Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011: Beef Enchilada Casserole Recipe

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It’s hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since the tragic events of 9/11. Do you remember where you were that day the twin towers in New York City burned? I had just started working for the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa hotel less than a month before and as I walked in to work, I noticed everyone’s somber countenances and the fact that all the TVs in the lobby were turned on to the news. My coworkers and I sat and watched the coverage for some time; our boss never asked us to get back to work. It was unbelievable – I remember thinking the images were surreal, like something from a movie.

I give thanks to all those brave men and women who were tasked with rescuing victims and then cleaning up the mess afterward. Did you know it took over half a year to find some of the victims?

Well… let’s move on to today’s recipe. I’ve got yet another version of enchiladas to share with you. I hope this doesn’t offend anybody, but this is the “gringo” version which uses a can of cream of chicken soup rather than a sauce made from scratch. This is the type of casserole my husband really enjoys because he doesn’t like the hotter, more authentic version.
Beef enchilada casserole served with a salad of arugula, cherry tomatoes, avocados and green onions.

Beef Enchilada Casserole

1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup onion (white or yellow), minced
1 T. dehydrated or fresh, chopped cilantro
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small can mild, diced green chiles (or substitute 2 T. minced fresh jalapenos)
1/3 cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 t. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
9 corn (or corn/flour) tortillas
Nonstick cooking spray (such as Pam)
1 ½ cups shredded cheese (such as Colby Jack)

Brown the ground beef in skillet over medium heat. Drain most of the grease. Add in the garlic, onion and cilantro and cook a few more minutes, until the vegetables have softened.

Add remaining ingredients, through salt and pepper, to make the sauce.

Spray a 9” square baking pan with Pam. Place three tortillas in the bottom of the pan (you may have to cut one tortilla in half to make them fit across the bottom of the pan). Spread one third of the sauce mixture on top, followed by one third of the shredded cheese. Repeat twice more.

Cover pan with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 – 40 minutes, until bubbly hot. Remove foil and cook five more minutes, until cheese is completely melted and a bit browned.

Serves 3 - 4

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