Tex-Mex Enchilada Casserole

YIELD: SERVES 6-8

Don’t let the poblano chile scare you! If I can find it in my small-town grocery store, you can find it, too. Poblanos are fairly mild and longer and more slender than a bell pepper. Just do it. You’ll be happy at the flavor it imparts. Oh, and also? Don’t be turned off by the long list of ingredients. This comes together quickly and perfectly. By the way, I have not tried freezing this ahead of time, but I think it would probably fare pretty well as a freezer meal. Also (and I promise this is the last thing), it stands a good chance of being spectacular as a meatless dish if you omit the ground meat (or conversely, subbing in cooked chicken for the meat).

INGREDIENTS:

14 corn tortillas cut into thirds
1 1/2 pounds ground beef or lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 large poblano chile, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
Chopped cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
Arrange the cut tortillas in a single layer on two large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake the tortillas until slightly crisp, about 15 minutes.
In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef or turkey with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper breaking the meat up into bite-sized pieces. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Scrape the meat onto a plate and wipe the skillet clean (you may need to drain off excess grease from the meat depending on the fat content).
In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil and stir in the onion, bell pepper, poblano, corn and garlic. Cook until the veggies are softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir the flour, chile powder, cumin and coriander into the vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans, lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
Line the bottom of the greased baking pan with 1/3 of the baked tortillas. Layer with 1/3 of the meat and then 1/3 of the veggie/sauce mixture and then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheeses. Repeat that process again twice more ending with the cheeses.
Bake the casserole until hot and bubbly, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes or so before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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