Introduction: Taco Ring

Everyone knows one. Chefs dread them. The picky eater can be found in every aspect of life, child and adult. Both my boyfriend and my brother are extremely picky. They like meat and bread and that's just about it! Forget vegetables! Forget anything fancy!

Still, I have found a few recipes that will please just about every picky eater. My cousin introduced me to this recipe some years ago and I've had nothing but success with it. The Taco Ring is simple to make and delicious. Kids like it because it is a new twist on an old favorite. Get ready to revamp an old favorite, and plan on making this at least once a month once the kids try it!

EDIT
I haven't been online much lately and I just wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful comments. It's interesting to see what you guys are doing to the Taco Ring. Thanks again. <3

Step 1: Tools

  • a skillet for cooking ground beef
  • a spatula/spoon/what have you
  • a round cookie sheet or pizza pan
  • a tallish bowl
  • optional: a colander

Step 2: Materials

  • 1 pound of ground beef (ground chicken would work as well)
  • 1 package of taco seasoning (I like the extra cheesy kind)
  • 1 16 oz package of shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 tubes of croissants (or more depending on the size of your pan)
  • cooking spray
  • optional: salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, anything you like in tacos

Step 3: Let's Get Cooking!

Place thawed ground meat in a skillet and cook until no longer pink. I am personally very finicky about ground meat. I watched Pink Floyd's movie, The Wall, for the first time in elementary school and there is a scene where children ride a conveyor belt into a meat grinder. Needless to say, I wouldn't eat ground beef again until I was in high school. Even though I've gotten over it (for the most part), ground beef kind of weirds me out so I always opt to rinse it out after cooking. If you choose to do this, empty your cooked meat into a colander and run warm water over it for a few seconds. This also helps get rid of excess grease. Shake the colander to get rid of extra water and put the meat back in your skillet.

Step 4: Assemble the Ring

Go ahead and preheat your oven to whatever temperature the croissants are supposed to cook at. While your ground meat is cooking you have plenty of time to assemble the ring part of the Taco Ring, especially since ground meat pretty much baby-sits itself. Place your round pan on top of your bowl. This is going to allow for overhang (Overhang of what? you ask. Be patient!) Spray the pan with cooking spray. Give it a nice thick coat. Now open one tube of croissants to start with and unroll and separate them. Place the wide end of the croissant about three inches from the edge of the cookie sheet, allowing the thin edge to hang off the side (here's your overhang!). Continue in this manner all the way around the pan, using the rest of the croissants as necessary. Overlap the dough so that there are no open spots, pushing it together as needed. You will end up with a circle in the middle of your pan where there is no dough. That's the ring!

Step 5: Taco-y Goodness

This step couldn't possibly be easier. For those of you who want to build your own spice base, more power to you, but I prefer to use pre-packaged taco seasoning mix. It's convenient and a lot cheaper than buying all sorts of different spices. Follow the directions on the back of the package, since they will vary with brand. Cook until all liquid has evaporated and infused your ground meat with taco-y goodness. At this point, you can add salsa, tomatoes or shredded lettuce to your filling. My boyfriend doesn't like any of these things so I'm leaving it plain this time. Next time I will add salsa.

Step 6: Cheese, It Makes the World Go ‘Round

For this step, I've found that it is easier to go ahead and incorporate the cheese into your meat mixture instead of trying to put it on top just because it makes the cheese easier to deal with. Empty your bag of cheese into the skillet with and mix it into the meat until melted. This will be your filling.

Step 7: Filling and Closing

Spoon the meat and cheese filling on top of the croissants, leaving a few centimeters uncovered at the edges of the center ring. Don't be afraid to pile it on! I've never had it leak out while cooking, so use as much or as little as you like (more is better!). Once you have it filled to your liking, start pulling up the dangling pieces of croissant. Smoosh the tips into the dough you left uncovered by the meat mixture. You may have to stretch the dough a little to do this, and that's perfectly fine. I like to position the dough in a slanted angle, just because it looks nicer than leaving it perfectly straight. To use up the left-over croissants, place a small amount of meat in the center and fold so that you make a bundle that looks a little like a diaper. Cook until the top of the croissants become golden brown and the bottom firms up (a doughy bottom isn't very pleasant).

Step 8: Plate Up!

That's it! By now you should have a perfectly golden and delicious taco ring! Cut where each croissant is separated and serve. For presentation, you could cut the top off of a bell pepper and fill it full of salsa. Place the taco ring on a nice platter with the bell pepper inside it. Tonight, it's just me and the man, so I'm not worried about presentation. Top off each section with sour cream or extra cheese if desired. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my first ever instructable. All comments, advice and constructive criticism are welcomed and encouraged!

