Are you like me, always on the lookout for new recipes, gadgets and other products to use in cooking and baking, or am I just weird that way? I've found some good and some bad. Some of my best finds have been by accident, like the one I’m going to tell you about.
One day while in Meijer, I was wandering through my favorite isle, the baking section. I was looking at the spices when I noticed a product that I had never seen before. It’s made by McCormick and is called Recipe Inspirations and is a card that includes the recipe and all the spices that are needed to prepare the dish. I thought this was a great idea……I could try a new recipe without having to buy a lot of spices that I may never use again. If you’re like me, there has been many a time when you’ve found a recipe that you want to try and have had to purchase one or two jars of a spice that you don’t already have. Then, if you didn’t like that recipe, you’ve spent a lot of money for a spice that will probably just take up valuable cabinet space until it goes stale and you have to eventually toss it. Buying one of the Recipe Inspiration packets would eliminate that problem. Not only is it a good product for people who are seasoned cooks but is especially nice for new cooks, people who haven’t built up a supply of spices or even a collection of recipes….none of which is a problem for me. There were several packets to choose from so I picked one for Quesadilla Casserole and another for a pork chop recipe, which I’ll make in a few weeks.
A couple of weeks ago I needed to make dinner and couldn’t decide what I wanted to prepare…..other than Slow Cooked Sticky Chicken, I hadn’t tried anything new in a while. I was looking through the cabinet when I spied the Recipe Inspirations packets that I had placed there and forgotten about. I decided, since I had some ground beef in the fridge, to try the Quesadilla Casserole and I’m glad I did. It was quick, easy and good and since I have a large selection of spices, I already have the ones needed to prepare this recipe again. Now I can’t wait to try the one for pork chops.Quesadillla Casserole
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (8 3/4 oz) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (4 1/2 oz.) chopped green chiles, undrained
6 flour tortillas (8-inch)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 teapoons chili powder
1 teapoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chiles; mix well. Stir in all of the spices except red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste, if desired.
2. Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture and cheese.
3. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Oven Temperature: 350°F
I used a Four Cheese Mexican blend instead of cheddar.
Can substitute approx. 2-2 1/2 cups shredded chicken in place of ground beef. Saute onion in a little oil and then add chicken, continue following the rest of the procedures.
The Recipe Inspirations card.
Front of recipe card
Back of recipe card. Has the recipe including names of spices and amounts needed.
These are the little spice packets with the names and measurements printed on the back.
Brown ground beef and onion.
I have a confession to make…..I love kitchen gadgets! I love kitchen gadgets so much that whenever I see a new one, I usually purchase it. I know I have too many of them, some I use a lot and some, I’m embarrassed to say, have only been used once or twice and are now stored in the back of a cupboard or in a box. This is one of my favorites. In fact, I like it so much that not only do I have one at home, but bought one to keep at Michael’s apartment. It’s a strainer that I bought from Pampered Chef several years ago and use it to strain fat from ground beef and water for small amounts of pasta.
I’m a huge fan of Pampered Chef and like the products so much that many years ago, I was a consultant. Hmmm, now that I’m retired, maybe I should get back into this again.
Drain and add tomato sauce.
Add beans, corn and green chiles; mix well.
Stir in all of the spices except red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste, if desired. I wasn’t sure about the red pepper. As I’ve said before, Michael and I don’t like a lot of heat in our food, we like a little but don’t like so much that we feel as though we could breathe fire. After tasting the sauce, I decided to add the red pepper to the ingredients and found that it wasn’t too hot at all.
Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed.
Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture.
I usually buy a block of cheddar cheese and grate it myself. Not only is fresher and melts better but cheaper too, but I saw this Mexican blend and thought it would be perfect in this recipe and it was.
Cover with half of the cheese.
Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture and cheese. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes or until heated through.
The finished casserole. Let it rest about five minutes before serving. Michael hates the resting part of a dish, he's always ready to dig in as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Michael and I both really liked this recipe. I especially liked it because it was quick and easy…a great go to meal when you are hungry and rushed for time.
About a week later I had some leftover roast chicken so decided to try using it in this recipe. I shredded about 2 to 2 1/2 cups and added it to the sauce.....we liked it even more than using the ground beef. Not only was it better but quicker to prepare as well.
Another new and successful recipe to add to my file.