First of all, let me tempt you with the image of the Monterey Chicken Casserole. It is one of those comfort foods that just doesn’t photograph well – but oh so delicious!
We’ll get to that recipe in just a minute.
I am still elbow deep in the middle of a kitchen restoration – or, more accurately, Marc is.
Old houses do not have plumb walls. Just because you from one part of the wall you can’t guarantee that the measurement will be the same higher or lower on the wall.
Ask us how we know.
So, we had a brief setback but I am happy to say that at this point the majority of the work in the kitchen is done. We still need to buy the marble slab. We need to finish tiling the built in spice rack, patch holes, mud, and paint. I need to decide on fabric for curtains and the window seat cushion.
The blacksplash is looking amazing, I love the pattern. And the small alcove in the wall is where the built in spice rack is going to go. White tiles with glass shelves. I think it will be beautiful but also keep the herbs and spices I cook with the most right where I need them.
I know tile has been given a bad reputation but I love it because it is easy to clean, and durable. At my house, with the number of kids I have and the amount of cooking I do? I heart durable. A lot.
I am getting used to my new oven and stove and how they work. I have not worked with a convection oven before so that is taking a little concentration and trial and error… and with everything still being chaotic it is hard for me to cook, even with the ritalin that the VA put me on last month. Chaos is a quick way to make me crazy. Crazier.
Anyway, I am having trouble maneuvering around the kitchen at the moment and I was looking for something that would be fast and the kids would love. In fact, the biggest test of all – I wanted something I could make on a karate night… the kids have to be at karate at 6 p.m. So, easy, fast, family friendly.
I love Allrecipes.com, don’t you? You can read recipes, save them to your box, and read what other people have said about them. I really wish that people would comment on food blogs more than they do – it would serve the same purpose. Anyway, I was surfing the site and ended up bookmarking about 10 recipes.
This one, Monterey Chicken Tortilla Casserole looked easy with only a few ingredients. There was no cream of ick soup in there which was a big plus for me. I wanted to add some onion and peppers because I love their fresh flavor in this type of dish. I didn’t change the recipe too much because it seemed easy and straightforward.
I put it in the oven on convection at 5 pm, knowing that we had to leave by 5:35 at the latest. Talk about a test!
While the casserole baked (really just warmed through) I made a salad and had the kids clear and set the table…
I checked it at 5:25 and it was hot all the way through, the cheese was melted and it smelled amazing. But would they like it?
This dish got six thumbs up. All of the kids liked it… a lot. Comments like, “Wow Mom, it’s delicious!” permeated the fragrant air of the kitchen.
Nothing crazy here – just straight-forward, straight up, easy food that everyone has heard of. I would not freeze this – I think it would get soggy and the texture would be off. It is easy enough to throw together at the last minute so no need for making ahead, unless you want to saute the chicken and vegetables ahead of time and save 10 minutes or so.
All in all this takes about 30 minutes start to finish, depending on your knife skills. You’ll put this one at the front of your recipe box, I am pretty sure!
Step by step images after the recipe.
There are no weird ingredients in this one.
Practice your knife skills. Remember to keep your knife sharp and change cutting boards and knives between the chicken and the vegetables. The more uniform the sizes of the chopped foods the better it will cook.
Make layers with the various ingredients starting with half of the chips as a base. End with the rest of the chips and cheese.
That is really all there is to it.
When we left for karate? Yeah, the dish was empty. They inhaled it in less that five minutes.
© 2011 Marye Audet