Monday, September 12, 2011

Clean-Out-the-Fridge Casserole

Last night I made up a new recipe using a pound of ground beef and leftovers I found in the refrigerator. Now this may not sound like news – and it certainly isn’t the first time I’ve used leftovers to create a meal. What is newsworthy is the outstandingly yummy result! Who knew that would happen? I expected it would be edible but was pleasantly surprised that is was such a big hit.

Here’s what I found in the fridge (measurements approximate):
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1½ cup steamed zucchini
  • ½ cup baked beans
  • 1½ cup grated cheese
  • 8 or 9 large corn tortillas

Here’s what I added:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Sliced black olives

Here’s what I did:
  1. Sauté chopped onion until brown.
  2. Add ground beef and cook, stirring often.
  3. Puree leftover steamed zucchini and beans with about ¾ cup water in the blender.
  4. Stir pureed mixture into beef and heat through (looks like hamburger in gravy at this point).
  5. Tear up leftover corn tortillas and spread a layer in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.
  6. Top tortilla layer with about half the meat mixture and half the grated cheese.
  7. Lay on another layer of torn-up tortillas.
  8. Top with rest of meat mixture and rest of cheese.
  9. Sprinkle liberally with sliced olives.
  10. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove cover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.
  12. Let sit 5 minutes or so and then serve.

We topped our casserole with sour cream and had freshly steamed zucchini (it’s about the only thing that’s producing well this year) as a side dish. Quick, easy, cheap and delicious – you can’t get better than that!

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