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!
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!