Cute Nana and my cute dad, circa 1944. I have no clue as to their location, because as far as I know, they lived in Illinois–and there ain’t no palm trees in Illinois. No matter. Looks like idyllic 1940’s suburbia, wherever it is. It actually looks quite a bit like my neighborhood.
*Update: Dad says he thinks they are in New Orleans–they were stationed there briefly*
Let’s get back to the cooking, shall we? We’re going for another casserole today. A scrumptious, Mexican-inspired, creamy, cheesy, savory casserole. And there’s not a can of soup in sight! Well, ok, a bouillon cube, but no cream of mushroom.
First, we’ll saute the onion in some butter or olive oil, or a combination of both. Toss in the rice too, and saute for about 5 minutes. I would recommend long or medium grain rice, but as you can see, I’ve got short grained rice. Really, any will work fine. Put in your bouillon cube, or an equal amount of chicken bouillon. I added a bit of ground cumin and chile powder at this point–about a tsp of each.
Pour in some boiling water and some salsa—you can use fresh, jarred or your own canned salsa. Just use about a cup of whichever you choose.
Cover, lower the heat to low and let cook for about 20 minutes.
When the rice is about done, add the chopped tomatoes, green onions, olives and chicken.
Stir it all through. You can substitute black beans for the chicken if you want to go meatless. It is good either way. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread half of the rice mixture into a Pyrex or other oven-proof baking dish.
First, spread the rice mixture with the sour cream, then layer on the strips of green chilies. Next a layer of shredded cheese.
Pour on the rest of the rice mixture and then another layer of the shredded cheese.
I guess it’s kind of like lasagne…only with Spanish rice. Bake in a 350* oven for 45 minutes to one hour, or until it’s bubbly, the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through completely.
Perfect for a cold rainy rainy rainy rainy rainy rainy rainy Sacramento evening.