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Thursday, November 8, 2007

7 Layers of Mexican Heaven

Like the Ultimate Quiche noted below, my brother / sister in law were in town and it was an opportunity to revisit some favorite recipes. The following recipe, 7 Layer Tortilla Pie, was something I originally found on when looking for an appetizer at my now mother-in-law's house. I don't quite remember the occasion but I do remember being pleased with the outcome and passed on the recipe, however I hadn't had a chance to make it again. Everyone in my family loves mexican so this was a perfect opportunity to have them try it.

It's called a pie because it cuts like one, however it's really just layers of tortillas with different bean and meat fillings throughout. With a decorative topping, this is a party pleaser. I made two for my family gathering of 8 and we had 2 pieces left over.

The following is based off of the original recipe but I have added a meat layer, variety of cheeses, and more personal touches.

Anne's 7 Layer Tortilla Pie
Make it up ahead of time if you want and just put it in the oven to heat through before serving.

1 lb lean ground beef1 pckt of your favorite taco seasoning, or your own mixture1 medium onion diced
3 halves of multiple colored bell peppers (save the other halfs for a salad)
2 (15 ounces) cans chunky refried beans (as seen in the international aisle)
1 cup chunky salsa
2 cloves
garlic, minced (i substitued garlic salt in a pinch, and it was still fab)
2 tablespoons
fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (15 ounces) can
black beans, rinsed and drained (or try the new refried black beans)
1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 cup
chopped tomatoes
7 8-inch flour tortillas, try some colorful variatons and alternate layers if you'd like
1 cup
cheddar cheese, shredded
1-2 tablespoons of diced jalapenos (if you like spicy, can be omitted)
1 cup mexican cheese mixture (chihuahua, queso, even mozzerella or colby is fine)
1 cup salsa (for serving)
1/2 cup
sour cream (for serving)
green onions and additional chopped cilantro (for serving)

Makes 6 servings.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Brown the hamburger and add the onions and peppers until cooked through. Drain if needed, add taco seasoning and set aside. Cut decorative long thin slices of bell peppers and save.

3. In a large bowl, mix refried beans with in 3/4 cup salsa and garlic.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup salsa, cilantro, black beans, garlic salt, and tomatoes. If not refried black beans, mash a little with a fork.

5. Place 1 tortilla as your base in a pie plate or tart dish. I used a springform cake pan lined with foil for easy lifting prior to serving.

6. Spread 1/3 pinto bean mixture over tortilla to within 1/2 inch of edge.

7. Top with cheese of your choice, and cover with another tortilla.

8. Spread 1/3 meat mixture, and top with cheese, and cover with another tortilla

9. Spread 1/3 black bean mixture and top with cheese

10. Sprinkle a surprise of spicy jalapenos on top of this layer if you'd like (or any layer)

11. Cover with another tortilla and create the following layers in this order: meat, refried mixture, meat, all the while remember to alternate cheese and tortilla colors if you like.

12. Top the 7th and last tortilla with the rest of your bean mixtures and any leftover meat. Cover with cheese of your choice.

13. To make the top pretty, I like to arrange alternating color pepper slices in a starburst form on top of the cheese. These will bake in nicely and make for a pretty presentation.

14. Cover with foil, and either refridgerate or bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

15. Cut into wedges, and serve with salsa and sour cream, green onions, cilantro, and other tasty sides of your choice. (guac, 7 layer bean dip...)

Feel free to look up the original recipe, especially if you want to do it the vegetarian style! I apologize for the picture above - stupid Meijer didn't have ANY colorful tortillas! Tsk, tsk!

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