The Family Food Blog


Month: October, 2012

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

by mukwritesbooks

Although I have been terribly busy since school started up again in late August (and shirking my blogging responsibilities, sorry N!), I have still found enough time for various cooking experiments. It’s slowly beginning to cool down for autumn, and I have found myself craving cozier (one-pot) dishes. Here’s my own version of a recent casserole recipe that I made last weekend; it turned out quite well, which is good considering that by the time I finally finish it, I would have eaten about 10 meals of it….

Ingredients for Turkey Enchilada Casserole  (approximately 10 servings)

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained (make sure there’s no excess water when you add these)
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) medium salsa (or hot if you like an extra zing!)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce (make sure you don’t get the Italian seasoned kind)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in. diameter)
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

Sidenote: This was the first time I’d cooked ground meet like this on my own, and it was surprisingly easy! Just make sure that you take the time to check that all of the turkey meat is no longer pink, and that you turn the stove up to at least medium-high heat (otherwise you’ll be sitting there for hours waiting for the meat to cook).

1) Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray (or a dash of vegetable oil) and cook the turkey, green pepper, and onion over medium heat until the meat is browned. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more

2) Stir in the beans, salsa, tomato sauce, cumin, and paprika, and bring to a boil.

3) Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes (this was about until I could smell the salsa spices from the living room 🙂 ), stirring every so often.

4) Coat a 13-in x 9-in casserole dish with butter/oil/cooking spray. Spread meat sauce (approximately 1 cup, or so that the bottom is covered with a thin layer).

5) Top with six tortillas (I broke these into halves so that I could layer them without having too many two-tortilla-thick areas of the casserole). Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

6) Layer with remaining tortillas and meat sauce.

7) Cover (I used aluminum foil) and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

8) Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer until the cheese has melted.

Okay, so my first slice wasn’t the prettiest, but it was definitely yummy!

This is a great recipe, and I haven’t minded eating more casserole than not for the past week and a half (I’ve actually frozen 4 meals’ worth and will probably be attacking that later on this week). But be warned, this does make a LOT of casserole. It’s probably ideal for a family or a potluck. At the same time, I found that once this went into the fridge, it was a lot easier to cut up and pack in various forms (tupperware for lunch at work, in the freezer, etc.). And the structure – especially with the corn tortillas – has held up surprisingly well, despite several reheats in the microwave!

Bottom line, I probably won’t be making this for myself for a few weeks at least, but it was a relatively easy, convenient (one-dish!), and cheap (all of the ingredients totaled about $14) recipe 🙂


Fall Vegetable Pastries

by thefamilyfoodblog

Last Saturday, for once, I woke up early enough to get myself to the local farmer’s market. Before starting to cook with my fall bounty, I took a moment to be artsy and take a little still life photo, adding in a pumpkin from pumpkin-picking earlier in the month and the plant that usually sits on our dining table.

Clearly I have a thing for multicolored vegetables. I bought honeycrisp apples, eggplant, a bell pepper, and the last of the heirloom tomatoes.

Cooking a variety of meals using these same ingredients made for an interesting experiment throughout the week. Thanks to sage, the standout was the vegetable puff pastries I made on Wednesday night to finish off the eggplant. The recipe below is double what I made – it makes the quantities a little more practical.

Ingredients (for 12 pastries)

  • two sheets (one package) frozen store-bought puff pastry
  • one medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • one medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • one small tomato, diced
  • 5 large leaves fresh sage, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste


Remove the puff pastry from the freezer to thaw. Preheat oven to 430 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the onion and eggplant, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Allow to cook for about two minutes. Add in zucchini, tomato, lemon juice, and black pepper and cook until vegetables are slightly softened (about five more minutes). Mix in sage and cook for one more minute.

Cook vegetables over medium heat until slightly softened. (Sorry for the blurry photo!)

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into six rectangles. Spoon 1 1/2-2 tbsp vegetable mixture into the center of each and fold over, pinching around edges to seal. Arrange pastries on a baking sheet and bake at 430 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

I ate mine with ketchup, with a little hot sauce mixed in. Ranch dressing would be another good option, or perhaps an aioli.

P.S. They’re a lot more filling than you’d expect; I was pretty full after just two!