Friday, June 5, 2009

Tex Mess Casserole

WARNING: Better Homes and Gardens will tell you this takes about 45 minutes. They lie! They operate in a world where people know what they're doing; a world without procrastination. 

Today, we made their Tex Mex Casserole, which is tasty, but surprisingly soupy. 

First we let the onions sizzle in some olive oil until tender.

Then we added chicken-flavored rice and let that cook for 2 minutes, then stirred in an entire can of chicken broth and 2 cups of water. I brought that to a boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes, at which point I realized we were going to be horribly, horribly late. Sean had to leave for work around 3:10 and at this point, it was 2:30 ish and I still had to bake the damn casserole. DISASTERS!

I cheated and used the pre-cooked Southwestern-flavored chicken strips. Sean chopped those strips up real nice and we added them to the rice mixture, along with tomatoes, diced green chiles (which smell SO good), cumin, chili pepper, basil and black pepper. I placed the mixture in a 2-quart casserole dish and baked for 25 minutes at 450. But something seemed...wrong.

That sure is a lot of liquid, isn't it? The directions told me that after all that boiling and simmering, the liquid wouldn't be completely absorbed, so I trusted them. But um...that looks VERY unabsorbed. Ultimately, I ended up ladling out much of the liquid just to get it closer to a casserole texture (rather than a weird stew).

And then I popped some cheese on top. It was supposed to sit for five minutes, but Sean had to leave RIGHT THEN, so we just dug in. It was a nice mix of tex-mex flavors (surprise, surprise) and I found that the consistency almost mirrored a dip, so I broke out some tortilla chips and scooped mine. Very good; I recommend it!

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