Cook Book Challenge: Week 36

Returning to the challenge this week, I turned to my Christmas present from Cameron's mum. This is the second book from 'Great Tastes' she has bought me, and I have to confess loving both of them. The recipes range from the simple to the more complex, from those involving pantry ingredients to others requiring a stop-over at a speciality grocer. I'd been meaning to cook from this book since Christmas, but have only just got around to it now. I swear I think it's still February. None the less, it was worth the wait. I've cooked from this book thrice this week.

When it comes to weeknight meals I very quickly lose my inspiration. Cooking has begun to be a chore, particularly so when cooking for my sister who likes so little different things. When it comes to deciding what to make for dinner I can never formulate answers. Particularly not answers that involve quick, easy yet interesting solutions. This is where this book comes in. I'm determined to cook out of it as often as possible.

As for the challenge, well, that had to involve something out of the ordinary. As soon as I turned to this item, I just had to make it.

Tortilla Pie.

I love Mexican food and love making it at home as often as I can. Especially anything involving a tortilla. I absolutely adore them. But I'd never seen them used like this before. I was up for this.

I did make a change from the method here. The recipe says to make it in a pie dish and create a domed shape. I was after something a bit more even than that, so I went with a springform tin instead. Easy release, easy to cut and scoop up from the pan. It also best fit the size of the tortillas I had.

Constructing the pie is a simple process of laying the mince and beans over the tortilla, and sprinkling with a little cheese and salsa.

When it comes out of the oven, you'll have a quick, easy and beautiful meal to share with the family.

I had my suspicions that this might fall all over the place, but it actually cuts beautifully. As for the taste, we couldn't get enough of it. Topped with a little sour cream, avocados and home-made guacamole, it ticked many of my favourite flavour boxes.

I made a minor change to the recipe: before cooking the meat I seasoned with salt, pepper and a little cumin. I always season meat before browning, as that's how you bring out the best natural flavours and help retain moisture in the meat. So I'd recommend at least a little sprinkle of salt on the mince before browning it off. Any extra flavour is up to you. Aside from that, I stuck to the recipe for the challenge. But I'm looking forward to making it again, adding some capsicum and avocados to the filling. There's endless possibilities for this baby.

Here's the recipe from Great Tastes.

Tortilla Pie


1 tbsp oil
500g (1lb. 2oz) minced beef
35g (1oz) packet taco seasoning mix
420g (14oz) Mexican chilli beans, drained
8 flour tortillas
250g (9oz/2 cups) grated cheddar cheese
300g (11oz) Mexican tomato salsa
150g (6 oz) sour cream
1 avocado, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease a 23cm (9 inch) pie dish. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the minced beef and cook for 5 minutes, or until brown, breaking up the lumps with the back of a spoon.  Drain off the excess oil. Add the seasoning mix and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans until heated through.
  2. Lay a tortilla in the base of the pie dish, then spread 125g (5oz / 1/2 cup) of the mince mixture on top. Sprinkle with 30g (1oz / 1/4 cup) cheese and 1 tablespoon of salsa. Continue layering with the remaining tortillas, mince mixture, cheese and salsa, ending with a tortilla sprinkled with a little cheese — it should end up looking like a dome shape.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted and browned. Cool slightly, cut into wedges and top with a dollop of sour cream and the diced avocado. Serve with a tomato salad, if desired.

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.

4 thoughts on “Cook Book Challenge: Week 36

  1. I saw “30 Minute Meals” and had a horrible terror that you were doing Rachael Ray recipes. Then I saw it was a completely different book and heaved a sigh of relief. 😀 I really hope Ray never infiltrates you guys on that side of the world! Though if she did, you’d probably never be caught dead making her “messipes” so we’d still be safe here. 😀

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