I’ve tried several and this truly is The Best Homemade Enchilada Casserole;
the bonus is it’s so easy to make at home!
Do you ever wonder where food bloggers get their inspiration? (Or maybe you just haven’t cared one tiny bit…that’s OK; it’s MY obsession!). Well, for me, it comes in myriad ways and for the most part it’s got a heavy dose of spontaneity involved. I’ve said it before and it’s so true; often it’s what’s in the fridge that offers me inspiration or in some cases, maybe it’s really desperation? Something needs to be used and I start thinking of ways to get that done. That’s the story of this Enchilada Casserole that combines ground beef, green chile sauce and frozen corn.
It was a combination of things that saw it come to fruition. Corn tortillas from Costco (meaning LOTS of corn tortillas!) in the veggie drawer staring at me, thawed ground beef whose day had come; you know, use it or lose it forever, a freezer with frozen corn and most crucial to this plan? In an organizing frenzy, the uncovering of a case of goodies from the folks at 505 Southwestern. I so wanted to make something using their products but they had escaped me a bit; my unsettled life has made food blogging a
tiny bit whole lot harder as I juggle every day where I’ll cook and where I’ll take photos so stuff is scattered between two locations; where I’m living now and my daughter’s. And Murphy is having a party with me; seems the ONE thing I need for success is always at the other location. That everything I needed for this dish was in one spot; well Murph apparently took a much needed day off!
Though I had never made them before I mentioned to a friend that enchiladas were on my mind. She had never made them either, mentioning that she preferred to make an enchilada casserole and that was it…I was off to the races.
To be honest I had never had nor heard of an enchilada casserole so I did some sleuthing…err, Googling! I found a myriad number of recipes that make it clear that it was just a layered dish using the usual suspects but in an easier, family friendly style. Tortillas, filling, cheese, sauce. Easy enough huh? Not so fast! A widely raved about recipe just said bland to me and beyond bland? One-half pound of ground beef in a 9X13 casserole? In a word, seemed a bit puny; not to offend
the brand that shall not be mentioned Better Homes and Gardens but it needed help. So I upped the volume. More beef, more spices, more enchilada sauce, some green chiles added to the mix and yes, MORE cheese.
I never once considered not using these sauces. As much as I love to cook, making green chili and enchilada sauce to accomplish this dish was just not going to happen. Still I like to think I’m discerning enough that not just anything would do. I like that they are all natural; my propensity towards homemade has an equal one that runs the other direction from a list of artificial ingredients. Their chiles are picked, flame roasted and flash-frozen during harvest and I guess I especially loved that they all come from the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. Hatch chile season is serious business in this part of the country and if I can’t get fresh ones for roasting, well, let’s just say I’m a VERY happy camper that this fabulous product was just waiting for me to use! That blandness I found in the original recipe? Beyond upping the amount of beef and increasing the spices a bit; it was the addition of half a jar of the Green Chile sauce to the filling that really made the difference. Big difference. Huge.
All together? A serious YUM!! I’m sharing the fruits of my labors with others at each meal right now and let me tell you I wanted to hide the leftovers. Mine I tell ya…ALL MINE! And one of the best things? Just like the choices listed on any Mexican menu this is just crying out for you to switch things up. Missing some of the ingredients? How about throwing in some pork and black beans or chicken and pinto beans. I could even see an all veggie version; the perfect time of the year to use the abundance of produce available. Was it good? SO good. Serve with some fresh guacamole and sour cream and I promise you raves. Yes…I really did hear them!
Not to be too bossy or anything but MAKE THIS CASSEROLE!!
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I was provided with samples of the 505 Southwestern sauces however all commentary is my own.