Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

Have you ever planned on making a meal and found out halfway through preparation that you're missing an integral ingredient? You know, no baking powder for baking powder biscuits or no buttermilk for buttermilk pancakes? How about no tortillas for enchiladas?

Well, I'd planned on making some nice yummy enchiladas for dinner this evening, and right before the final preparation - you know, rolling everything up in the tortilla - I realized that some fiendish little kitchen gremlin had devoured all but three of the tortillas in the refrigerator. Such naughty little gremlins we have...

Exactly how, I ask, can you make enchiladas with only three tortillas?

And, a show of hands please, what would you do? Throw your hands up in despair and order pizza? Throw each remaining tortilla at said kitchen gremlin? Or ingeniously decide to make Mexican lasagna? If you're me, you seriously contemplated option B, but eventually settled for option C.

This actually ended up being muy delicioso if you don't mind me saying. After all, how can you go wrong when blending several fresh ingredients, adding shredded cheese, and baking it, eh?

The key part of this is having outstanding chili powder. I prefer not to use the commercial blends, but in a pinch they'll do. My favorite is a toned down guajillo chili, but really whatever your preference in chili is, it'll work in this application. It's very easy to prepare, especially if you've already got cooked chicken/turkey/beef or vegetables on hand.

It's easily a new favorite in our household. It's easy, it's fresh, it's relatively healthy - how could you go wrong?

Mexican Lasagna

Serves 2, with leftovers

3 flour tortillas, of the 8 in. variety
1 recipe enchilada sauce, or a 12 oz. jar of whatever brand enchilada sauce you like
8 oz. cooked, shredded chicken (I used 3 thighs, baked in the oven at 375 for 25 min)
shredded cheese (Monterey Jack and Extra Sharp Cheddar go together nicely)
black beans
baby spinach leaves
cilantro/fresh coriander
sour cream for garnish

Enchilada Sauce

Makes 2 cups

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups chicken stock

In a small sauce pan over medium heat mix the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and flour until it is a thick paste. Use a couple tablespoons of the chicken stock to make a slurry with the cornstarch. Add remaining chicken stock to saucepan and mix thoroughly. Add cornstarch slurry and heat to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.


Add the shredded chicken to the saucepan with the enchilada sauce to soak. Cut the tortillas into quarters. In a round, 2 quart casserole dish cover the bottom with about three of the tortilla pieces. Top with 1/2 the chicken, removing from the sauce with a slotted spoon. Cover with torn cilantro/fresh coriander. Layer with baby spinach leaves and shredded cheese. Place another layer of tortilla pieces over the top. Lay the remaining chicken over the tortillas. Top with more torn cilantro and the black beans. Top with more baby spinach leaves and shredded cheese. Put a final layer of tortilla over the top, pour remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas, and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted and browned in spots. Top with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh, torn cilantro.


Anonymous said...

We make a dish very similar to this at our house all the time. It's delish!

Manali said...

Very tempting!!! You have a lovely space out there...:)


Jude said...

Sometimes I end up with an alfredo sauce/dip and bread dinner. I always assume there's dececco in the pantry. Not exactly the case sometimes.

Kristin said...

This is basically the same thing I make after Thanksgiving to disguise some of the wretched Leftover Turkey. I have to say, I like it better than the actual turkey.

Anonymous said...

Mouthwatering delish!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I'm craving this right now. It's about that time when I start craving Mex or Tex-Mex. This looks lovely!