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Casserole Santa Fe

Presenting . . . my spicy, southwestern “Casserole Santa Fe". The crowd goes wild for this one! I’m sharing it with you for the first time because it’s perfect for these still-chilly March and April days. Be sure to go back for seconds while you can—or somebody else will surely beat you to it!

From "The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love—Recipes from the Big Easy . . . and Beyond" by Brian Theis, 2020 Click here for more on my best-selling cookbook!

Casserole Santa Fe

Makes 6 to 8 servings

A fun one to layer together. It’s okay to use store-bought pre-shredded cheese in this one.

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 cup 20-minute whole grain brown rice

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes

2 cans (4 ounces each) diced green chilis

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped fine

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained

8 to 10 ounces frozen or canned corn, drained

2 cups (8 ounces) Mexican blend shredded cheese

Butter for casserole dish

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and rice and cook till onions are softened and rice is lightly toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups water, tomatoes with liquid, green chilis, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered till rice is almost done but still has a bite to it, about 20 minutes. Transfer rice mixture to bowl and set aside.

To same skillet, add beef, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Cook meat just till no longer pink. Remove from heat.

In 9 x 13-inch casserole layer, in order: the black beans, half the tomato rice, the corn, the cilantro, the meat, half the cheese, remaining tomato rice, remaining cheese.

Cover with foil. Bake 45 mins. Let sit, uncovered, 10 minutes before serving.

Illustration from The Infinite Feast, by Marco Marella, Venice.

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