Zeek & The Enchilada Casserole Caper
Zeek, one rockin' girl her own damn self, nominated me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger. She nominated me just because I have the good taste to read her blog frequently and post. Which to be honest, since she has a very cool and eclectic blog is a total win/win for me. So thanks muchly Zeek. This is waaaay cool and I will definitely let it go to my head and make me unbearable to be around. Girl power promise.
Ummm...so I'm supposed to nominate some other Rockin' Girl bloggers now except I don't want to single anyone out. I dig all the places I visit each day and all your stories, reviews, insights and fun. So, I'm not going to nominate anyone. Okay? Because, really, I just can't pick. I can't. Does that make me a wimp? Nah!
So a couple of you brave souls wanted my enchilada casserole recipe. Here's the thing. I'm more than happy to post it here, however, I do have a disclaimer. While I don't mean to be vague, this recipe is sort of a hybrid of a couple of recipes I've gotten over the years that works for us. In fact, it started as straight enchiladas, but I was always failing miserably at getting them to roll and set right that when I saw a similar casserole at a church potluck and I stole her idea with my ingredients.
So here goes:
Regular (fresh) corn tortillas. The package of 24 is more than enough.
About 4-6 cups grated cheese. I use a combination of sharp cheddar and the mexican four-cheeses. I've done it both ways and purchased it grated and grated my own. It's whatever I have on hand frankly. I say 4-6 cups depending on how cheesy you want it. Be sure to leave some plain cheese aside (1 cup?) to cover the top. I'm guessing I use 4 cups in mixture and 1 to 1 1/2 cups plain on top.
Diced onion. I use approximately 3/4 of a regular sized onion, but this is a personal taste preference. Diced small.
1 lg can 28 oz. enchilada sauce. Now enchilada sauce comes in green or red. Green (I believe) is hotter. I use the red sauce medium hotness. The link is to Las Palmas which is the brand I use. My sister uses the green sauce because that's what her family prefers. So if you know you like it hot. Go for it.
Optional: 1 lg or 2 small plainly cooked chicken breasts diced small. I sometimes add chicken to the mix usually when we have it left over. This last time it was even bbq chicken breast and it worked fine.
I use a 13x9 glass pyrex dish to put the casserole in. I spray the dish with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the enchilada sauce into a small mixing bowl. Add about 1/3 can water to sauce. Set aside. I have also purchased two small cans (13 1/2 oz each) and used them full strength. Adding the water cuts the fat and hot. Again, personal preference. The water also stretches the sauce.
In larger mixing bowl put cheese (4 cups), onion, and chicken and mix together.
Take approximately 18 corn tortillas out of packaging. Start with 6.
Dip tortilla into enchilada sauce and place in 13x9 pan. You will use appx 6 to line the bottom of the dish. Don't cut them to fit just let them overlap.
Put half of the cheese, onion, chicken mix on top of tortillas.
Ladle enchilada sauce on top of mixture. Don't get it too wet (so it looks like it's pooling) but cover the whole layer.
Dip 6 more tortillas into sauce and layer on top of mixture.
Add second half of cheese mixture.
Ladle enchilada sauce on top. Be sure to go along edges. BE SURE TO LEAVE ENOUGH ENCHILADA SAUCE FOR FINAL 6 TORTILLAS.
Dip final 6 tortillas into sauce and put on top of mixture. If any sauce is left wet the tortillas a little bit more.
Top with plain grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. I usually leave the foil on for 30 minutes. Check the casserole and see if it needs more cooking. Sometimes when I use coarser and heavier grated cheese it takes longer for the top to melt. When the top is melted you know the casserole is done.
Let stand for about 5 minutes so the cheese can set up. Then cut in squares and serve with spatula. Easy peasy.
Good luck with it. If I've forgotten anything obvious, let me know. I'm so used to making it and don't have a written recipe, so some of my measurements are approximates.
If you try it, let me know how it goes.
Is this useable as a recipe? If it's too horrible let me know and I'll try to type it looking like a "real" recipe.