Some of my best memories at Stout are nights spent inside when its freezing outside baking something amazing with a group of friends. It sounds like a lot of work, but when you pick something like a casserole, pizza, or pie, split up the ingredients and all pitch in with baking/cleaning, it can be a really fun and satisfying night.
I love Mexican food. While there are plenty of Mexican restaurants in Menomonie, sometimes a night in is a little more appealing in light of my hectic daily life. This past weekend a few friends and I made taco pie. Rule one of group cooking: relax. We based our pie loosely off of a recipe we found online, but after briefly skimming for suggested preparation and baking methods, we shut the laptop and ran with our own ideas.
Two Whole Wheat Tortillas
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
A Jar of Salsa
1/2 lb ground beef cooked and seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning (you could use re-fried beans or black beans in addition to the meat or in place of it)
Tortilla Chips (crushed ones on the bottom of the bag work best)
Step one– Meat Mixture: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut up the onions and saute them in a saucepan with some oil for a few minutes until their slightly light brown. Add the cooked meat and stir for a few minutes. Add some of the salsa and stir for a few moments more.
Step Two–Layer: Take off the heat and let it set for a bit while you grease your pan/baking dish with some oil. Place one of the tortillas at the bottom of the dish. Layer some meat mixture, cheese, cilantro, salsa, and a squeeze of lime. Throw another wheat tortilla on top of that, and layer all the ingredients once again. You can have as many layers as you please–we only did to for simplicity’s sake.
Step Three–Top: Crush some chips and sprinkle them over the top of the last layer. Throw some more cheese, cilantro, and lime on top of that. Toss it in the oven for a short 15 minutes, take out, cut up, consume with great joy.
Baking in the dorms was one of my favorite things to do in my first years at UW Stout. As a sophomore, I would make a pot of soup a week so I was able to eat one meal outside of the commons once a day. Its a really great way to eat healthy when I was running low on time, or at 3 AM while I was starving and working on a project. If you’re worried about the hassle, find a recipe with only a few ingredients and wash your dishes while you go, or cook with a friend on the weekends. Its at least worth a try 🙂