Pop Riley's Surprise Diner

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70 Cal.
Jul 3, 2012
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Washington State
This recipe was created by a Biker in the 1970's by the Name of Pop Riley. He made it with the few ingredients available in the house that day. It looked ugly and few wanted to try it, then my mom took the first bite and this recipe became a family favorite. I remember the first time my mother made this dish for me and my siblings a few weeks after Pop made the dish for the crew. She placed it in front of me and the look on my face was obviously distress. She said something I never heard from her before or since..."I know what it looks like, and if you do not like it you can have a PBJ." So I relented and took a bite. Mom didn't have to make PBJ that night.
I make it a few times a year.
While it is unsightly, it is an absolute delight worth eating.

Pop Riley’s Surprise Dinner
1 can of cream of mushroom soup concentrate
1 can of cream of celery soup concentrate
1-2 pounds of Colby/Pepper Jack or Cheddar (Colby/Pepper Jack is better)
2 small cans of diced green chili
1 large package of corn tortillas
1 Pound Ground Beef (but ground venison works best)
Brown the meat with a little salt and pepper only, but you can add a diced onion and bell pepper. Set aside. Grate up your cheese. Mix the soups and canned chili’s all together with the browned meat.
Lightly oil fry the corn tortilla until it is pliable. Dry off the extra oil and place in a casserole or a deep pan like a Dutch oven. Layer tortilla, the mix, and cheese until it is all used up. You can vary the amount of cheese considerably. More or less is not a big deal…
Bake at 375 for about 45-55 minutes.

Bonus Round:
Over the years I have found the following additions and garnishes make this dish sing:
Black Olives may be mixed in the soup and meat mix, or sprinkled on the top of the dish.
Top with diced onion, sour cream, and tomato.
A dash of fresh cilantro and lemon or lime juice can make a great addition to this dish for those who like them.
Pepper Jack makes a great substitution.
Venison in place of beef is a great change!

Jim Wag

40 Cal
Aug 18, 2020
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Yup, nice

A variation substitutes
Chicken for beef
Cream of Chicken for Celery
One soup can of milk
Fresh roasted green chile
Cheddar cheese

Chicken chile enchilada casserole

Jim in La Luz