Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Beans by request: Fiesta casserole

So, day two of our bean fest. This is an easy one to whip up. Only one frying pan is needed, and once it's in the oven, you can do the dishes and make life easier for yourself after dinner.

This recipe comes from Leanne Ely, who started out as a helper of the home organisation guru FlyLady. She's since built herself a successful business "saving dinner" as the Dinner Diva, and authored several cookbooks of easy, workable everyday recipes, neatly bundled into 1-week packages that follow the seasons. I use them a lot (when I can't be bothered thinking too hard about the menu for the week to come), and have been inspired to try some odd-sounding combinations which have sometimes ended up working rather well.

It is quite the adventure, really, as I haven't got a clue how much is in, say, a can of stock or stick of butter, and have no access to certain ingredients, like BBQ sauce (which I can now make easily enough by myself), turkey bacon (??) and provolone cheese, even if I know what they are. So I substitute whatever I think, and get on with it.

My dear friend Zanmei may have to do the same with this recipe. Are corn chips available in Iraq? They're optional, and I didn't use them this time, either, because the supermarket didn't have them this week. How about salsa? I use a 240 g jar, which is roughly a cup, but some chopped tomatoes, onions and peppers might well suffice. Sour cream is always replaced at our place with strained yogurt, which works fine in the oven, too. And spicy chili beans are readily substituted with whatever beans are on hand (pintos, today), a dash of cayenne and some water (if necessary).

We eat this with tortillas, but lavash or whatever the local flat bread is will do just fine. Or rice, or potatoes, or... (g)

Fiesta casserole

Serves 6

1 pound lean ground beef [S: as always, any mince is fine]
1 (15 ounce) can spicy chili beans -- undrained
1 cup salsa (jarred, your favorite)
2 cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 medium green onions -- sliced (1/2 cup)
1 medium tomato -- chopped (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
Tortilla chips -- if desired
Shredded lettuce -- if desired
Salsa -- if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook beef in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain. Stir in the beans and salsa. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

Place broken tortilla chips in ungreased 2-quart casserole. Top with beef mixture. Spread with sour cream. Sprinkle with onions, tomato and cheese. Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Arrange more tortilla chips around edge of casserole. Serve with lettuce and salsa.

Per serving: 381 Calories; 15g Total Fat; (34% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 6g
Dietary Fiber; 39g Carbohydrate; 61mg Cholesterol; 770mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates



Anonymous said...

Thanks, I was searching for this recipe. I had lost it!

By the way:
A can of stock is usually 16oz.
A stick of butter is 1/4 lb, or 1 cup.
Turkey bacon is just a cardboard flavored low fat version of the real thing.
For recipes calling for cream-of-chicken (or mushroom, or whatever) you can easily make your own -- do a google search for "cream of anything soup" recipes. You should find a fresh version and a dry mix version. Feel free to email me for mine if you like :) I'm in the USA but I have many international friends who ask questions about things like these!

Happy cooking,

Dawn (goddessdawnie@yahoo.com)

Have a great day!

Saffron said...

Hi Dawn, and thanks for stopping by!

I seem to remember this recipe on Leanne Ely's web site (savingdinner.com), but I've just checked, and she no longer seems to have a great list of freebie recipes there that she used to. That's a shame, but business is business, I suppose.

Thanks for the low-down on cans and sticks. So a can is that much!! I thought a stick of butter might be around 100 g, thanks for sorting that out. Perhaps it is half a cup? Not that it matters, as there is no butter to be had in Japan at the moment, anyway!

And good to know I'm not missing much with the turkey bacon (g).

Saffron said...

...Ah, spoke too soon. Leanne's freebie recipes are here: http://www.savingdinner.com/archives/recipe_archives.html, but fiesta casserole is not there. Still, there are some goodies here for those not of the saffron and lemons bent, and do try the Leanne's Garlic Lime Chicken; it is unbelievably good!