Godetta: A Mexican Casserole

MP900432760As I’ve written before, I am not a fan of green peppers. In fact, I detest them. So a lot of Mexican food is off-limits for me. I’ve been given many Mexican recipes over the years. I smile politely, and, if the recipe contains green peppers, I throw it in the trash as soon as I can.

But one Mexican casserole dish has passed my pepperless standard. It’s called Godetta, though I have no idea where the name came from. There are no green peppers—nor any added peppers—in Godetta. Moreover, it also meets my flexibility standard. In other words, many substitutions of ingredients work, though you will get a slightly different consistency and taste, depending on what you use.

Here are the ingredients:

1 pound of ground beef (I use as much as 1.5 pounds)
1 medium onion, chopped
6 or so tortillas (flour or corn)
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (or 16 oz tomato sauce)
1 small can of sliced olives
16 oz grated cheese (Mexican preferred, but any will work)

And here are the instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown the meat and onions until meat is cooked and onions are translucent. Drain the meat (though with 93% fat-free meat, I find little draining is needed).
3. Add the enchilada sauce, tomatoes (or tomato sauce) and olives to the meat mixture. Heat until bubbling.
4. Meanwhile, line 9×13 pan with a layer of tortillas (3 soft taco size is probably enough for each layer).
5. Add a layer of 1/2 of the meat mixture to the pan.
6. Add a layer of 1/2 the cheese.
7. Repeat with second layers of tortillas, the rest of the meat mixture, and topped with the rest of the cheese.
8. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let sit for about ten minutes before cutting.

Makes 8-12 servings, depending how big you make them. I usually get 12 servings.

So that’s the basic recipe. Served with a salad, it makes a good meal.

But there are many ways to alter the recipe, and I do so often, depending what my cupboard contains. As indicated above, either corn or flour tortillas work. I prefer flour, but I’ve used corn. I’ve also used large corn chips when I haven’t had tortillas. And I’ve even used crackers for the middle layer when I ran out of tortillas, though I think tortillas are better for the bottom

When I haven’t had any enchilada sauce, I’ve used taco seasoning with the meat and more tomato sauce.

Any cheese will work. If I have Mexican grated cheese on hand, I use it. But I’ve used Italian mixes of cheese, or just plain cheddar.

I have never used any meat other than ground beef, though I think ground turkey would be fine. You might even try chorizo, if you are more adventuresome than I am. (Post a comment as to how this works.) I like using about 1.5 pounds of meat, but then the 9×13 pan is quite full.

Sometimes I skip the olives, which I don’t really like, though they do add some nice color to the dish.

The point is, layer your tortillas (or substitute), meat mixture, and cheese. You’ll end up with something warm and edible, without peppers, good for a winter evening. And plenty of leftovers. This casserole is pretty good warmed through, and it even holds together as leftovers better than on the first night.

I don’t have a picture of this casserole, but it looks like any casserole with cheese on top.

What flexible recipes do you use?

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