March 10, 2012

Mexican Hotdish

I found this recipe in a Joanne Fluke novel a number of years ago.  We love Mexican food and this quickly became one of our regulars.  When I took it to fellowship last Sunday I got many requests for it.  I figured if I was writing it up anyway, I might as well put it here.

4 ounces green chilies
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded jack cheese
28 ounces diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 ounces olives, sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups uncooked rice (see notes between *)
2 packages taco seasoning (or substitute home made taco seasoning)
3 cups cooked chicken, cubed or substitute beans if you want to make this a vegetarian dish
14.5 ounces broth or stock
1/2 cup butter
2 cups (8 ounces) Mexican cheese blend
jalapenos, hot sauce and sour cream for garnish

Spray a 6 quart pan.  Mix all ingredients in pan except butter, Fritos, Mexican cheese and garnish.  Cut butter into cubes and dot over top.  Cover with heavy duty foil or two layers of regular foil.  The recipe calls for cooking it in the oven for 90 minutes. * I substitute brown rice for the white rice* and I find it takes about 3 hours in the oven instead.

When all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, remove foil and sprinkle with Fritos and then the Mexican cheese.  Return to oven until cheese is melted.

We pass jalapenos, hot sauce and sour cream at the table.

On Sunday I needed a way to keep it warm until the fellowship following the evening service so I made it in the crock-pot.  I was worried about how it would come out and I was going to be away at church all morning and unable to keep an eye on it.  *I decided to substitute instant rice for the brown rice to be sure it would cook in time and because I wasn't sure if it would require more liquid.*  It worked just fine.  I let it cook on high for about two hours while we were dressing for church and then turned it down to low and let it cook for another five hours or so.  On a day when I can be home to keep an eye on it, I want to do it in the crock pot again using the brown rice and see how long it takes and how much additional liquid is needed.  Brown rice is so much more nutritious and we much prefer the flavor to white rice. I carried the cheese and Fritos with me and when we got to church I removed the lid sprinkle the cheese on top, covered it with Fritos and let it simmer without the lid until the meeting was over.  That was about two hours.  It probably wouldn't require that much time, especially if you sprinkled the cheese on, put the lid back on for a few minutes and then added the Fritos just before serving.  I needed to have it completely ready to go at the end of the preaching and this worked just great.  I had extra Fritos on the side for the bottom of the pot.