Monday, February 19, 2007

Back on the horse, but not at a full gallop

Beef and Tortilla Casserole (Chilaquiles)
Cuisine of the American Southwest Copyright 1983

10-12 corn tortillas
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 bell pepper, seeded and quartered or 1 (4 ounce) can mild green chiles, drained I used bell pepper
1 pound ground beef
½ teaspoon leaf oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½-1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese, chilled
1 (14 ½ ounce) can Italian Plum tomatoes I used stewed tomatoes - I grabbed the wrong can
½ cup tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream or evaporated milk I used sour cream
1 cup cooked pinto beans, optional I didn't use these

Cut each tortilla into 3 strips and set aside.
Using the metal blade, drop the garlic through the feed tube with the motor running to mince. Add onion and pepper or chiles to workbowl and pulse to finely chop.
In a skillet, sauté the beef with the onion mixture and oregano until the onions are soft and the meat juices no longer run pink. Drain off excess fat, salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Use the shredding disc to process the tomatoes, tomato sauce and sour cream until combined.
Butter a 9x11 or 9x12 casserole dish and layer beginning with the tortilla strips, then sauce, meat and cheese. End with the cheese on top. If you wish, you may add a layer of the pinto beans. The casserole may be made several hours ahead and refrigerated at this point.
Bake 20-30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven until hot. Cut into squares to serve.

Serves 6-8.

All of the recipes in this book were written for a food processor. I thought maybe they were just a big thing in the 80s but then I noticed that this book was published by The Cuisinart Cooking Club. I used my mini-chopper but all you really need is a sharp knife.

I've owned this cookbook since 1989 and this is the first time I've cooked from this book. I have several cookbooks that deal with Southwestern and Mexican cooking and most of them aren't very user-friendly so I tend to overlook them as a group. This book was unfairly lumped into that group.

This was the first thing I made after my tastebuds started coming back and I really enjoyed it. I loved the creamy tomato sauce and the creamy texture of the tortillas. It was an easy casserole that used fresh ingredients.

I'm still not back to 'normal', nor will I ever be without Ernie. I did make Italian rolls this weekend so my husband could have his beloved Hot Italian subs. I also made chocolate covered frozen bananas - no recipe, but I was craving them. Right now my problem is lack of energy. My head still feels as if it's stuffed with cotton and I haven't worked out in 12 days. I have to get back on the treadmill tonight.

Question of the Day: Is anyone else ready for spring??


Anonymous said...

paula, that looks and sounds delicious. again, i am so sorry for the loss of your sweet kitty. how awful to compound your sickness with grief. glad you are feeling some better.


Unknown said...

I'm almost ready...come March 1st, for sure! At first I thought this was something with broccoli. Looks good!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I hope you get better soon! I'm very sorry to hear about your cute Ernie...

That dish looks fine...

Sara said...

There are some wicked bugs out there this year, that's for sure! I am more than ready for spring, bring it! Sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

no spring.... it needs to be lat fall again so i can redo the fall and winter boo hoo... glad you feeling better

ThursdayNext said...

Dear Paula,
I am ready for spring. I miss my swing set! Though I admit that I love winter foods like soup! This recipe sounds good, but I cant have chiles yet!
Love, Jack

Wanda said...

YUM! That looks wonderful!
Spring - I am SO ready. Yesterday it was finally warm enough to go shopping with just jeans and a light t-shirt. It felt so good! I bought some kolanchoes (red ones and yellow ones) and a six pack of red cabbage plants. Down here the rule of thumb is that when the mesquite trees start budding out, all winter weather is definately gone.