Recipe: Mexican Corn & Rice Casserole

It brings me a lot of joy when I throw a bunch of meticulously thought out random ingredients together and it makes one extremely delicious dish. Such is the story of last night's dinner. I was going to make boring spaghetti, but I'm SO glad I went for the gusto and threw this together.

Mexican Corn & Rice Casserole
2 cups Minute Brown Rice (or white rice)
1.5 lbs lean ground turkey (or hamburger)
1 15 oz can corn
1 14.5 oz can Chili Ready Tomatoes (diced)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 diced onion (medium)
1 4 oz can chopped green chiles
1-2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Lawry's, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start by preparing the rice per box instructions. I like to give brown rice plenty of time to soak up all the water or it can be chewy. While the rice is setting, brown the turkey/hamburger in a skillet. Let it cook about half way through before adding any seasonings. The longer meat cooks the less flavorful your seasonings will be.

I like my dishes FULL of flavor, so I sprinkle a good amount of Lawry's over the meat. A good rule of thumb is to lightly dust the entire surface area in the skillet without getting it too thick (or it will be too salty). Really go for it with the chili powder and cumin. I pour enough to cover the entire surface of the meat in the skillet before stirring everything together. Just a few dashes of salt, pepper and garlic powder and it's perfect!

You can add the green chiles and onion in with the meat to cook, but I like to get some good color on mine, so I cook them separately. After you drain your meat, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Add in just a dash of olive oil and let it get hot again before adding the onion. Cook for about 3 minutes before adding the green chiles. Cook them for about 5 more minutes, until the onions soften up just enough. They will cook more while in the oven.

Now you just mix everything together! Combine the cooked rice, browned turkey, onion/chile mixture, corn, tomatoes and tomato sauce in a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, and pop in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. I went with almost 2 cups of cheese, and it was extra cheesy. If you want to cut some calories go with 1 cup of cheese. It will still be delicious and not cost you as much at the gym the next day. :)

Serve it with a dollop of light sour cream and enjoy! If I had fresh cilantro in the fridge I definitely would have chopped some up and sprinkled it over the top. In any case, this is delicious, filling, and relatively easy for a weeknight meal!

-Jenn (With 2 N's)

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