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Monday, July 6, 2009

Mexican Casseroles: One of My Favorites

A few days ago I made a bunch of Mexican casseroles for the freezer. These are one of my favorite casseroles--they have cheese, beans, and tomatoey sauce...what's not to love?

Here's the how-to in case you're interested. It is so simple you're going to wonder why I bothered adding all the pictures. The reason is because many people don't really read (they just look at pictures and skim the text)...and I was bored.

1. Make some Spanish rice. Just mix cooked rice and marinara sauce together. I use my dad's marinara sauce but you can use whatever sauce you have on hand (marinara, pasta, etc.).
2. Brown up some ground meat. I normally just use ground beef and add taco seasoning. But this time I used the Chipotle pork sausage we decided we didn't like all that much as breakfast sausage. Whatever you use, just make sure you brown it heavily for the best flavor. Grey ground beef is yucky.
3. Put a layer of rice on the bottom of each casserole pan and sprinkle it with cheese.4. Then spread out the meat.
5. Then schmear it with refried beans. Normally I made my own refried beans but I didn't have the energy so I used giant cans of it from the store. Top with cheese, lots of cheese.
6. Wrap 'em up for the freezer. Most people would say something like "keeps for 1 month in the freezer." Fooey. I've had some of these in the freezer for like 6 months or longer and they still tasted great.

I used some disposable tin containers from the Dollar Store that come with a piece of cardboard for the lid (basically a take-out container). Those boards can't go in the oven, but I've found that they are great for stacking casseroles in the freezer. So here's how I used them:

Put a piece of foil over the dish and press it down on top of the food so it won't get freezer burn (no air = no freezer burn).Then lay the cardboard on top of that.
Seal the edges of the container with the foil that is hanging out and curl up the edges of the container around the foil and the board.

Then I labeled them with directions so anyone in my house can heat one up without having to ask me.
Super yummy, super easy. Go make some!

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