Saturday, September 20, 2008

Potluck Jackpot

This week, our small group Bible study met up for a potluck dinner. I said I'd bring a main course dish but had a hard time deciding what to make. Since I wouldn't have much prep time between getting home from work and heading to dinner, it had to be something I could assemble ahead of time. Like a casserole. I'm not a big casserole maker, though, so there aren't many in my repertoire, and I've learned the hard way that you do not test out a new recipe if you have to serve it to people other than your husband.

I eventually decided on this little "Mexican" number. At first, I thought it was too simple to be good, but then I thought to myself, "People love seasoned beef. People love sour cream. People love melted cheese. Give the people what they want."

I also thought this might also appeal to Mike, our pastor and fearless group leader, who recently noted that there "wasn't enough meat" among the refreshments at the church Christmas party. Ah, yes, the traditional Christmas-cookies-and-meat combination.

People seemed to dig the casserole and no one reported food poisoning, so I'm calling this one a success. The moral of the story: Sometimes it's okay to make something easy just because it tastes good.

Mexican Casserole
  • 3 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2-3 cups salsa (I used two and it was a little dry)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, drained
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Stir in salsa, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in beans, and heat through.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half of the crushed tortilla chips in dish, then spoon beef mixture over chips. (You may want to leave out the chips if you think you'll have leftovers -- they're kind of yucky the next day.) Spread sour cream over beef, and sprinkle olives, onion, and tomato over the sour cream. Top with the reserved chips and cheddar cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

The food: Mexican casserole
The verdict: Probably not all that Mexican, but pretty yummy

1 comment:

Ellen said...

sounds good! will have to give this a try. matt loves any "mexican" dish. ;)