Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mexican Casserole and Naughty Cornbread

I am posting this to tell you how I store my ground beef. Maybe you do this too. I usually buy the cheapest family pack of ground beef available. That is usually the 73% lean ground beef. (I only use this for browned ground beef recipes like spaghetti sauce, tacos, sloppy joes and casseroles like this one. For meatballs and meatloaf I get a leaner ground beef.) I get a couple of big dutch ovens and cook up the whole family pack at once. I also like to add dried onions to give it some good flavor. When the beef is nice and browned, I transfer it into a colander with a plastic container under it to catch the fat. After the fat has been drained, I remove the plastic container and run very hot water over the beef in the colander. This will help drain even more of the fat off. When the beef cools, I measure out about 2 cups and put it in a small freezer storage bag. I place all of the bags of beef in my freezer. Now I have a lean, meal size portion ready when I quickly need ground beef for a week night meal. Ready for some recipes?

Mexican Casserole
(makes two 9x9 to eat one and freeze one for later)

1 box of pasta, cooked according to package and drained ( I used wagon wheels)
15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 can tomato soup
3/4 can of water (soup can)
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups browned ground beef
2 packs of taco seasoning or to taste
1 cup colby jack or whatever cheese you have on hand

Basically......mix it all together (except cheese), put it in the casserole dish, top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly. You can top it with sliced olives. sour cream, shredded lettuce or just eat it as is. My kids really liked this. Especially JD.

To use frozen casserole: Put into fridge the night before to thaw. Bake at 350 degrees, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.

Naughty Corn Bread

1 box of yellow cake mix
2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
eggs, oil and milk according to box mixes

Preheat oven according to directions on the cake mix box.

In a bowl combine all three box mixes. Add eggs, milk and oil according to each box mix. (Replace the water called for on the cornbread box mix with milk). Mix all the ingredients according to the cake mix directions.

This makes A LOT of cornbread, so I just make 2 batches of muffins and freeze what I don't use. They are really easy to defrost in the microwave for a quick meal.

Just bake these according to the cake mix directions. (About 20 minutes for the muffins and 30 minutes for 9x13 pan). Know your oven and make sure not to over cook these. Cooked just right, these are so moist!

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