Sunday, February 03, 2008

*super bowl, party of one.

I come to you from the end of an infuriatingly low-scoring and entertainment-free game. That I fast-forwarded through. If you're accustomed to zipping through commercials, it can be a struggle for a small brain to stop specifically for commercials. And I won't even dignify those ads with comment. Why wasn't Jessica Simpson eating pizza with Muppets? Where has all the creativity gone?

Oh! But good for the Giants. I'm a sucker for an underdog. And also for this.

Tonight, I needed comfort food. It was a rainy day, I had only had half a sleeve of saltines and a wedge of cheese, and I was sofa tailgating. Or whatever you call it when football is on but you don't actually watch the game. Sofa ... sitting.

This was no time for healthy living. I've taken a break from that the past two days. Are french fries acceptable as an amuse bouche? I think yes. So my heartfelt thanks to the folks at Southern Living, who believe regional food can be tasty without being INSANE.

I adore, and that's not just a shameless plug. It lends access to recipes from eight different magazines, all in one place. I chose Mexican Vegetarian Casserole. The casserole is second only to sandwiches in my food favorites. This one had the added benefit of being ridiculously easy. Step 1: Mix shit together. Step 2: Bake. It's cooking for dummies. Or the hungover. What? Who said that?

RoTel, black beans, rice, sour cream, salsa, cheese, black olives, whole-kernel corn, and scallions. It came out a little runnier than I expected, but the mixture fulfilled the Joey Tribbiani quotient: Only good stuff went in, so how could it be bad?

Using the instant rice really made this a quick process. The RoTel, beans, cooked rice, sour cream, salsa, and corn went into a lightly greased baking dish, then got topped with the scallions, olives, and cheese.

And yes, that is a lot of cheese. I did go with the 2% because it's an old habit not to buy full-fat anything if I can help it, but if I were making this for a discerning crowd, I'd go whole hog (ouch). The 2% kind of formed a rubbery sheet instead of stringy, gooey tastiness. It was still delicious, but kind of the texture of fruit leather.

It bakes at 350 for 50 minutes, which tests the boundaries of my patience. But at least I didn't take a nap on the sofa and wake up three hours later with 9 by 13 blackened mess. Not that that's ever happened before.

Yum! Make this when smiles are in short supply.


at: 8:19 AM said...

Casseroles aren't supposed to be pretty, but somehow yours is. How'd you do that? I agree about the commercials, with the exception of the water-slurping dog (it was a head-scratcher as to how it related to Gatorade, but they get points for cuteness and for making my golden girl try to jump into the TV).

Your Superbowl party sounds more fun than mine.

K. says:
at: 9:24 AM said...

it's all right. nothing magazine-worthy. it's CERTAINLY no chicken casserole. i humbly bow to your casserolespertise.

at: 9:42 AM said...

You beat JB and me since we could only muster crackers and cheese and canned soup. JB watched the game and asked questions about football that would make you think he was raised in a third world country.

at: 9:00 PM said...

looks like we were simul-cooking, also from my recipes. I also recommend sorting the recipes by rating and considering recommendations from those who've gone before. Tonight we had the ├╝ber simple chicken tenders layered over sweet potatoes. Then you pour a mix of chicken broth, herbs de Provence and garlic over it and bake. Literally that simple and now the whole neighborhood smells good!



my foodgawker gallery



I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.