What is an Infidel Gourmet on a reeeeeaaaallly tight budget to do when there's bills to pay and voracious mini-Infidels to feed? Well, this Infidel Gourmet turned her hope-filled eyes towards the savior of many a cheap family meal: The Casserole.
I picked up a bag of dry elbow macaroni at the grocery store thinking we could couple it with some of our extensive cheese collection living in the refrigerator, and then I saw it.........A no-fail recipe printed on the bag listing out ingredients that I already had stocked at home. Score! I hurried home to try out Mexican Starburst Casserole which was sure to delight the taste buds of even the most fickle of my mini-Infidels. If you're under 18 and reading this: No, the recipe does NOT have actual Starburst candies in it-Mexican or otherwise. Sorry to disappoint you. If you're Mexican and reading this: No, the recipe does NOT have actual Mexicans in it either.
Anyway, I added a few more spices because it's obvious the chefs who created this dish wanted to cater to the milquetoast Yankee Cracker palette. Many of you are saying, "But Infidel, aren't YOU a milquetoast Yankee Cracker?" Yes, I am. But living in Texas for 20 years has refined and conditioned my palette to accept the spicier things in life. The final casserole entree resembled chili poured over macaroni and topped with cheese. It wasn't too bad, but it wasn't too good, either.
We try not to say disparaging things in front of our many chillens, so my sexi-Mexi Papi reserved his criticism about the meal until we had a moment alone. Papi kept insisting that real Mezzicans don't eat casseroles with macaroni thrown into it. And I kept saying, "Are you calling the fine people at the macaroni company, liars? They said it's a Mexican Casserole, and I totally believe them." Papi raised his voice and emphatically yelled, "I don't care what the macaroni people say, I'm telling you that Mexicans do NOT eat this casserole!!!"
I'm a lover, not a fighter. So I smiled the biggest dimpled smile I could muster and softly said, "Yeah? Well I know of at least one Mexican who ate that casserole!"