Comments

author
ryoo818 (author)2009-01-16

One ring to feed them all~

author
nightninja87 (author)ryoo8182009-01-18

one ring to fill them all~

author
mmould03 (author)nightninja872009-01-25

One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them? But really, JUST made this for the fam and they're LOVING it.

author
mmould03 (author)mmould032009-01-25

<img src="http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g180/mmould03/TacoRing.jpg"></img>

author
crapsoup (author)2015-06-10

you are a taco wizard!

IMG_1506 copy.JPG
author

has anyone ever used a pizza stone? If so… any adjustments to recipe?

author
Woogaus (author)2011-02-02

My wife showed me the best way to cook ground beef for this type of recipe, we boil it, comes out perfectly done and once you drain it all the fat and grease is gone.

author
imboox2 (author)Woogaus2011-03-04

I have done that for decades and also get the best ground meat I can. Friends tell me I'm crazy spending more, but when I cook a pound of 97% or 98 % ground sirloin I have nearly a pound of cooked meat with little having gone to fat. It taste much better too in my opinion. As lean as it is the water is not really needed, but when doing meat for something like tacos, cooking in water makes the meat fall apart easily. No big chunks to chop up.

author
slautterback (author)imboox22013-10-26

Good Idea

author
curiousmomma (author)Woogaus2011-06-05

We don't completely boil it but we do Put a cup of hot water in at the end of the browning and it pulls out the grease. Then when you drain the meat it takes the grease out but leaves all the flavor.

author
kttecatt (author)2012-07-16

I know it's been awhile since you posted this recipe; but, I wanted to say that it became a family favorite from the first baking and all of my grown children now make it for their families as well. Thank you for posting it.

author
kkoene (author)2011-11-19

OK, just pulled it out of the oven. OMG!!! Let the Nomnom begin!!!

author
kkoene (author)2011-11-19

Making this right now for dinner! Can't wait!

author
jehan60188 (author)2010-09-16

Can't say I approve of your choice in sustenance, but this is an EXTREMELY well made instructable.

author
nosemeat (author)2009-01-10

Hello dinner tonight! We used to make a kind of taco dip that incorporated all the ingredients and cooked in a bowl, but it more or less was a bowl of grease at some point, not to mention having to find taco seasoning without MSG. This looks far better, though. Also, when (or if) you cook it with veggies, does it soften them significantly?

author
eash (author)nosemeat2009-01-10

The way this is done there is hardly any grease at all. What grease remains after I rinse it off is usually baked off in the oven. But by no means is it dry! I normally don't concern myself with MSG. I know that it's bad and that I should, but living on a limited budget means buying whatever is the cheapest. In this case, the name-brand seasoning was on sale so I got to use the kind I like. To be honest, I've never cooked it with fresh veggies. My boys are really picky and won't eat them. I just use salsa, which is already fairly soft. If you decide to use veggies, let me know how it turns out. I might end up putting some fresh veggies in my pieces and leaving it out of theirs. Also, thanks for the comment!

author
deLaRosa (author)eash2010-05-29

I know what you mean about the picky eaters - to add some veggies in a covert kind of way, shred some carrots and zucchini, and add them when the meat is about halfway done (so they cook down and get nice and soft - this way kids will never know!). Then continue with the recipe as is, and it's a great sneaky veggie.

author
eash (author)deLaRosa2010-05-29

Great idea! I love sneaky veggies!

author
deLaRosa (author)2010-05-29

I wanted to make it a little fancy for some friends, so I just topped the regular taco meat with the cheese, and then some veggies on top of the dough. I filled the bell pepper with some sour cream, and the crowd went wild.

author
curecreator (author)2010-02-05

 That is freaky I was watching that in another tab while reading this. (the wall)

author
comodore (author)2009-01-10
Looks Delicious!!!

TACO TACO; BURITO BURYTO;
TACO FLAVOURED KISSIS! xD
(in case you don't know its from South Park)
The second part, roll to the middle...

author
Kaiven (author)comodore2010-02-03

What did I just watch?!

author
caityjay (author)2009-09-19

Alternatively, you could fill the center with those optional taco fillings, almost like a layer dip. Less picky-eater friendly that way, of course ;) This looks absolutely delicious, and reminds me of something one of my former roommates makes called Trilobite (her dad modified a recipe he found to make it breakfasty- it's basically crescent rolls wrapped around scrambled eggs, diced ham and cheese and is oh-so delicious!). I will definitely be trying this one!

author
caityjay (author)2009-09-19

Ugh, you watched The Wall in elementary school? Poor you! *pats* I'd be scarred for life! However, I do like the idea of rinsing the ick from the block of meat (weird movies aside, I'm not a huge fan of raw ground beef, either). I'll have to try that the next time I use it!

