Quick and Dirty

So the other night, I made Pioneer Woman’s BBQ Meatballs and I was going to do a little how much do I love these things (I have a few for lunch for days afterwards) but the cooking gods were not with me that night and I managed to over pepper both the meatballs and the mashed potatoes I made to go with it. The meatballs were totally my fault the mashed potatoes? was the pepper container’s fault. I really do loathe that container.

Neither of them were inedible, everyone enjoyed dinner, they just weren’t…spectacular. I realize that part of this blog’s intentions is to put up the foils and failures as well, but really, when one of your favorite meals goes face down into a sea of bleh…well it takes a day or two to face it again.

Last night, however, I did one of my favorite takes on a quick and dirty meal, an easy throw together that my family is big on. Really I know that this isn’t all that special or dazzling but you know what? some people never think of  doing all these things so I’m just throwing it out there.

I buy a good jar of spaghetti sauce (I like Classico tomato and basil but your mileage and taste varies), get some of the tortellini from the fresh pasta section, and some sweet Italian sausage. It’s a generally big and filling meal, I cook the sausage separately because I like the caramelized spots  on the outside, boil up the pasta, heat up the sauce, toss it all onto a plate with a little Parmesan and while it is a lot more processed than I like..it’s quick easy and everyone seems to like it.

Tonight however, I’m doing a familia favorite that I got from MFA Mama that we call ‘Mexican Casserole’ around these parts. This is another hit that everyone universally comes to the table for. Well nearly everyone, the boys eat this with various stages of success.  Now I double my recipe, so if you don’t have four people who want left overs to consider, half everything that I do

Mexican Casserole (Pic to follow tomorrowish probably?)

I take Three – Four chicken breasts, cut them up into bite sized pieces.

Throw them into a pan and -heavily- season them with salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, chilli powder and cilantro.

Turn the oven on to pre-heat at 350

Add in two cans of re-fried beans and stir it up, let it simmer, while that is happening find your biggest casserole glass dish baking pan. It’s probably hidden in the back of the cupboard.

When you come back out, pour in a can of enchilada sauce and stir it up, let it simmer.

Get a spray can of pam, and spray down the inside of the glass dish and then put a layer of  tortilla chips, I’d start out with just covering on the bottom, if you like more do more next time!

Then you take the whole glop from the frying pan and pour it on top of the chips. Pour another 3/4’s of a can of enchilada sauce on (I know I hate wasting that last little bit but I can’t help it, the whole thing is too much) and the cover with as much cheese as you like. I won’t begin to tell you how much cheese that is, we all have our own very deep and personal feelings about cheese.

Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

I then serve it with taco toppings, like salsa, sour cream, chips, avocado or black olives, and chips. Use it like a..nacho dish kind basically. I warn you it’s pretty filling so I only take a little, but it leaves good left overs that are nice to have throughout the week

Of course you could make this all low fat (and I try to whenever possible though I admit to mixing some real cheese in with the low fat since the low fat sometimes melts weird without it) so it doesn’t have to be a terrible dish.

But if you want to make it for company I’d go for all out, it is a treat after all!



About Jess

I'm a 30ish woman living in Texas. Juggling taking care of my family, and going back to college. View all posts by Jess

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