Crock Pot Tortilla Casserole

22 11 2009
Tortillas inside, tortillas outside. And some casserole to boot!

Tortillas inside, tortillas outside. And some casserole to boot!

So how do you get back into the food blogging after you’ve been running around on another continent for 2 weeks? A midwest casserole is how. Every ingredient almost comes out of a can or a bag and to boot it goes into the crock pot! Heaps of easy to get back into the swing of things (and give me more time to sort through my vacation pictures!). 

So this afternoon while taking a break from photo-sorting/computer upgrading/watching Lightroom instructional videos I noticed my vegetarian crock pot cookbook and thought to myself ‘hmmm that would be easy for dinner’ but I didn’t find anything of real interested in it.  So I turned to the internet. After a few false starts and minor ‘leads’ I ended up the idea of a casserole in the crock pot which was very exciting because soup, stew, and large chunks of meat weren’t calling my name today.  A few searches later I came across this Tortilla Casserole recipe.  I was on my out of the house so I wrote down the proper canned ingredients I would need for dinner.  For some reason I can’t remember now I decided not to stop and buy the food; eventually the Sous Chef called and we decided it was a go.

The only problem was this mythical “Hunts Special Sauce” listed in the ingredients.  Everything else we found in their respective cans / bags but even pocket internet didn’t yield any help with what is was and if it still existed. In the end we decided to bring home a Prego jar of spaghetti sauce (sticking with the midwest theme). However, when we got home big internet told me it was more a kin to hot sauce than spaghetti sauce.  Huh.  I ended up using maybe a few tablespoons or teaspoons (its hard for me to tell) of Tabasco sauce and to add liquid to it some Iowa’s own Cookie’s BBQ Sauce.  Besides this the only divergence I made from the recipe was to add 1 delicata squash into it. The sous chef finely diced it and we put it in with the meat filling.  The BBQ added a bit of flavor but also gave enough sauce to cover the extra squash.

Anyway the assembly was easy. Brown ground beef and onions. Add sauce, ‘special sauce’ 1/2 can of green chilis,  a packet of taco seasoning, and in our case squash. Mix and simmer for 5 minutes.  Layer in a crock pot with white flour tortillas in a tinfoil lined crock pot.  Cook on high for 2 hours.  HIGH being the key word.  Turns out I had turned it to low for 2 hours.  I had to flip it to high and cook it for another hour.  And we had to wait to eat dinner :/

The last step was to make a cheese sauce to go over the top.  The first thing was to make a roux (butter flour mixture to thicken things) in a pot and then add 2 cups milk (we used soy) and then forget to let it sit long enough to thicken.  Opps. And add 2 cups cheese and the rest of the cans of chilis.  Heat and mix until it melts together.  Well we did this when we thought it was going to be done and let it sit on a cool burner for an hour while the casserole actually finished.  I was expecting to have to reheat/remelt it before I served it but oddly enough an hour later there was just a small film on the top and the sauce was still quite warm. 

It didn’t come out of the crock pot in slices but rather in piles that I served with the sauce and some fresh tortilla slices. Yum! The spicy level was just right but I doubt I can do it again as I didn’t measure the Tabasco AND the Western Family Taco cheese we used had jalapenoes in it? So I have no idea how much of what really went it.  Overall this was a good, easy, filling, and warm meal that tasted a bit like a pile of tacos with some zip to it.  One of my friends has a great tortilla casserole recipe for the crock put and now I am itching to try it!




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