Yesterday I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Today I made shephards pie with the leftover mashed potatoes, like a good little happy homemaker who does things like recycle leftovers into new meals. (Yet another delicious meal met with YUCK by my loving children.) Leftovers always seem to end up as casseroles, don't they?
Which makes me think of the absolute worst meal of my childhood....the Mexican casserole.
(I should preface this with my mother is actually a pretty good cook. She claims this meal was an inexpensive way to feed five people. I say the cost per serving goes way up if three of the five people refuse to eat it.)
My father LOVES this meal. My sisters and I gag at the mere mention of it. My father asks for it every year for his birthday, and my mom makes it, but not on a day that we are visiting for his birthday, because we would leave and go out to dinner by ourselves. Not that we had the choice to leave and go get a different dinner in 1983. You couldn't choose to go hungry in 1983, either---it would be sitting there waiting for you until you went to bed. And then you could eat for breakfast if you managed to sit at the table till bedtime.
I have no idea why on earth this is called "Mexican" casserole....I assure you that no Mexican has
ever seen anything remotely resembling this casserole, let alone claimed it for their national dish.
Here is the recipe, straight from the back of the 1983 Bisquick box:
1 lb ground beef
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Cook and stir ground beef until brown; drain and set aside. Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese and onion, set aside.
2. Stir baking mix and water to a soft dough.
3. Pat dough in greased oblong pan, 13x9x2 inches, pressing dough 1/2 inch up sides of pan.
4. Layer ground beef, tomatoes and green pepper, spoon sour cream mixture over top. If you like, sprinkle with paprika.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edges of dough are light brown. Makes 10 servings.
10 servings?? This explains why this always had leftovers.
I like that the recipe suggests for the "full Mexican supper", add shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, fresh fruit, and cold beer. I always think of Mexico when I consume fresh fruit and cold beer.
My mother now modifies the recipe, putting in much less sour cream and mayo, and substitutes yogurt (as if this dish could get any worse). I think she also now uses ground chicken instead of ground beef, for even less flavor. But! She said its healthier now that she tops it with crumbled Lime Tostitos. (That's a direct quote--I can't make this stuff up.)
I can't bring myself to make this in order to take a picture of it. Its just too gross. So I had my mother make it and take a picture.
My father, upon hearing my request, said "its only October, its not my birthday yet!" Tonight after eating it, he said, "its a banner year! I get to eat it twice in one year!" You're welcome, Daddy.