Friday, January 16, 2015

Recipe Fiasco Friday - Mozzarella Tortilla Stack

I'm thinking about starting a new feature on the blog - Recipe Fiasco Friday! One of my goals for 2015 is to spend more time in the kitchen. I've mentioned before that I'm not terribly comfortable in a kitchen. I love to bake, but that is about the extent of it. As for meals, even though I enjoy trying new things, they often seem to fumble in my hands. It is like handing two individuals a violin and asking them to play. One might screech and whine, while the other, more accomplished individual, can make that instrument sing. Well, I'm the screech and whine individual in the kitchen. The same recipe in the hands of someone with natural skills would turn out fine, but for me ... well, it turns out to be a fiasco.

Thus, I offer up the first new recipe I have tried in the new year. When I saw it on Facebook, it looked so amazing, I just had to try it. Since it is demonstrated with a simple three minute video, I mistook that to mean that it is an easy recipe (and for someone else, it probably is). Here is the video for the easy, peasy Mozzarella Tortilla Stack (offered up by

Here is the recipe, for those accomplished individuals who can make it sing:

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt & pepper
2 C peeled, shredded sweet potato
1/2 C chopped cilantro
6 large tortillas
2 tomatoes, diced
3 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown meat, onion, and spices. Add sweet potatoes; cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cilantro. Stack tortilla with 1/5 of the meat, tomatoes, cheese five times. Add final tortilla and top with remaining cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Broil the last 2 minutes, if desired. Serve with sour cream.

I forgot to take a photo before we started eating, but here is one which shows half of my completed product:

First of all, I bought too large a sweet potato (ended up wasting one third of it) and perhaps shredded more than two cups (so hard to judge just by looking at shredded ingredients). The meat and potato mixture never really blended well enough to provide even spreading of the mixture (resulting in bites of just sweet potato or just meat or just big chunks of cilantro, since I never managed to neatly chop them into tiny pieces like on the video).

The biggest mistake was that I simply didn't spread the ingredients evenly enough or flat enough over the top of the tortillas (indeed, I should have made sure I selected the largest tortilla for the bottom of the stack and should have pressed it all out to a thinner layer after placing the second tortilla on). Thus, instead of ending up with a nice layered cake-like appearance, mine had the appearance of a wobbling volcano, with ingredients falling off the sides before I could lay the next tortilla atop it all. Groan. Perhaps if it had been evenly spread and all nice and flat, as in the video, it wouldn't have burned the edges of the tortillas. It would have been easier to eat, as well, since mine turned out to be about 2-1/2 inches tall.

The only blessing in all of this is that it still tasted delicious. My husband was skeptical about the sweet potato, but ended up saying that he would eat this dish again, if I were willing to put in all the prep work the recipe took (it may have seemed like more than it really was, since we were both in the kitchen at the same time - him making the boys his amazing organic mashed potatoes and fish sticks - and thus my shredding and dicing and chopping took up space and time). Whether or not I am willing to try again is the real question. But, hey, knock yourselves out and try this recipe. Then, send me a photo of your attempt and gloat over your expertise in the kitchen. I can take it.

No comments: