I am super stoked to be blogsitting for Sarah today as she cares for her sweet little one. Sarah is one of the most supportive people I've met since I started blogging. (She's also a special ed teacher like me...us crazies gotta stick together!) She's been a huge encouragement to me, but that's not news to any of you who stop by here on a regular basis.
Now on to the good stuff.
I am currently blissfully entrenched in my summer vacation, and for me, that means a couple of things...1. having friends over spontaneously (I'm really working on that one) and 2. frantically stocking the freezer and pantry for busy months ahead (and for feeding said houseguests).
Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite go-to meals...you can make it in serious bulk for the freezer or for a friend in need, or just to fill many many mouths without too much fuss. And just to sweeten the deal, it involves ingredients you probably already have in your cabinets somewhere. That right there is a win-win-win.
We call this Burrito Casserole, although I secretly call it a messy scoop of Mexican heaven.
Ok, start by grabbing this stuff out of the pantry.
A can of refried beans, a can of green chiles if you like them, about 30 oz of tomato sauce, and a jar of salsa.
You'll also need a bunch of small soft tortillas...15 to 20? I used what I had left in the fridge.
Start by browning 1.5-2 pounds of ground beef. And toss in a healthy pinch of the following...salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning.
When your meat is browned, drain off most of the grease and mix in about half of your jar of tomato sauce (15 oz or so). We're not measuring stuff here, folks. That's just not how I roll in the summer. Let 'er simmer while you work on the next step.
Open your can of refried beans and start smearing a spoonful down the center of each tortilla. I start lining them up in my baking dish as I go. *pssst...I'm using a stoneware 9x13, so I didn't grease it...this may not have been the wisest choice. If you're using a foil pan (no dishes--holla!) or a glass pan, go ahead and grease that puppy up).
Soon you'll have this. Just squeeze them in...and tuck a few on the sides if there's room.
Oh, and if you're into that sorta thing, toss a can of green chiles in with the meat. If you like it hot, go ahead and add fancy things like jalapenos or hot sauce. Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Ok, now it's time to smear a spoonful of meat down the center of each tortilla, right on top of the refried beans.
Roll them up one by one and lay them in the baking dish.
Just squish them all together until you've filled all your tortillas and used up your meat mixture.
And now we layer like a big messy lasagna...
First up, sour cream. I used what I had, which happened to be about 2 cups, but let's face it, more is always better when it comes to sour cream.
Next, the rest of your jar of tomato sauce (about 15 oz, but again, more would be fine!)
And the jar of salsa...
And now the cheese....again, use what you have, but use at least 16 oz total. I use half mozz and half cheddar.
Put a loose layer of foil over your dish and pop it in the oven for an hour. You can take the foil off for the last 10 minutes or so to get it brown and crispy on top if you like.
No, I don't have any fancy plated pictures of this for 2 reasons...First of all, this goopiness is best eaten in all its glory in a bowl. And secondly, this is family cooking, people...there's no time for plating! Dig in!
Now if you really want to crazy it up, you can buy the really deep foil baking dishes and you can double-layer everything. If you try that, you won't be able to fill your tortillas as much so you have room to stack it all. And if you're feeling superduper intelligent, buy enough ingredients to make 3 or 4 dishes for the freezer and get your hubby to do an assembly line with you to put them all together. Then you can chuckle to yourself with glee on 4 separate occasions as dinner practically makes itself. I love it when that happens.
Thanks so much, Sarah, for letting me hijack your blog today!