Friday, April 24, 2009

Freezer/Food Storage Food

This recipe is probably not new, but I like to think I created it!
I present to you MEXICAN CASSEROLE or LASAGNA or whatever you want to call it.

If you play your cards right you could easily make this from all things food-storage. It also usually makes enough for 2 VERY LARGE casseroles which you then freeze one for later. And it's super hearty, meaning 1 dish will last forever. Between senor and I it's usually around 3-5 days later. (and still good too)

Here's what you'll need (tweak as you like or for what you have available)

* 2-3 chicken breasts (pref with bone and skin on), cooked, shredded (with skin removed and bones gone too)
* 1 onion, chopped (I like using the frozen chopped onion)
* 1 green pepper, chopped (again, frozen is so much easier)
* taco seasoning (or just some chili powder and cumin)
* chicken broth (or water)

* 2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped (you could use canned diced,
*1/2 bag fresh chopped spinach (totally optional but we like it)

* 1 jar salsa
* 1 box Uncle Ben's Mexican Fiesta rice (or your own preferred brand of mex rice)-cooked per instructions

* 1 can refried beans
* 1 can cream of chicken soup
* 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 pack of 10 count flour tortillas (not the little fajita sized, the next size up; and not the jumbo either--I think last I used was some Mission grande??)
* 2.5 c shredded monterrey or your choice cheese
OPTIONAL SIDES: sour cream, tostido chips, shredded lettuce (if you do not elect to use the spinach)

PREHEAT oven to 375-400degrees F
1. Cook the rice according to directions on box
2. Cook and shred chicken
3. In large skillet heat little EVOO, stir in onions and peppers, cook til soft; add in chicken, taco seasoning (to your liking) and add enough chicken broth to keep things moist and mixin'...friends don't let friends' chicken dry out.
4. In med bowl mix together refried beans and cream of chicken soup (I've also stirred in sour cream and cheese before but I prefer to keep the layer thing going so I don't do this now)
5. Get 2 large round casserole dishes (think Corningware)
6. Chop all your other ingredients, or prepare them for the assembly line!
7. "Ice" one tortilla with a scoop of the bean mixture, place bean sie up in the bottom of the dish; top with scoop of chicken mix, then rice, then salsa, spinach, tomatoes, cheese, repeat. OR however you want to layer it. I tend to make 3 layers but some like to do it so there's beans, tortilla, chicken, tortilla, cheese and salsa, tortilla,'ll need alot more tortillas for that method!! In either case, repeat in each casserole dish (be sure to keep in mind that your ingredients have to be divided into each...think in 1/6ths)

8. The final layer I like is place a tortilla on top, ice with beans, scoop or 2 of salsa and then cheese...yum!
** this one is HUGE because I used all the ingredients to make one casserole, it's much shorter if you make 2...
Now bake one for 30+ min or until it's warmed up through. Cover the other with plastic wrap, then foil (wrap thoroughly) and freeze it. It's good for about 3-6 months and just has to be thawed for approx 4-6 hrs before baking...

Cut like a pie and serve!

For food storage version I was thinking you could use canned chicken, frozen veggies, tortillas from the freezer and then everything else is pretty much canned/boxed. Esp if eliminate the spinach and fresh tomatoes, cheese. I would still want cheese, BUT it could work without it I suppose! You gurus on the topic tell me if I'm way off here. We live in a 1 bedroom apt, the concept of expansive food storage has not quite fit into our sphere tell me what you would do...

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