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Steak casserole from south-of-the-border

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"How do you like your steak?" is music to a griller's ear! Steak is certainly a major grilling favorite when we think about cooking outdoors. With the brutal winter much of the country has had this year, I know many will be excited about getting the grill ready to cook outdoors. It's really hard to beat a good, grilled steak with a baked potato and all the trimmings.

Let's get creative with steak! I'd like to share with you an interesting way to prepare steak and that's by making a casserole with it! The recipe I'm passing along is for a "Western Steak Casserole" and it's really a Mexican casserole because it uses garlic, green chilies, taco chips and Cheddar cheese. Sounds like a tasty treat, doesn't it?

What you do to create this special dish is to cut round steak into cubes. This gets a coat of seasoned flour and is sauteed with garlic and onions. Tomato sauce goes in and simmers. Mushrooms and olives are now added. This gets layered with taco chips, sour cream and cottage cheese that are combined, and shredded Cheddar cheese. It goes into the oven and is baked for 1-1/2 hours. Serve this with a salad, baked potato, a hot bread, a beverage and a dessert and you have quite a feast!

The green chilies mentioned in the recipe can be found easily in the produce section of the grocery. Be careful when handling these, because the oils from them get on your hands and if you rub your eyes or touch your face in any way, it will create a terrible burn (this has happened to me and it's not pleasant!) It would be a good idea to wear some type of disposable gloves when working with these peppers or just making sure to wash your hands very well when you're done working with them. By chopping them in the food processor, you'll reduce the possibility of getting these oils on your hands to a large degree.

A good meal like this will call for a refreshing dessert. I would suggest an "After Dinner Mint Pie" that's cool and refreshing after a meal like this. To get the recipe, follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-flavor-of-mint-a-pie

Try this some evening when you would like to have an intimate dinner with a Mexican flair!

WESTERN STEAK CASSEROLE

  • about 2 lbs. round steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • butter and vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 small green chiles, diced
  • 1 medium can pitted ripe olives, sliced
  • 1 pint small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 large bag taco chips
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

In a Ziploc bag, place enough flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Add the meat cubes and shake to coat thoroughly. Remove excess flour from the meat and saute in a mixture of butter and vegetable oil, along with the onion and garlic. Cook until meat browns and onion has softened. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add mushrooms and olives to the meat mixture. In a medium bowl, blend together the cottage cheese and sour cream. Crush the taco chips and cover the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch dish with half of them. Add a layer of meat and a layer of the cottage cheese mixture. Repeat these layers and top with shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. Yield: 6 servings.

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