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I went a little overboard with the mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.  I had guessed that some extra firemen would be coming and potatoes often are effective for filling up growing boys.  As it turned out, all my bonus firemen were all suffering from ‘The Bottleneck Flu’ (as my Unofficial Mother-In-Law called it) and didn’t lay waste to the mashed potatoes as I expected they would.  To my freezer the leftovers went…

Another reason for the excess holiday potatoes was a little spiteful, I’m ashamed to say.  Last winter my fireman brought home the biggest, wettest, knottiest rounds of wood for us girls to learn how to split wood on, out there with an axe out in the 15 degree (Fahrenheit) weather.  So, for a little retribution, I wanted him to experience one of the more unappealing tasks of my trade and told him to peel upwards of 20 pounds of potatoes in preparation for our Thanksgiving feast.  Sweet revenge was mine at last.

Now, I just have several containers of mashed potatoes filling up my infamously full freezer.  So I came up with this strata (a layered casserole) in another, possibly futile, effort to clear out my icebox.  It’s a good framework casserole/strata to put anything in, make it with whatever’s clogging up your freezer.  🙂  You can also tailor the strata to what you have, making more layers of whatever you have the most of.  If you don’t have chorizo, ground meat with taco seasonings would be a great substitution.

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Mexican Chorizo Strata

Serves 4 – cost approx $1.19 per serving

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 10 oz package of pork chorizo ($.99)
  • 1 onion, medium dice ($.12)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, medium dice ($.50)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced – optional/versatile, leave the seeds in if you’re a spice-aholic, de-seed for mild spice or omit if you’re a sissy.  ($.10)
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels ($.58)
  • 2 Tbs minced cilantro

Layers

  • 6 oz cheese – I got string cheese on sale this week, it melts great! ($.74)
  • 6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced ($1.24)
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes ($.25)

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Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Begin by making the filling, heat a saute pan over medium and begin to cook the chorizo.  In a few minutes, when the lovely, orange fat starts to render throw in the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno.  Saute for 5 minutes, turn off the heat then add in the frozen corn and cilantro.

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To assemble the strata, start by preparing a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with spray grease.  Layer up the ingredients however you like.  Here’s how I did it.

  • sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 of the chorizo filing
  • 1/3 of the cheese
  • sweet potatoes
  • mashed potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 the chorizo filling
  • 1/3 of the cheese
  • sweet potatoes
  • remaining 1/3 of the cheese

Bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes, until golden and delicious.

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