Beef Taco Crostada

Beef Taco Crostada

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Beef Taco Crostada is tasty and fun with flaky pastry, taco seasoned beef and endless topping options.  It’s like a taco pie without the pie plate.  For convenience, you could use purchased pie dough but I’m partial to finding the time to make my own, especially this one, because of the added maize (corn flour).  Since corn flour is gluten-free the pastry is very tender because there is less gluten than if you used all regular flour.  Corn flour also has a nice fine texture which aids in a lighter, flakier crust as well.

Ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, onions, peppers and black beans in a cream coloured cast iron skillet ready for Beef Taco Crostada.

The ground beef is cooked with onions and green pepper and then seasoned with a taco seasoning blend for flavour and spiciness. Black beans add texture, fibre and Mexican flair. Cheddar cheese brings everything together.  The fun comes adding a variety of toppings to suit your taste.  I happen to like shredded lettuce, green onions, avocado, cilantro and sour cream.  Other options may include salsa, jalapenos, guacamole, tomato, red onion and black olives. Go crazy with the toppings and enjoy it, it’s a fun family meal.

A wedge of Beef Taco Crostada topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and sour cream.

Beef Taco Crostada
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 40-45 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    35 minutes 1 hour
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 40-45 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    35 minutes 1 hour
    Beef Taco Crostada
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 40-45 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      35 minutes 1 hour
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 40-45 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      35 minutes 1 hour
      Ingredients
      Pastry
      Taco Meat
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      Pastry
      1. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter chunks until pea-size or smaller. Drizzle with 4-5 tbsp of cold water and the vinegar tossing with a fork until dough becomes scraggly. Add another tbsp of cold water if necessary. Turn mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough comes together. Form into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
      Taco Meat
      1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and green pepper and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and continue to cook until beef is no longer pink and has started to brown, breaking up beef chunks as it cooks. Remove from heat and dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
      2. Return to medium heat and add spices and water, stirring to combine. Allow mixture to come to a simmer and cook uncovered until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
      3. Remove from heat and stir in beans and half of the cheese.
      4. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a large baking tray with parchment.
      5. Roll dough into a 14" circle that will be about 1/8" thick. Fold dough in half and move to your prepared baking tray.
      6. Spread beef mixture in the centre of the dough leaving a 1 1/2"-2" boarder of dough. Fold the dough boarder up and over the beef mixture, crimping the dough slightly as you go.
      7. Whisk egg with a tbsp of water and brush onto exposed pastry edge. Bake for about 35 minutes until pastry is golden.
      8. Remove from oven and top centre with remaining cheese. Cut into wedges and serve with desired toppings.
      Recipe Notes

      -The pastry can be made up to a day in advance and kept chilled until ready to use.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Tomato Bisque

      Tomato Bisque

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      Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

      Today’s post is a blog update on my Tomato Bisque. Because the weather is frightful right now in central Alberta, it seemed like the perfect time to do a little tidy up on this gorgeous soup. This Tomato Bisque is creamy and luscious, even with only a small amount of cream. It’s thickened with rice, making it a great gluten-free option.

      The creaminess and tang are the perfect marriage with crunchy cheese toast or buttery croutons. I won’t hesitate to say that when you make this soup, you will have tremendous satisfaction from your efforts because it’s so much better than store-bought soup. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing you’re feeding your family wholesome goodness.

      Traditional French bisque is made using ground crustacean shells and thickened with rice. The term is used loosely today and can refer to anything pureed such as tomatoes or squash. Most varieties are finished with cream as is this one. Enjoy!

      Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

      Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Chef John of Food Wishes

      Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
      Tomato Bisque
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        4-6 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        30-50 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        4-6 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        30-50 minutes
        Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
        Tomato Bisque
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          4-6 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          30-50 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          4-6 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          30-50 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot, add onions, celery and garlic and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables become translucent.
          2. Add the tomatoes, stock, paprika, sugar and rice and cook until the rice is very soft, at least 30 minutes.
          3. Blend with a handheld immersion blender until smooth. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
          Recipe Notes

          I used homemade chicken stock and used 1 1/2 tsp of salt. The amount of salt will depend on the stock/broth used, so season to taste.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

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          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

          Do you have a New Year’s resolution? With the new year approaching fast, I find myself thinking of my own New Year’s resolutions.   Like many of you, one of my resolutions is to eat differently.  I say different because I don’t necessarily want to eat less or lose a bunch of weight, I just want to eat less refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like white rice. I have found that by eating a little more protein and less simple carbohydrates I generally feel better and have less hunger throughout the day.  As with everything, moderation is key to my success and my goal of maintaining this small change does not mean I will pass on every cookie and slice of bread. It means certain foods will be eaten less often. This year is all about balance!

