Green Chili Rice Casserole

Last weekend one of my most favorite people in the world flew out from the East Coast to visit. Gordon has been my husband’s best friend since junior high school, which I think happened somewhere during the Pleistocene era. I personally have been blessed to call him, and the rest of the Usual Suspects, a friend for the last 16 years. Gordon is the only member who does not live locally. This means whenever he is able to visit, we have a get-together type party-thing. Since “The Pence Farm” is geographically smack dab in the middle of our group, the party is usually at our house. Anytime there is a Usual Suspects gathering, you can rest assured that there will be beer, guitars, an occasional banjo, inappropriate behavior, kids, and (of course) food.

Over the years I have fed these friends from various cuisines: from Mexico to India to Morocco and back again. And every time I cook, there is always someone who eats so much that they are in pain. Alas, more often than not, this person is Gordon (Bryan, however, is a close second). Gordon is one of those friends for whom cooking is so much fun. He’s adventurous, extremely appreciative, and he listens to me babble on about food-related facts that, really, no one cares about but me.

One of his favorite dishes is this Green Chili Rice Casserole. It is the easiest thing in the world to make, though it’s definitely not diet food. I can’t remember if this recipe find was my grandmother’s or my mother’s, but it is a favorite in my family, especially with barbecued chicken or ribs. The first time I made it for the Suspects years ago at a potluck-BBQ-jam-session-drink-too-much-beer-party when we lived in San Francisco, Gordon went crazy over it. He went so crazy in fact, that I rarely call it Green Chili Rice Casserole anymore. It’s now called Gordon Rice. 

Green Chili Rice Casserole
Serves 8

3 cups Cooked White Rice
3 cups Sour Cream
1 7-ounce can Diced Green Chilies
3/4 pound Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 ºF.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and transfer to a deep casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese has melted and top edges are golden brown.

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