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Jennie Dorsey | Pedernales EC

What started out as a four-ingredient family favorite evolved into an often-requested meal. “I found this recipe in the newspaper when I was living in Southern California, when my love for food and cooking became apparent,” Dorsey says. “I was 12 years old.”

1 small red bell pepper
1 small yellow bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
1 tube flaky crescent rolls
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
1 pound ground beef
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup chopped tomato
Taco seasoning, as desired
1/2 pound grated cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Salsa of choice
1 large avocado, sliced or diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Apply nonstick cooking spray to a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Cut bell peppers into fajita-style strips.

2. Line bottom and sides of dish with the crescent rolls. Bake 9–11 minutes until lightly toasted, then cool in dish on wire rack.

3. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and sauté the garlic just until fragrant. Add the onion, peppers and black beans; cook, stirring, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in ground beef and cook until browned. Add cilantro, tomato and taco seasoning, then continue to cook, stirring, until combined.

5. Scrape the mixture into the casserole dish over the cooked crescent rolls and top with the grated cheese and scallions. Bake about 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

6. Allow the casserole to cool briefly, then cut into squares. Serve with salsa and avocado.

Serves 6–8.

Cook’s Tip

To keep the avocado from turning brown, toss with fresh lime juice.