Hurricane Preparedness: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

As everyone on earth was made aware, NYC almost got hit with a hurricane! Thankfully, Irene was downgraded to a Tropical storm as it hit the city and we didn’t sustain much damage in my area of town. Parts of Long Island and Staten Island did, as did a lot of this coast however, and we’re not out of it entirely quite yet. While the media hoopla annoyed the hell out of me (Hello, Libya anyone? It’s just a damn storm not a revolution. And then the whole people getting flooded thing.) I am glad that the city took the precautions it did. I’ve lived through one mishandled hurricane and have no desire to do that again. In the places that did get hit with Irene’s hurricane strength (looking at you Puerto Rico) I hope recovery goes well and swiftly.

Anyhow, as part of prep for the storm I wanted to put something together that could be made ahead of time, was easy to prepare and would keep. Comfort food was also a factor. Yay cheese! This is the least “sophisticated” recipe I will ever post and that’s alright. Food doesn’t have to be fancy all the time. Nor do photographs. In the spirit of the moment, I dealt with what was at hand, in this case my iPhone. This was delicious and quick and pretty much exactly what you need from a made-like-grandma casserole. I got this recipe online, but added some bits from my grandmother’s recipes. I took the task of going through my grandma’s recipe files a bit ago and guess what a significant number were. You guessed it, casseroles. I swear she has a casserole for everything: enchiladas, chicken kiev, tuna, beef stroganoff, EVERYTHING. And most of them contained some sort of condensed soup or another. This does not. There are canned things however.

Anyhow, this is super simple and super quick to put together. It is also delicious. If you have a sensitivity to peppers like I do (bell peppers or any sort of chili….) omit the green chiles. I kept them in and only kind of regretted it, because they are so delicious. I think this took about 45 minutes all told. This does require the use of a stove and the oven so is best prepared while you have the use of both. Otherwise it’s just a sad layering of ingredients. And raw meat. Yeah, don’t do that.

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans,drained
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 can (10oz)  enchilada sauce
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 flour tortillas (I used 2- small container)
  • 2 cups (4 ounces) Mexican cheese blend. Add another cup if you want.
  • ¼ c. salsa (optional)
  • 1 small can of drained corn, or about 1 1/4 cups of frozen corn (optional)
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro (optional)

In a large skillet, heat a small amount of oil and cook the onion. When they’re about halfway to being soft, throw in the beef and brown. Drain the mixture.

Stir in the enchilada sauce, beans, taco seasoning, cumin, corn and salsa. Make sure this is really mixed together well. Taste and spice if necessary (should not be necessary) .

Spoon a generous layer of meat mixture on bottom of 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle generously with grated cheese. No, more that that. More. Yeah, that’s enough.

Place a flour tortilla or two on top of  the meat mixture.  If you want more to the layers, use two, but really this is just a filler. Cover with half of the meat mixture, and more cheese. Repeat as often as you have room (I did 2 layers). On top of final layer of tortilla, cover with cheese. When in doubt? More cheese.

Cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 400° for 25 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.

Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and cilantro.  Eat by candlelight. Or by regular light if you don’t lose power.


About Wish

A graduate student with two cats and a passion for good food and good conversation, both preferably shared with friends.
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