Enchilada Casserole

by Millie Bentley

Greetings. I love the taste of black-eyed peas and they are easy to cook according to the package directions. One can eat them as cooked, toss them into a salad or try this recipe:

Black Eye Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef, moose, or caribou

16 ounces of tomatoes, chopped or squashed with hands

1 seven-ounce can dried chilies (Ortega brand is good)

2 cups black-eyed peas or 1 16-ounce can, drained

1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce (or use a seven-ounce can of El Pato brand Mexican hot sauce)

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)

12 corn tortillas

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Sauté chili powder and cumin in olive oil in a very large skillet for about a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add onion and sauté another minute. Then add ground meat and garlic; sauté about five minutes, stirring to prevent burning or sticking. Dip off excess fat; then add tomatoes, diced chilies, black-eyed peas, enchilada sauce and jalapeno pepper. Cook until heated through.

Spray a 9-by-13-by-3 inch baking pan with food release spray (Pam or somesuch), cut tortillas into strips and spread one layer into baking pan. Cover with 1/3rd of meat mixture. Repeat two more times, then spread grated cheese over top. Cover and bake in a 350˚F oven for about 30 minutes, removing cover for last five minutes.

Note: If your pan has no cover or cover will touch the cheese, bake covered with 20 minutes without the cheese; uncover, add cheese and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling. Delicious served with a green salad, Mexican rice and tortilla chips. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Until next time dear Reader, vaya con Dios.