Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quesadilla Casserole

Quesadilla...a wonderful FLOUR tortilla stuffed with something savory and a ton of cheese and grilled.  This was the inspiration for this dish.  Its actually almost a lasagna, but the inclusion of flour tortillas instead of corn warrants the change up in the name.  Regardless of what you call it, its quite tasty.

Stupid easy to make too.  Simple browning of meat and then layering to assemble. If you can't do that its time to pack your knives and resort to already made frozen.

Tortillas, flour is a must. They come in a variety of sizes, go for the 8" to 10" variety for easiest fitting into the pan with nominal overlap.  Too much overlap and they get to be dense and chewy.

For the cheese, I'm blessed to be in sunny SoCal where "mexican blend" cheeses are everywhere.  Its a blend of cheddar, monterey jack, queso something or other and another traditional cheese.  Its a lot more flavor than just a "colby jack" blend would give and worth searching out.  If all else fails, well, use the colby jack as it is a reasonable substitute.

Quesadilla Casserole

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T Chili Powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t oregano leaves
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 12 oz frozen corn
  • 1 can diced green chiles, undrained
  • 6 8-10" flour tortillas
  • 4 1/2 c shredded mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9X13 baking dish with a non-stick spray.

In large skillet combine beef, salt and pepper.   Brown over medium heat until well browned.  Add onion and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Add spices, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.  Bring to simmer.  Add frozen corn and simmer 5 minutes longer.  Fold in green chiles and take off the heat.

Cut tortillas in half.  Place 1/2 c of meat mixture on bottom of baking dish. Cover with 4 tortilla slices, cut edges to the ends of the pan.Place 1/3 of meat mixture on top of the tortilla, then with 1 1/2 c shredded cheese.  Press lightly and repeat layers until all the tortillas, meat and cheese are used up.  Bake for 350 minutes until all bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes so it cuts and serves easier.
tortilla placement for maximum coverage and minimum overlap.

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