If you’re looking for haute cuisine, folks, this ain’t it. Seven Layer Dinner is Old School comfort food, right out of the Midwestern US, circa 1950. Exotic ingredients? No. Fancy presentation? Nope. Just the thing to win a contest on one of those Cable TV foodie shows with celebrity judges? Not a chance. HOWEVER, if you’re having one of those days where you were late for work, spilled coffee all over yourself, and spent your lunch break trapped in an elevator, Seven Layer Dinner might be just the dish to turn your day around.
In the recipe below, I’ve made a few minor changes to an old recipe hand written by my Great Aunt Nancy. I added a yam with the potatoes, some garlic with the ground beef, substituted Arborio rice for Minute Rice, and used salsa instead of plain canned tomatoes. The premise of the dish really hasn’t changed; I don’t think Aunt Nancy would mind.
2 large yellow potatoes, sliced into bite size pieces 1/2 inch thick
1 large yam, peeled and sliced into bite size pieces 1/2 inch thick
1/2 of a small onion diced
3 large carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup Arborio (risotto) rice, uncooked
1 pound lean ground beef
1 quart of salsa
2 stalks celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Step 1) Brown ground beef with garlic. Drain and set aside.
Step 2) Grease a large casserole dish. Line the bottom with potatoes and yams.
Step 3) Over the potatoes and yams, layer (in order) onions, carrots, raw rice, browned ground beef, salsa, and celery.
Step 4) Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Relax and enjoy!