Thursday, October 17, 2013

TADA! Enchiladas....sorta....

Having grown up in Southern California,  I ate a lot of local Mexican food and really grew to appreciate all the different flavors.

When we moved to the Pacific Northwest, we were hard pressed to find a good local place like we used to have so much access to.  So, every now and again, I'll make us something that reminds us a little of our SoCal roots.

I have made rolled enchiladas for my family in the past and repeatedly, they seem to enjoy this casserole version better. Essentially, its an enchilada stack of sauce, tortillas, meat, veggies, cheese and repeat.  For this dish, I used chicken. Cooked ground beef would work as well. I chose not to soak the meat in the sauce before prepping- this is certainly an option but remember.. more sauce, more heat. Ole!

Herdez Pasilla Chile Cooking Sauce

 First step- add some sauce to the bottom of a deep casserole dish.  I had the priviledge to work with Herdez products this past spring and they are really wonderful. This is the Pasilla Chile Cooking Sauce and it adds a real smokey, not too spicy, heat to the dish.

Like Lasagna, only with tortillas. Using small corn tortillas, I covered the bottom of the pan, overlapping to make room for a total of six. Then I covered those with a layer of pre-cooked, diced chicken, a layer of diced white onion and then final a mixture of cheddar cheese.

Can you see the goodness coming together? After the cheese, I poured on more sauce and repeated the layers.  I ended up with a layer of tortillas which I poured the rest of the sauce over and let it soak in for about 15 minutes. Once the soaking process was done, I covered it and put the casserole in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. I uncovered it and since the sauce tended to dry up a bit, I layered more cheese on top, then poured some Herdez salsa verde on top.  Back into the oven for 15 minutes uncovered and...

Voila! It may not be authentic to any particular standard but it sure was good! The verde salsa at the end was key as it gave it some extra moisture and a great flavor profile.

My cooking style has always been sort of from the hip- use what you have and compromise where you need to. And considering there was but one tiny square of this left after dinner (our 12 year old even had seconds) for my husband to squirrel away for work the next day, I'd say there is something to be said about sometimes just winging it..


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