Esta fiesta!

>> Monday, June 11, 2007

For dinner on Saturday, I decided to cook Mexican-style. I haven't had Mexican food since I visited Scotland (we were desperate for food at 9 pm and it was affordable and not crowded), which was back in March. I decided it was time to treat myself (and the family, but mainly myself). Please read my notes after the recipe so you can adjust accordingly.

Nacho Casserole with Mexican-Stuffed Mushrooms

For the mushrooms:

12 large mushrooms
1/3 lb. ground beef
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced onion
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

For the casserole:

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
8 oz. sour cream
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed nacho cheese soup
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can Mexican corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained (optional)
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped and seeded (optional)
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced black olives, drained
1 bag of nachoes

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Brown all of the beef in a skillet. When done, remove from heat and drain the grease. Remove mushroom stems, being careful not to destroy the mushroom caps. Chop the stems. Spoon 1/3 lb. beef into a bowl. Add garlic, onion, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin, cheese, chopped mushrooms, and breadcrumbs. Spray cookie sheet. Spoon breadcrumb mixture into each mushroom cap and place onto cookie sheet. Save any remaining breadcrumb mixture.

2. With remaining beef in skillet, add oregano, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin, celery salt, onion salt, and garlic salt. Stir in sour cream and cheese soup. Add undrained tomatoes and drained corn. Spread mixture into a casserole dish.

3. Cover casserole dish with a lid or foil, sprayed side down. Bake mushrooms and casserole for 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms and let cool. Remove lid from casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining breadcrumb mixture from mushrooms (or use 1 cup cheese if no breadcrumbs are left). Top with sliced olives. Bake another 10 minutes uncovered (edges should be bubbly). Serve with nachoes.

My thoughts: The mushrooms seemed a little dried out after baking, so I don't know if you should let them sit in water while baking or simply brush the caps with water. Also, the recipe was for 24 mushrooms, but we only had 12 so I cut everything in half. There was plenty of breadcrumb mixture left (even after topping the casserole), so you may want to cut it even further. For the casserole, I used 1/2 jar cheese sauce instead of soup, but it made the casserole too runny. Stick with the soup because it's thicker (unless you add some cream with the sauce). I didn't top mine with olives because they were slimy (always keep your receipts in case something like this happens. Bought it the day before too and didn't expire until 2009!). We used the nachoes to scoop up the casserole, but forks work just as fine. You may need to adjust some of the spices. My mom doesn't like anything too spicy, so I cut back on the chili powder and cumin. I also omitted the jalepeno pepper and pinto beans (Mom's preference). You can probably replace the tomatoes, beans, and pepper with salsa. I added the corn because my dad kept "showing" me that he bought canned Mexican corn. I also guessed on the spices in the casserole because the recipe called for taco seasoning mix.

Sources: Casserole - Old El Paso Mexican Cookbook August 2006 p. 39; Mushrooms - CD Kitchen


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