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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Mexi-Cali White Trash Casserole

Every family cook on this planet has a variation of this casserole recipe in his or her repertoire. Whenever I make this casserole, my future passes before my eyes. Watching Thomas chow down on two, three, and sometimes four plates of this mac-n-meat feast, I know that I will be making this dish for the next seventeen years he lives at home. And then when he goes to college, I'll be making him special double batches (in dishes I don't need back) to put in his freezer when I visit.

The year he is a vegetarian, I will substitute Gimme Lean for the ground turkey.

The year he is a vegan, I will substitute Gimme Lean for the ground turkey, quinoa for the mac-n-cheese, and use soy cheese for garnish.

Mexi-Cali White Trash Casserole
Alternative title: How to cook your way into my son's heart, future love interest of his

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package ground turkey (approximately 1.25 pounds)
1 box white cheddar mac-n-cheese
butter and milk according to mac-n-cheese directions
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, mild
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup grated cheese (mozzarella, monterey jack, cheddar, or some combination of the three)

  • Prepare mac-n-cheese according to directions on box.
  • In large skillet, saute chopped onion in oil until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add ground turkey. Break up and saute until almost brown.
  • Add minced garlic to skillet.
  • Finish browning turkey.
  • Add package of taco seasoning mix to skillet with one cup water.
  • Stir and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn on oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add can of chiles, can of corn, and spaghetti sauce to skillet.
  • Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add mac-n-cheese to skillet and stir to blend.
  • Transfer mixture to casserole dish and top with grated cheese
  • Put in oven for 7 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Serve hot. Makes great leftovers, too.

For your present and future enjoyment, a video of Thomas finishing dinner:

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