Sunday, September 30, 2012

Layered Mexican Bake

This is a recipe I came up with a few years ago. It's all the flavors of a delicious plate of tacos, rice, and beans in one dish. So far, every time I have made this, there have been no leftovers. The only problem with this dish, is it is quite time consuming, and requires a bit of effort to get to the end result. But trust me, the effort pays off in the end.

2 Cups of rice
1lb of ground beef or turkey, or 3-4 chopped up chicken breasts
1lb chorizo (I get the chorizo that doesn't come in a sausage skin, so it cooks 'loose' like ground beef)
14-16 oz of refried black or pinto beans
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
4 diced Roma tomatoes
1 finely chopped jalapeno
2 cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 cups of shredded monterey jack cheese
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 tsp of cumin powder
1/4 tsp of dried parsley
Package of small corn or flour tortillas (Your choice)
Sour Cream

1: Spray a very deep baking dish, either 9x9 square, or 9-inch round pan, with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Blend together the cheeses in a bowl, and also set aside.

2: Prepare the 2 cups of rice according to the directions of your favorite rice. To the boiling water and rice, you will add the diced tomatoes, jalapeno, oregano, garlic powder, olive oil, and cumin. Cook until most the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft.

3: Cook the chorizo and your chosen other meat (ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken breasts) together with the finely diced garlic and chopped onion. Be careful to not overcook the meat, sprinkling the parsley over the top of the meat mixture once you remove it from heat.

4: Heat the refried beans until it is warm and easy to spread. Salt and pepper to taste. Again, be careful to not overcook this ingredient.

5: Pour the rice mixture into the bottom of the baking dish, and sprinkle 1 1/4 cup of cheese over top. Place a single layer of tortillas on top of this. Spread the heated refried beans over the tortillas, and then another layer of tortillas. Spoon the mixture of meat into the pan next, straining away as much grease and fat as possible. Spread another 1 1/4 cup of cheese over the meat, and another single layer of tortillas on top.

6: Cover the dish with aluminum foil (shiny side down), and place into a 350 degree oven. Bake on the center rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil carefully, sprinkle remaining cheese over top of the dish, and bake for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees to brown and crisp the top layer of tortillas.

7: Once the dish is cooked and removed from the oven, let stand for 5-10 minutes. Serve and place sour cream, guacamole, and salsa on top or on the side.

8: Enjoy.

As I mentioned above, this is a time-consuming recipe, and requires a healthy bit of effort to put it all together. But the end flavor is well worth the work and wait. I've pondered replacing the inner layers of tortillas with Doritos Nacho Cheese chips, but I have yet to try it. If someone out there wants to attempt it, feel free and let me know how it turns out.

This goes well with a margarita... Which I will share the recipe for later.

~bon app├ętit~

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