Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: Mixing up Mexican casserole

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Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

— The nice thing about making Mexican casserole recipes is that you can substitute ingredients, like soups and cheeses, and the recipe still turns out. Mine never taste the same twice. You have choices of ingredients in this week's recipe (origins unknown).

"Mexican casserole" is easy to make. First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

You'll need the following ingredients: 2 pounds ground beef, 2 cans any cream soup, 2 small cans green chilies (or 4 or 5 chopped fresh chilies), 2 medium onions, flour tortillas, 2 pounds of any kind of cheese and seasonings of your choice to taste. Suggested seasonings are salt, pepper and garlic salt.

Chop up the onion. Brown ground beef, onion and chilies. Add seasonings and soups and simmer 20 minutes or longer.

Put 2 tortillas on the bottom of the 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spoon on the ground beef mixture until tortillas are covered. Sprinkle with cheese. Then continue layering in this manner, until ingredients are used up. Top with cheese.

Bake until the cheese melts. Cut into squares and serve with sour cream, shredded lettuce and hot sauce (optional).

You may wish to add some enchilada sauce to the hamburger mixture. Tortillas may be cut into pieces before layering.

This week, I found a recipe given to me years ago by Jan Groom, of Greeley. Although she called it "salad," I think it's a dessert. Perhaps it could be the dessert for the "Mexican casserole" meal.

This recipe is similar to another layered pudding dessert I make.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You'll need a baking dish that's a little smaller than a 9-by-13-inch dish.

The ingredients are: 1 cup flour, 1 stick margarine, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 medium size container whipped topping, 1 small box instant vanilla pudding, 1 small box instant chocolate pudding and 3 cups milk (1 1/2 cups per box of pudding).

Mix the flour, melted margarine and nuts together. Press into the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Let the crust cool. While the crust cools, divide the whipped topping into thirds.

Mix the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/3 of the whipped topping. Pour over the crust.

Mix the vanilla pudding with 1 1/2 cups milk. Spread over the creamed cheese. Top with another 1/3 of the whipped topping.

Mix the chocolate pudding with 1 1/2 cups milk. Spread over the last layer. Then, put the remaining whipped topping over everything. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Refrigerate.

Do you have a recipe to share with readers? Send it to me at Box 415, Craig 81626, or call me at 824-8809.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2008. All rights reserved.

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