I am on our homeowner association’s board. Because of that, I also have the joy (obligation) of serving on a committee, the social committee, which will probably shock absolutely no one. As happens when a group of strong women are supposed to come to agreement and get along, disagreements occur. For us, this resulted in last season’s chair of the committee dropping out without word or warning and leaving the rest of us to forge ahead alone; without any idea of what we were doing.
So, as we start the new season of social events in my little neighborhood, I agreed to take on leadership of the committee and we had our first meeting last night. One of the perks of the meetings is the copious amounts of wine and beer that are consumed as we decide on dates, events and other mundane tasks. We also eat. Everyone brings something and everything is good. Usually.
This is a simple appetizer to pull together, which is why I chose it. The crust is just crescent roll dough. Yes, mine looks undercooked, but it wasn’t. Don’t know why it’s so pasty white.
While the crust cooks, Mix cream cheese and sour cream together in a bowl. In a skillet, cook ground beef, then add taco seasoning and a bit of water. Chop tomatoes, shred lettuce, slice olives and shred cheese.
When the crust comes out, spread the cream cheese mixture over it and refrigerate it for a half hour or so. Then, spread the meat and sprinkle on all the other things. That’s it.
I like the fact that this only used one pan, a bowl and the sheet pan for the crust. All three cleaned up quickly so it was perfect for a party situation.
However, when it came to flavor, I found it to be ok, but nothing spectacular, which I think was the consensus of the committee. No one went for seconds, and to me, that’s a pretty good kind of barometer. I think the main reason for the semi-failure was the addition of the ground beef, which cooled off quickly (in fact, the directions indicate to refrigerate it and it can be served cold). It’s not bad; just odd. With this appetizer, there is definitely room for improvement.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
Diss’ the beef. Instead, I’d add the taco seasoning to the cream cheese mixture. I’d then drizzle taco sauce over that layer and pile the vegetables on top of that. There’s no need to have beef in this recipe with all the other flavors that are going on.
If added protein is desired, just throw on a layer of refried beans or even canned black beans that have been rinsed and drained. The more I think on it, the more ideas come. This is really a good base for some fun southwestern pizza.
2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1 pound ground beef
1 2 1/4-ounce can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
Unroll crescent roll dough and place in an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Flatten dough to fit in the pan, sealing seams and perforations. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream until blended; spread over crust. Chill 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning. Add water according to directions and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with olives, tomato, cheeses and lettuce. Cut into serving-size pieces. Serve immediately or refrigerate.