I can't tell you how much I'm savouring the Chinese New Year long weekend break we are having in this part of the world. Waking up late (8:30am for me is like super late 😝), lazing around home, catching up on some reading, cooking and eating hazardous amounts of food, taking ridiculously long naps, catching up with pals, taking the kids to the pool and on outings.....I'm talking 100% pure fun!
So on one of the days, we had company for dinner and decided to go for a Mexican-inspired menu. We had a grilled corn salad, tortilla chips and quesadillas with sour cream, guacamole and salsa, black bean burgers and a continuous supply of Margaritas to wash it all down. The food was good and company even better so at the end of the evening, everyone had a little too much to eat (and drink!) 😜
The next day, I opened my fridge to discover half a can of black beans, half a tub of sour cream, an almost full jar of pickled jalapeños, a container of leftover homemade salsa and an unopened packet of flour tortillas. I usually hate it when I find a bunch of stuff in my fridge that I have no idea what to do with. I didn't want to repeat any of the dishes of the previous night coz we had eaten way too much of it already. It was then that I remembered a Mexican enchilada casserole that I had at my friend's home last year that I really loved. It was ordered from a home-based caterer so I couldn't get my hands on a recipe but I had picked and prodded the dish long enough to make a mental note of what had gone into it. I was so glad that in addition to the leftovers, I still had a wedge each of green, red and yellow bell peppers in the fridge so got to working on my version of a Tex-Mex Casserole.
I'm pretty sure you will not find this exact same recipe anywhere on the internet or in any book (if you do, I will be thunderstruck!). There is a randomness to this dish that comes from tossing in whatever one finds at the time of their culinary experimentation! I have attempted to recreate the taste of the delicious casserole I have described☝ but I made a few deliberate changes along the way. I've named this dish 'Tex-Mex Casserole' because it suffers from a serious identity crisis 😆 Notwithstanding issues with authenticity, this dish has rich, bold and bright flours incorporated into it so I would recommend it as being worthy of consideration. I took the time to jot down and carefully measure all the ingredients to create a tested and reproducible recipe. I'm stoked I did that because the dish received positive feedback from whoever ate it! It was so good that even the leftovers were gone by the end of the day! The next time, I don't even have to wait until there are specific ingredients languishing in the fridge to make this dish...I can serve it at our next dinner party and I'm sure it will be appreciated 🙌
One thing I need to mention before I forget - a casserole is ideally made in a 9x13 inch baking pan but since I don't yet own one of that size, I split it into two - one round and one square 8-inch baking dish. Whatever works for you guys, okay?
I need to rush back and enjoy what is remaining of this glorious 4.5 days of break 😊 Signing off now....do make this dish and let me know how it turned out!