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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Loving The Mexican Culture...Know Your Chiles

I have this wonderful Mexican cookbook, Mexican Family Favorites Cook Book, by Mariá Teresa Bermúdez that I refer to quite often for some simple and delicious Mexican favorites. Thanks to Teresa, this lil' ole Southern gal knows her chilies, makes her own (cost efficient and always better than store bought) chili powder, cooks a mean batch of pork tamales (corn husk and all), and respects the clove of garlic as a medicinally and spiritually Mexican cure all! I do love the Mexican culture and their fresh and easy way of cooking...I make my own Kahlúa, too! Try this delicious casserole!

How to make Beef Enchilada Casserole
1 1/2 to 2 lbs lean ground beef
1 crushed garlic clove
4-5 stewed tomatoes, chopped (I use a 14 oz can)
6 oz tomato sauce
2 tsp olive oil
3 tbl diced onion
Salt to taste
Ground pepper
6-8 jalapeños, diced (I use a couple)
12 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, cut in small pieces
1 cup grated Jack cheese
1.In a skillet, brown meat, then drain well. Return meat to skillet, add crushed garlic clove and cook until well blended into meat. Cover, leave aside.
2. In a saucepan, add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, olive oil, onion, and all seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover to simmer 20 minutes, stir frequently.  Blend in jalapeños, cover, put aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350° F, then lightly butter a square 2-quart casserole dish. Cut corn tortillas into quarters. To cheddar cheese, blend in cilantro.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked meat and sauce, mix well. Layer casserole dish with tortillas, then add meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese/cilantro mixture, then add another layer of tortillas and repeat, ending, with meat mixture. Sprinkle entire casserole with Jack cheese and any leftover cheddar cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until cheese is completely melted. Serves 6-8

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