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August 20, 2013

Cooking really makes me happy, especially when it's something I see in a book or on pinterest and I know that it's going to be easy and delicious. But sometimes it's not as easy or delicious as you thought it would be. This is an example of that.

On my to-do list for food, I included this enchilada casserole. It sounded yummy, and who doesn't love enchiladas? Turns out I still prefer enchiladas in enchilada form, but I think I can rev up this recipe a little bit to get it to be more exciting. This dish wasn't completely horrible, just a little too rich and mostly deprived of any nutritional value (which is fine when it's something delish, but not something that you're not crazy about).

There are probably tons of people out there who will love this dish, so I will do my best to describe it and try to include some suggestions I have that could have made it better for me, even after the adapting I did to the recipe in the first place to accommodate my family's tastes.

Ingredients [with adaptations]:
// 12 soft corn tortillas [twelve is way too many in my opinion, I used eight and it was still way too much, so I'd go for about four. The tortillas that don't sit on the top get very soggy and thick and it was a very odd texture and definitely took away from the flavor of the meat and everything else]
// 1 lb. ground beef
// 1 can chopped olives [I used a small can and it was plenty]
// 2 10 oz. cans cream of chicken soup [the original recipe called for one chicken and one cream of mushroom soup, I used both chicken instead but honestly could have used just one and would have been more than fine]
// 1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
// 1/2  chopped white onion [could have definitely used a whole onion in the end]
// 1 lb. shredded mexican blend cheese
-------------------------------------------------
would have included:
// 1 large chopped tomato
// chives to taste

Instructions based on what I did and what I would change for next time:
1// cook minced beef thoroughly in a sauce pan.
2// mix together soup, enchilada sauce, olives, onions, chives, & tomatoes.
3// add the beef and cheese to the mixture and transfer into a casserole dish after combining everything.
4// cut up tortillas into eighths and add to casserole dish, making sure each piece is sticking out a little bit, rather than shoved inside [this will prevent most of the sogginess on the inside, and plus, the crunchy ones on the outside were my favorite part].
5// bake on 350*F for 45-55 minutes.
6// garnish with sour cream, guac, or salsa (even all three).

Like I said, this dish wasn't terrible, it was just a little bit overwhelming. I served lettuce and tomato on the side along with fresh corn + feta guacamole and sour cream. My whole family enjoyed it for the most part, we just decided that it was too heavy, it was a little too liquidy, there wasn't enough beef for how much soup there was, and there wasn't nearly enough onion. The point of this recipe is that it is supposed to be easier than just making enchiladas, but to be honest, I've made them before with R and they didn't really take any longer; if anything, less time is taken because they don't cook as long and the prep doesn't include chopping up the tortillas, just rolling them.

I suggest making this if you're adventurous and love Mexican food like my family does, but bear in mind how heavy it may be even with my proposed changes. It's not for delicate eaters, that's for sure!

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