Monday, January 28, 2013

Easy Mexican Torta Frijoles

Tonight was a super quick cook night. Hubby and I went into town to pick my middle step daughter up from the airport. She has spent the last week and a half up in Fairbanks working a quick construction job and tomorow she will be flying back down to Washington to get back to school. (She'd worked for this company when she was up for the summer and they had a job come up that they needed more people for so asked her if she'd be available to come up. She missed about a week of school, but, it's the kind of money you just can't say no to when you are 18/19 years old. Or ever really. It was _really_ good money and she might not have to work the rest of the semester if she's careful..)

So we were kinda late getting back home. Hubby had requested one of his favorite meals, pirogies. Because of the time crunch, we cheated and he and the kids were given the option of prepackaged frozen pirogies. I do have a recipe that we all love and can have, but it requires more time and energy then I had by the time we got home. So they had pirogies, and I had this:

 We'd had tacos over the weekend and I had some left over taco meat. I also remembered a recipe I'd seen on the back of a can of refried beans. I couldn't remember it in it's entirety, and I really can't even remember what they called it. (I'm terrible, I know.. *sigh*) So I'm calling it Torta Frijoles. Anyway, I decided to give it a try. I didn't have quite everything I could remember and I'm sure I am missing a few of the things that were used in that recipe, but, hey, that means this one is all mine.
Since it was a long day and I've been in pain all weekend on top of everything, I didn't have a lot of energy and the goal was to make something quick that would taste good and at least be reasonably healthy, if at all possible.

So here's what I used:
 1 can refried beans
 @1 cup or so of chicken broth (I tend to go with low sodium, or home made. Tonight I used canned because I already had an open can in the fridge)
 @1/3-1/2 jar of double cheddar cheese sauce
 @1/2 left over taco meat
 a few dashes of taco sauce
 Corn tortillas

 For Garnish you can use any of the following:
Shredded cheese (I had mozzarella, so that's what I used)
Sour Cream
Black Olives

This was mostly a case of using up left overs I had in the fridge. Everything except the beans was left over from other things done in the last week. I combined the beans, beef, broth and cheese sauce and taco sauce in a deep skillet and whisked together to combine. Let this heat up while you steam your tortillas. (You can just steam them in the same pan, but it goes faster if done separately.)
Place your steamed and softened tortillas into the mix, and swirl around to coat well. Fold them into quarters as you pull them out, they should be well coated with the mix. Place on your plate and repeat with how ever many you are doing. 3-4 seems to be enough to fill an adult pretty well.
Once you have them plated, spoon more of the bean mixture over them and sprinkle with shredded cheese and any other toppings you have to hand.

I will most likely try doing a completely from scratch version (well, cept for tortillas.. I'm not ready to start making those myself just yet..) here one of these days when I have time and energy, I have plenty of broth in the pantry already, just need to make some beans.

(** For those wondering why I am using canned/boxed broth right now, when I've got bottles of home made stuff in my basement, the answer is Willow. We have an 11 year old dog who is on her death bed. She is suffering from lymphoma and while we are doing everything we can for her, she doesn't have much longer and right now, she is starting to refuse food. Right now, the only thing she will eat is broth and ground meat. So, she gets what she wants right now, but my home made broth has onions and garlic in it, and even though it certainly wouldn't be the thing that will kill her, I don't want anyone getting into bad habits..)

Our Willow in her younger and healthier days.

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