube crescent rolls (or 1 tube crescent roll dough sheet)
2 cups crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup diced onion
1 pound lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 small can (4.5 ounces) diced green chiles
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Spread the crescent roll dough in the pan and up the sides slightly. If using rolls instead of sheets, press the seams together.
Top with 1 cup crushed Doritos and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
Pre-bake 5 minutes while prepping the beef mixture. (Don't fully bake the crust, but allow the top to set slightly.)
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and crumble. 
Add the onion and cook until tender.
Drain any excess fat from the pan.
Add the taco seasoning, green chiles, and tomato sauce to the beef.
Simmer until most of the liquid had absorbed.
Stir in the black beans and heat through.
Spread this beef and bean mixture over the par-baked crust.
Top with dollups of sour cream and spread to cover.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Finish with the remaining crushed Doritos.
Bake 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.
Serve with taco sauce or salsa and additional sour cream, if desired. (Serves 8.)
A tossed salad on the side is our tradition.

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