          I hope the new year brings you success and happiness in all that you do. Cheers to 2020!

          I find dishes like Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls perfect for my resolution because they’re high in protein, both the shrimp and quinoa, a good source of fibre and loaded with fresh flavour from parsley, garlic and lemon. It also has arugula which I absolutely love lightly wilted. It’s simple, delicious and a great way to help refine the way you eat.

          Raw shrimp, arugula and lemon dressing in preparation for Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls.
          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            25 minutes 5 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            25 minutes 5 minutes
            Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
            Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              25 minutes 5 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              25 minutes 5 minutes
              Ingredients
              Shrimp Bowls
              Dressing
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Combine vegetable broth and quinoa in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook according to package directions until tender. Allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
              2. While quinoa is cooking make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.
              3. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.
              4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until softened. Stir in shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side.
              5. Add warm quinoa, arugula and 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine over low heat until arugula is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
              6. Scoop into serving dishes and drizzle each with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Five Spice Mixed Nuts

              Five Spice Mixed Nuts

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              Five Spiced Mixed Nuts in a small bowl on a gold tray with white napkins and glasses of champagne.

              Do you have a New Year’s Eve gathering and need tasty nibbles to pass along with your bubbly? Five Spice Mixed Nuts are very snackable and rather addictive with a hint of spice and sugar. They’re the party favour that you just can’t stop grabbing at. You’ll find a pleasant mixture of Chinese five-spice, maple syrup and brown sugar. The nuts are coated just enough for a light sugary chew with a lingering spice that you can’t quite put your finger on. The added dried cherries lend a little extra sweetness and soft texture to balance the crunchy nuts.

              Five Spice Mixed Nuts is a simple recipe to toss together and will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. They’re perfect to make ahead for any social gathering. Enjoy your holidays and Happy New Year to you and your family. I wish you a wonderful year ahead!

              Five Spice Mixed Nuts
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                5 cups 10 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                60 minutes 1+ hours
                Servings Prep Time
                5 cups 10 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                60 minutes 1+ hours
                Five Spice Mixed Nuts
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  5 cups 10 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  60 minutes 1+ hours
                  Servings Prep Time
                  5 cups 10 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  60 minutes 1+ hours
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: cups
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Spray a large baking tray with non-stick spray.
                  2. In a large bowl toss together nuts.
                  3. In a medium bowl whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, egg white, water, Chinese five spice and sea salt. Pour over nuts and stir to coat evenly.
                  4. Spread nuts evenly on a large baking tray. Bake for 60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. If using dried cherries stir them in halfway through baking time.
                  5. Remove from oven and loosen from the baking tray. Allow nuts to cool completely before breaking apart. Will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Minty Hot Chocolate

                  Minty Hot Chocolate

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                  You will want to give up the powdery store-bought hot chocolate mix for this creamy and rich Minty Hot Chocolate. It takes only a few quality ingredients and 10 minutes to have a warming mug of chocolatey goodness. Milk and cream get a gentle simmer on the stove before bittersweet chocolate and mint flavouring are added for an amazing hot chocolate. This lovely version is not too sweet and perfect topped with lightly whipped cream.

                  A blue mug overflowing with chocolate chips and garnished with red and white candy canes for Minty Hot Chocolate.

                  It’s great for kids and adults alike and makes me want to strap on my skates and go down to the rink on the lake. In past years, we’ve had a self-made lake ice rink at my mother-in-laws and she would often bring down a tray of hot chocolate. One year I remember well because the ice froze very flat with little to no snow which allowed us to see the fish swimming below as we skated above. It was wonderful fun and a good way to enjoy time with friends and family. Make this Minty Hot Chocolate your delicious way to warm up after a day of outdoor activities. Enjoy!

                  Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.

                  Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
                  Minty Hot Chocolate
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    1 litre 10 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    7 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    1 litre 10 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    7 minutes
                    Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
                    Minty Hot Chocolate
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      1 litre 10 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      7 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      1 litre 10 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      7 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: litre
                      Instructions
                      1. Whip half a cup of heavy cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
                      2. In a small saucepan combine milk, remaining heavy cream, and sugar. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.
                      3. Divide among serving mugs and top with whipped cream and a candy cane.

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                      Affiliate Disclosure

                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com