Friday, August 26, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Lasagna


I just hate the word "casserole."  Casserole sounds like a can of cream of something soup with crumbled potato chips on top. Or corn flakes. And I intended to make enchiladas, really I did, but my corn tortillas did not hold up in the freezer, so after I defrosted them, I started rolling, they started crumbling and this was plan B.  And it was delicious, and just like an enchilada, except for the shape.  

Step one: make enchilada sauce.

Start with a bunch of dried spices.  Cumin, paprika, onion, garlic and lots of cayenne.  And some flour.  Start with a tablespoon of each, except the cayenne, do two of that, and make the sauce, taste and adjust. 

A note on cumin.  I can't pronounce it.  I mean, I know how it's pronounced, but I can't break the habit of saying "Q-min" rather than "coo-min."  Brian puts a D at the end of the word "coupon," so we all have our quirks.  "Coupond."
Scooch them around a pan with a little bit (I mean like a teaspoon) of oil to make a paste.

Add plain tomato sauce.  Three cups?

I made sauce with some seeded skinless tomatoes I had frozen, and some tomato juice I had made ("Made" meaning I simmered the juice of some tomatoes with sugar and salt.)

Mix that with the spices and simmer low.  Add a sprinkle of sugar.  Taste your sauce and adjust your spices. 

Make up some filling.  We cooked up a fairly large boneless skinless chicken breast in a dry saute pan, seasoned with the same sorts of spices from the sauce, and Sous Chef Brian shredded it with two forks. 

That set aside, we made the rest.  Onions. And garlic. 

Cooked in the same saute pan as the chicken.

Roasted corn.  Stovetop style.  One cob.
Yeah, I no longer photograph this, just re-use this picture from four roasted-corn-recipes ago
Also chipotles in adobo from a can.  Chopped.  

We used about half the can, and later realized it was too spicy, so we pulled out some of the larger pieces.  Maybe 1/4 can?  More sauce than solids?  Make it however hot you want it. 

Add a bit of the enchilada sauce.  A cup?  Simmer low.

Add the chicken and a head of greens, wilted.  I used chard, because I think it's the most flexible of the greens. 

Stir together, keep simmering. 

Add cheese.  1/2 cup of shredded colby here, but whatever you're feeling. 

When the filling is all one thing, you're ready to make enchiladas.  Or enchiladasagna. 

Coat a baking dish in the sauce. 

I got all up in it, at this point, I coated my hands with the sauce and then touched all over the tortillas.  You could also dip your tortillas in the sauce.  I saved a dish. 

Do a layer of corn tortillas.

One of the two places in my kitchen with open counter space is right in front of the microwave, on top of the dishwasher 
And a layer of filling.

And top with corn tortillas and some sauce.   You'll have extra sauce, if you make yours like I did.

Top with cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes - everything in here is already cooked, you just want it to come together.

And serve it like it's lasagna.

This is a salad plate.  Not a giant dinner plate covered in casserole.  I only really bust out the dinner plates if I've made a lot of separate dishes, and I don't do much of that.  I like things in one pan. 

Just as good as enchiladas.  Of course, if your corn tortillas have the requisite structural integrity, you don't layer this, just coat a tortilla in sauce, fill with filling, roll and add to the dish.  Repeat.  Top with cheese and bake.  

This is really easy to make vegetarian, too.  Add black beans and some diced zucchini and maybe some bell peppers, or whatever veg makes you smile (or is crowding your crisper).  This made eight big servings, so we've been pulling individually wrapped slices out of the freezer for lunches this week. Yum. 

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