Monday, August 25, 2008

A New Dinner Gets Added to the Rotation

I really wanted to have tacos one night this week, especially since I had an opened package of taco shells sitting in my pantry after Isabelle's birthday dinner. However, since I'm trying to get through the end on this month without having to buy any non-essential items at the store, I didn't have all the usual taco fixin's on hand.

So I thought I'd try to make a taco casserole instead. I know I've read similar recipes lots of places, and I even make something similar layered with flour tortillas, but I didn't feel like digging through all my cookbooks and magazine to try to find it. So, I just threw together some stuff that sounded good. It turned out pretty good too. The thing I especially liked about it was how it turned out after it sat in the fridge all day. The taco shells on the bottom got soft and had almost a tamale consistency to them. I don't think that would have happened if I had just put it in the oven as soon as I put it all together. I love when the meals that I make ahead taste good because I made them ahead of time, instead of just being convenient. I think this would freeze good too. I would have tried with leftovers last night, but alas, there were no leftovers to be found. I'll probably go ahead and just double the recipe next time to try it out.

Taco Casserole
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 3 c. fully cooked black beans (or canned beans)
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 c. beef stock
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 10 taco shells, broken into bite size pieces
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, optional
In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onions and green pepper until beef is fully cooked and onion is translucent. Drain fat. Stir beans, corn, tomato sauce, stock, and seasonings into the skillet. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat and simmer on low for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is starting to concentrate.

Put 3/4 of the crushed taco shells in the bottom of a casserole pan, pour taco mixture on top, cover with remaining shells and cheese. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cook at 350 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted.

I think I might try this as a vegetarian meal sometime also, replacing the beef with more beans and the stock with a veggie stock.


Nancy 10:40 AM  

That sounds good. Mexican food is my all-time favorite; I could eat it every day.

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