Friday, March 2, 2007

MEXICAN BEEF CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS :
¾ cp (165 g/5 ½ oz) short-grain rice
300 g (10 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
3 ½ tbsp chopped fresh scallion
1 tbsp olive oil
600 g (1 ¼ lb) chicken thigh fillets
2 x 200 g (6 ½ oz) jars spicy taco sauce
2 cups (250 g/8 oz) grated cheddar
½ cup (125 g/4 oz) sour cream
1 onion, finelly chopped

INSTRUCTIONS :
Preheat the oven to moderate 180C (350F/gas4). Lightly grease a 7 cm (2 ¾ inch) deep, 21 cm (81/2 inch) round casserole dish. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the rice and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain.
In the prepared dish, combine the beans and 1 ½ tbsp of the scallion, then add the rice and toss together. Lightly press the mixture so the beans are mixed into the rice and the mixture is flat.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Saute the onion and chicken thighs for 3-5 minutes, then turn over. Add the spicy taco sauce, and cook for a further 3 minutes.
To assemble, spread half the cheese over the rice. Arrange the chicken and sauce on top in a star shape, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbsp of the scallion, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly browned remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Cut into four servings with a knife and scoop out carefully, keeping the layers intact. Serve sprinkle with the remaining scallion and a dollop of cheese and sour cream.



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