A TASTE OF MEXICO
from Catherine Castle
The other day I wanted a quick easy meal, so I peeked into the pantry to see what I had on hand. I found cans of chicken, green chiles, corn, black beans and cream of chicken soup, and some tortillas, so I set out to create something. Here’s what I came up with. We liked it, and I hope you will too.
Quick Oven Quesadilla
2-12.5-oz canned chicken, drained and broken up
1-4-oz can diced green chilies
1-2.5-oz can sliced black olives, drained
1-15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-11-oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ or less cup water, start with a smaller amount. You only need enough water to mix soup other ingredients.
1 cup finely shredded Mexican style cheese.
1 to 1½ tsp. taco seasoning, or to taste if you like it spicier.
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 high-fiber large tortillas (or corn tortillas) or enough to fit a straight sided cake pan, or 2
high-fiber street tacos to make individual servings in a smaller pan.
Preheat oven to 350° F
In a skillet over medium high heat brown the tortillas on both sides.
While tortillas are browning, mix chicken, corn, beans, chilies, olives, soup, cheddar cheese and water. Heat the mix in a large saucepan stirring until well mixed and beginning to bubble.
Lightly spray the bottom of a cake pan or baking sheet. Lay one tortilla in the pan, top with about ¼ cup mix (for a large tortilla, less for smaller tortillas) onto top of browned tortilla, spreading mix almost to the edge. Top with ¼ cup of finely shredded Mexican cheese. Repeat with other tortilla and 3/4 cup mix. Save left over mix for another day’s use, or you can double the tortillas and make a bigger meal the first time.
Bake about 10-15 minutes or until cheese on top has melted and you can see filling bubbling. (I’ve also baked this for a shorter time at a higher temp when was in a hurry.) Turn off oven and switch to the high broil setting on the oven and broil until cheese on top begins to brown.
Remove from oven. Cut and serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions, guacamole, salsa or other Mexican side toppings.
If you want to make several stacks at a time lay the base tortillas on a baking sheet and assemble as many as your ingredients allow. Number will depend on the size of your tortillas.
If you only make one stack, or 2 smaller individual servings, the first time you can use the remainder of the filling for a second quesadilla meal or as filling for enchiladas. It will make about 4-6 enchiladas depending on the size of your tortilla. Warm your ingredients before assembling the stacks or enchiladas to cut down on heating time in oven. Make a cheese sauce, or other Mexican sauce to cover the enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Heat in a 350° oven until cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.
While your dinner is cooking, check out Catherine’s multi-award-winning Inspirational Romantic Suspense The Nun and the Narc. Partially set in Mexico, the heroine, Sister Margaret Mary, an adventurous novice, dines on some unusual marketplace snacks.
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicably attracted to him, he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them by making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion, and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.
Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.
Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.