Thursday, January 26, 2012

My chicken tortilla soup experiment

Coming soon. I'm such a tease.  But if we're friends on FB, I did post it there yesterday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

King Ranch Casserole

As I approach my third straight week of "try something completely new" challenge, I am already finding myself gravitating towards recipes that are familiar - similar flavors and textures to those things I have in my arsenal. This King Ranch Casserole sounds really yummy, and I'm excited to try it out. Also, it will use up the rest of that package of corn tortillas I bought for the Mexican Lasagna from last week...

This recipe comes from "The Casserole Queens Cookbook". I love their recipes for the way they incorporate our favorite childhood dishes, but make them a bit healthier, classier, more grown-up.

  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 can Rotel (or whatever brand of diced tomatoes with green chiles you buy)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • cooking spray (I use my Pampered Chef mister filled with EVOO)
  • 12 8-inch corn tortillas, cut into quarters
  • 1 3-pound roasted chicken, boned and shredded (I admit to having 3 lbs worth of pieces, that I baked up, skinned, boned and shredded and popped into the freezer sometime in the fall, not a freshly roasted chicken)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 C grated Mexican-blend cheese (8 oz when weighed)
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream soups, broth, tomatoes and garlic salt. Stir until warm through - about 5 minutes. remove from heat and set aside
  • Grease a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Cover the bottom with half of the corn tortilla quarters.
  • Layer in half EACH of the chicken, and onion, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.
  • Pour half of the soup mixture over top, then repeat layers.
  • Top the casserole with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
I'll let you know on Friday how this one turns out! We're having it Wednesday night, and we'll see how it goes over.

Mexican Lasagna

OK, so I'm TOTALLY behind in posting this recipe, but you'll get the recipe and review all in one post...

With last week being FULL of appointments, errands and birthday celebration plans (for Princess and my Dad), I was a little leery of trying a new recipe on my family, but here it is:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 3 8-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 16 oz can refried beans
  • 1 1/2 C shredded Cheddar
  • 3/4 C sliced black olives
  • 1/2 C salsa
  • 6 TBSP sour cream
  • brown and drain ground beef. Add onion, cumin, chili powder and pepper. Cook until onion is tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Combine egg, ricotta, and jalpeno in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Layer 1 tortilla, refried beans, beef mixture, 2nd tortilla, cheese mixture, 3rd tortilla and shredded cheese in a round casserole.
  • Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, return to oven and bake another 10 minutes.
  • Remove and sprinkle olives over top. Top each wedge serving with salsa and sour cream.
Review -

First off, do NOT use canned jalapenos - they are much too spicy and wet...although perhaps, drained they wouldn't be so bad. Same with the olives (although I should have realized it!!!). Second - finding 8 inch corn tortillas in my town was a bit difficult...I think that they add a great flavor, BUT, if you can't find the right size, double the recipe and use a 13 x 9 baking dish.

Other than that, I was a little unimpressed to be honest.

The textures and flavors together did not leave me desirous of making this again. The ricotta mix was too...crumbly.

Perhaps it is because I am used my family's secret recipe for "real" is nicely sauced and flavored, but the cheese mixture is firm.

You could maybe get away with using ground turkey instead of beef, or perhaps using a Cheddar/Jack blend to change the flavor a bit...

All in all, I don't think I'll be using this recipe again.

If you choose to, I wish you happy eating, and hopefully your family will enjoy it and you can make it again and again.