author
ElectroFox (author)2009-07-18

I made this last night. I first spread a thin layer of refried beans on the bottom, then I crushed a few handfuls of tortilla chips (like little triangles, not tortilla crumbs nor powder), half the meat, layer of sliced black olives and diced red bell pepper, then the other half of the meat. I also added 1 cup of frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's (Excellent! You MUST seek it out!) to my ground beef mixture. When done I topped it w/a few dollops of sour cream and sprinkled with chopped cilantro. Everyone loved it so much, I am making it today, but I'm going to put in my smoker in the backyard for about 3-4 hrs @ 250 with lots of hickory and mesquite. I will let you know how the 'Smoked Taco Ring' comes out. Should be good. Betcha never had smoked blackberry cobbler... Thank you for a wonderful Instructable Eash! You have given us all a base to start from and I love to read the comments to see what other resourceful individuals have come up with, kinda like an original song gets 'remixed'...

author
eash (author)ElectroFox2009-07-18

Thanks for the comment. You must let us know how the 'Smoked Taco Ring' turns out. Post pictures, if you can! Also, I haven't ever had smoked blackberry cobbler. It sounds divine.

author
Chicken2209 (author)2009-01-10

Im trying to imagine, cooked crescents and taco meat, just cant put those two together

author

I made it and it was awful. I just wanted to try something different with ground beef, since I never use that in real tacos anyway. I'm glad I didn't try to feed this to any friends, or I'd have lost all my cooking cred. :(

author
eash (author)Chicken22092009-01-10

I admit, it does seem a little strange lol. It's kind of like a taco biscuit. The croissants don't get really fluffy, so they really do just taste like thin, flat biscuits. To each their own, though.

author
aeray (author)2009-04-11

Hideous. I love it. Now try artisan bread dough bits instead of the croissant dough and let us know how it is...

author
riku-riku-chan (author)2009-02-19

i made this with morningstar farms fake meat crumbles and it was soooo yummy... i liked it better than with taco shells or tortillas!

author
HelmusMkII (author)2009-02-09

I made this for my family and girlfriend and they loved it!
Added some paprika and lettuce =)
Thanks for this great idea =)

author
8bit (author)2009-02-08

Very tasty. Even without the seasoning.

author
cantonsouthbob (author)2009-02-02

made this for a super bowl party...should have 3 or more it went so fast. what a great dish

author
mmould03 (author)2009-01-12

OMFG Best meal idea ever. My kids are the pickiest mo-fo'n kids in the world. One day they LOVE something (anything) the next time I serve it... "I don't like pancakes" or "I don't like chicken nuggets" - BULL #@%#! This looks like too much fun for them to turn down. Excellent instructable.

author
brianfss (author)mmould032009-01-25

Hey mmould03
Family site--no need for the profanity--Even the &%& kind. Do you really think your kids are mo-fo'n ?

author
Yerboogieman (author)2009-01-13

When you were cooking that meat, all i could think of was "I hope she's not scratching that pan with the spoon."

author
el greeno (author)2009-01-12

Now i know what my girlfriend and me are having for dinner tomorrow/today (its 1 am here). I'm cooking this and i cant wait. Great idea.

author
riku-riku-chan (author)2009-01-12

i'd like to try this with vegetarian meat crumbles! mmmm, taco-y and biscuit-y!

author
SinAmos (author)2009-01-11

Making taco seasoning is cheaper and easier.

author
jessyratfink (author)2009-01-11

The most American meal ever concocted? Possibly! :O

author
jongscx (author)jessyratfink2009-01-11

heh heh... with primarily french (croissant) and mexican/spanish(taco) undertones :-D If we added some raw-fish ("far-eastern"), yams (african), yougurt and curry (indian), and something from australia, it'd be an international dish...

author
mmh (author)jessyratfink2009-01-11

Well, actually chop suey is an American version of Chinese vegetables with noodles. You can't find it in China.

author
mmh (author)2009-01-11

Relatively easy to make and fun to eat. Yum!

author
jkinrade (author)2009-01-11

My wife makes a mean taco ring. Great instructable. We make it with ground turkey, and my wife cooks it on a stone. It is delicious.

author
jkinrade (author)jkinrade2009-01-11

Oh, and she also makes a version that uses ground beef, peas, and some cream of potato soup, although I think you could use beef stew as a filling.

author
=SMART= (author)2009-01-11

Now THAT is innovation ! Somebody get a Nobel prize for this guy !!

author
ekim (author)2009-01-10

Holy cow, that looks great! I'm cooking tonight and now I know what I'm making! I'll try it with the refried beans, and maybe some salsa mixed in. Thanks for the great idea.

author
eash (author)ekim2009-01-10

Hurray! Let me know how it turns out!

author
ekim (author)eash2009-01-10

Alright, I made it, and it was a great success! I used a butter knife to spread the refried beans on the croissant dough, and then piled the meat on top of that, followed by a sprinkling of cheese (I didn't mix it in like you). Delicious! I was worried the meat, with taco sauce and salsa, would make the bottom soggy, but I think the beans helped, and the bottom came out nice and crispy. My wife and kids loved it! I think I'll make an extra large version to bring to the Superbowl party this year!

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