Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yummy Enchilada Bake

This could be my favorite recipe of the moment.  The top spot changes frequently, but this dish is so yummy and easy to make that Enchilada Bake could keep the title for a while.  It also gave me an excuse to use my new GreenPan skillet which I am in love with.

I can’t claim credit for this recipe, it’s from one of my favorite Food Network chefs, Alton Brown.  If you have not seen his show “ Good Eats”, you should check it out.  It’s part cooking show, part history lesson; and he has the coolest kitchen toys.

Here’s my spin on his Enchilada Lasagna.  That name just didn’t work for me, so the first change is the name.

Enchilada Bake:

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Total time: 1 hour start to finish


As always, I use organic whenever possible but I won’t judge you for not doing the same. :)

For sauce:
  • 2 dried chipotle chilies, stems and seeds removed, diced (I could not find these anywhere, so I use canned chipotle peppers in adobo from the mexican food section.  You only need 2, but could add more if you really like spice)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, freshly ground (ground cumin works just fine if you don’t want to grind seeds)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (no salt added, organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I use sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For filling:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed (this is where you can use the extra chicken you baked when making Go Go Green pasta.  I shred mine in the food processor, but dicing it up works too)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion (organic)
  • Pinch kosher salt (sea salt)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I use whole grain flour tortillas, but corn would also be yummy.  Since the flour ones are larger, I typically use more like 8 tortillas)
  • 3 cups shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack (yes, it’s a lot of cheese, but it’s so delicious)
  • Nonstick cooking spray (too many additives here.  I use a mist bottle with olive oil or canola oil instead)


Combine the chilies, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chilies are soft. Set aside until ready to use.

* Since I use chilies that are already cooked, I bring the sauce to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, then set it aside while I prep the rest of the ingredients. 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 to 9 minutes.

* Another time saver here is if you have the chicken already prepared from another recipe.  I always cook extra chicken for use in other recipes like this.  Baked chicken works great and is healthier than sauteed in oil.

Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Add the onions to the same pan along with a generous pinch of salt, decrease the heat to medium-low and sweat for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the chicken back to the pan and remove from the heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Place 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Dip 4 tortillas into the remaining sauce and lay them into the bottom of the dish. Cut 1 of the tortillas in half to evenly cover the bottom of the dish. Top this with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Starting with 4 more tortillas, repeat the layers, ending with the last 4 tortillas on top. Pour remaining sauce over the dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.




* The goal with the tortillas is to completely cover each layer.  If you use larger/flour tortillas, you will need fewer tortillas per layer.  Don’t worry if you feel like there’s a lot of sauce left over that you are pouring over the top; it will soak in as the dish cooks.


Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly. 


I add a spoonful of sour cream on top of each serving, low fat of course to make up for all that cheese!

Give the Enchilada Bake a try and let me know if you love it as much as I do.


Mmmmm....I can almost smell it! Hope you're having a good week Ms. Ami. Hank is just fine, BTW. Just hating the e-collar!

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