Skillet Taco Pie

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*Note: Masa harina is a corn flour used to make tortillas and tamales. It is widely available in the Mexican foods-aisle of most grocery stores.

*Makes 8 servings


For the crust:

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups masa harina (see note above)

1 teaspoon salt

For the fillings:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1 cup refried black or pinto beans

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1 pound ground beef, chuck or turkey

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

For the toppings:

1 avocado, pitted and peeled

2 ounces (1/4 cup) cream cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)

1 clove garlic, chopped

Garnishes: shredded cheddar, shredded lettuce, corn chips, sour cream, etc.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the water, masa harina and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until very thick, about 5-6 minutes. It should be the consistency of very soft sugar cookie dough. Carefully press the dough into an oiled 8 or 9-inch cast iron skillet or a similar-sized pie plate. Lightly grease or water your hands if needed so the dough doesn't stick while pressing. Bake the crust until firm, about 30 minutes.

While the crust is baking, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and add the garlic powder, cumin, oregano and coriander. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the refried beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Spread this mixture over the cooked crust. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and set it over medium heat. Saute the ground beef (or turkey) with the chopped onion and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, until the meat is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Drain the grease from the skillet. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to combine. Spread this mixture over the refried beans and transfer the skillet/pie plate again to warm through, 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree the avocado, cream cheese, cilantro, lime juice and garlic in a food processor blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the pie from the oven. Spread the avocado mixture over the top of the ground beef and garnish the pie with shredded cheese, lettuce, corn chips, sour cream or any other taco toppings you like. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature (if serving at room temperature, don't top with the avocado mixture or toppings until ready to serve).