Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tortilla Casserole: How To Use Up Random Stuff in the Pantry

Surely I can't be the only one who does this--I read a recipe, think it looks yummy and easy and promptly add the ingredients to the grocery list. And then I totally forget about said recipe. Two weeks later, I'm holding up cans of stuff, wondering what the heck I was thinking about (*Lesson: NEVER read food magazines right before shopping-it can be detrimental to your budget....trust me). By then, I've convinced myself that nobody wants to try said amazing recipe anyways and the cans of whatever sit in the pantry, awaiting another Cold War. 

Or maybe that's just me. 

Regardless, the other night I was staring at the open pantry, and my eyes lighted on a can of ranch beans and a can of Rotel tomatoes and peppers. Both totally useful items, to be sure; but I couldn't remember why I 'd bought them.

Out of their exile and into the kitchen they came. I still had some shredded chicken in the fridge (yeah, that bird WAS big) and-thanks to my tortilla making frenzy the past few weeks, I had a stack of flour tortillas.
Throw in some cheese and shazzam! Tortilla casserole. Some places call this Mexican lasagna. Either way, the ingredients can be pretty flexible. I used chicken but ground beef would also work well. It's really all about using what you've got laying around and still presenting an edible meal....and, BabyGirl, this was edible--so much so, that I don't have a picture of it AND Mr. Devlin actually put dibs on the leftovers.

Slap on an apron, Wonder Woman, and crank up that oven to 350.
You'll need a casserole dish. I am fortunate to have a round one and that was great because the tortillas are round (well, they are now that I've practiced making them a few more times--if this had been with my first batch, I'd need a triangle dish.....I digress.....)
In a skillet, add one can of ranch beans, one can of tomatoes and peppers, a cup of salsa and about a 1/2 pound of meat. Stir and heat until thoroughly warmed through.
Now, spoon a bit of this mix into the bottom of the casserole dish and top with a tortilla. Add another layer of bean/meat mix and top with shredded cheese. I used Monterey Jack instead of the typical cheddar because (a) I had it and (b) it melts nicer than most cheddars. Top the cheese with another tortilla and just keep layering this way until you use everything up and/or reach the top of the dish. Top with any remaining shredded cheese and cover. Pop into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes before removing the cover and letting the cheese on top get gooey yummy melty and slightly browned up.

THAT'S ALL.  If you wanted to work a little harder, you could serve this with shredded iceberg lettuce and some sour cream, but, honestly, it was good all by itself.

....and now I need to pick up another can of beans and a can of Rotel.....dammit

1 comment:

ness said...

totally making this for dinner.