Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dinner from the pantry!

I love to cook.  I'm not a gourmet chef, just a basic fill your stomach, stick to your ribs kind of home cook.  I had some good examples to follow. Both of my grandma's were excellent cooks. My Dad's Mother influenced me the most. She made the simplest meals taste wonderful. I inherited from my Aunt Shirley a love of cookbooks.  I have quite the collection. My Aunt and I would talk about food and our favorite dishes all night long. She taught me about plating and balancing out color.  If  food looks good then people will eat it. What I learned from the Women in my life was cook simple meals with ingredients you have on hand.  Make it look and taste good! Which brings me to today's recipe. It's is one that I threw together from leftover's and items from my pantry.  I do have a knack putting ingredients together and walla dinner!
 Pantry Tortilla Bake.
Leftover Pork Roast shredded about 3-4 cups
1 can of Black Beans - rinsed and drained
1 can of Chili Beans-un-drained
1 can of diced tomato's un-drained
1 can of creamed corn
1 cup of Salsa
2 cups of shredded cheese
1 onion chopped
1 cup of chopped green pepper
2 tsps. of chili powder
1 tsp. of cumin
1 tsp. of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
about 9 - 6 inch corn tortillas cut into 1 inch pieces.
I took pictures but not of every step.  It came to mind after I started cooking.  I thought hey this would be great for the blog! So here are the pictures of the ingredients.
As you can see I had already opened the cans and almost tossed them away! Now since this is a pantry supper use what you have on hand. Paraphrasing Julia Childs you don't have to go out and shop for one ingredient its just utter nonsense!
The spices are next. These are basic should be in a well stocked pantry.  Substitute or add spices to suit your families taste. Veggies and cheese are next...
Again if you don't have an ingredient substitute with something you have on hand.  Oh and any cheese will do.  This is what I had so it went into the pot! 
The next ingredient is the meat.  I used a pork roast from the dinner I prepared the night before. We do eat leftovers (waste not want not) but I usually turn it until a new dish.  Its allot better then re-heat and eat. In this step you can substitute ground beef, chicken, or any left over meat. Just use your imagination. Ok here what it looks like combined and simmering in the pot
Cooking Directions:
Sauté onion and green pepper in tbsp. of oil until onions are translucent. Add shredded pork and the rest of the ingredients expect the cheese and corn tortillas .
Simmer for 10 minutes
At this stage you can serve it as Chili.  You can also serve it over rice or pasta.  Top it with crushed corn chips, tomato's etc.  Its a good base with lots of possibilities.
Now how I finished it.

It's just to darn hot to turn on the oven so I used my electric skillet.  I find a casserole dish to fit in side of it.   Cooking a casserole recipe directly in the skillet causes it to scorch.   This is what I do...

  I place some small wads of tin foil to rest the casserole dish on.  This keep it off the bottom and helps prevent scorching.
Spray the casserole dish with cooking spray.

Layer your ingredients
Start with about 1 cup of the Chili on the bottom of Casserole.
Layer next  * 1/3 of corn tortilla, 1/3 of the Chili and   1/3 of the cheese
repeat from * another two times ending with the cheese. Cover with tin foil. Place in skillet and cover. bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. 
Here the finished product!
It serves about 6-8 we had plenty of leftovers.  Its even better the next day.  This got a two thumbs up from my husband. I hope you give it a try.
And this is Life as I know it!