Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tex-Mex is the Best!

Not too much has been going on in the Bean Town lately... it's been so stinkin' hot and humid that doing anything outside is completely out of the question.

It doesn't help that I choose to go running everyday around 11am or so. It's just so hard to roll out of bed and run first thing! Live with Regis & Kelly and the Today Show always suck me in, and before I know it I've had 2 cups of coffee and my breakfast. Gotta wait around a bit to let that digest. Then I think, "I should go for a run right now. Even though is scorchingly sunny and a real feel temp of 95*F." 

Smart. Real smart.

Oh well, I haven't suffered death from heat exhaustion yet. And soon we will have cooler temps so I won't have to worry about it. 

Today I bring you a recipe for Tex-Mex Tortilla Pie. Since I've trapped myself inside to avoid the heat, I have spent some time browsing through many of my cookbooks. Especially my beloved ones that I just brought back from my parents' house.

I was feelin' a lil spunky and in the mood for Mexican, so I found a recipe for Tex-Mex Lasagna in Take This Dish and Twist It by George Duran. This cookbook takes comfort food recipes and tweaks them a bit, to make them even more delicious. (And usually more unhealthy...)

Think... Granny Smith Guacamole, Cheeseburger Frittata, BLT Hot Dogs, Apricot & Brie Grilled Cheese to name a few.

For this Tex-Mex Tortilla Pie, here's what you will need:

Flour tortillas, cream of mushroom soup, salsa, Doritos, fresh cilantro, onion, rotisserie chicken, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Oh, and taco seasoning which managed to escape the picture.

Start off by shredding the chicken. Yes, you could definitely buy raw chicken pieces, boil them until cooked, and then shred the meat. But this guy was only $5, and the uncooked chicken would have been around $4... so I saved myself some prep time and went with the already cooked.

You want to get only the meat, not the skin or the bones. You might inconspicuously sneak a few bites of crispy skin into your mouth... but no worries I won't judge. 

You will be left with a pile of shredded chicken.

Next, you are going to dice up your onion. Add it to a saucepan with a tablespoon or so of oil and let it caramelize on medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes.

After the onions have been going awhile, add 1 tablespoon of your favorite taco seasoning. I used this Adobo Blend, which we purchased at the Spice Merchants shop in Saugatuck, MI on our honeymoon. But good ole' El Paso taco seasoning should work just fine.

Also, add in a 1/2 cup of water so it has some juice to moisten it up. We don't want dry onions here.

Once you get all that in, you need to add your shredded chicken.

Into this pan will also go the salsa, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and cilantro.

And at this point, you will realize you need a larger pan. Ooops.

Much better.

For the cheese, I grated up 1 cup of cheddar and 1 cup of pepper jack. This is supposed to be a spicy dish, after all. That pepper jack will give it a little kick.

No, that is not a bug in my cheese. It's one of the peppers... I promise!
And then take a BIG handful of cilantro, and just cut it up over the pot.

Please excuse my blinding white hand.
It will look something like this. Then, stir it all together and let it simmer a few minutes, to let the cheese get nice and gooey.

And now, the fun begins.

Yes, the cheese-dust covered tortilla chips.
Take a small-ish bag of Doritos. (I think this was 2-oz.) 
And crush them all with your hands! It can be very fun.
Don't you just feel the Dorito-crushing joy?

Combine the crushed Doritos with another cup of grated cheddar for the topping.

My Business Man enjoyed snacking on this mixture out of the bowl. Who needs fancy schmancy appetizers? Just serve crushed Doritos mixed with cheese.

And now it is time for assembly.

Line the bottom of your casserole dish with tortillas. You will have to rip them to make them fit. I used about 2.5 tortillas for each layer, but it really depends on how big your tortillas are.

And then I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the layering process. Basically, it goes like this: tortillas, chicken mixture, tortillas, chicken mixture, tortillas, chicken mixture, tortillas. And then the Dorito-cheese goodness!

Bake it at 350*F for about 25 minutes until heated through. Everything is already cooked, so you just want to warm everything through and crisp up the topping.

Let it set for about 10 minutes before trying to cut into it. Otherwise, you will end up with a hot gooey mess.

Yum, cheesy-licious!

Now, if you don't like cheese, this dish is definitely not for you. My Business Man and I enjoyed its cheesy flavor very much. The filling had a kick, and the tortilla layers really soaked up the southwest flavor. If you are the person always scraping for the crunchy bits and burnt corners of casseroles, then you will absolutely love the topping.

Garnished with a dollop of sour cream, chopped tomato, and more fresh cilantro.

Now I'm off to watch the Next Food Network Star! I missed Sunday's episode; thank goodness they replay it on Wednesday evenings... :-P

Here's the recipe in a more user-friendly format.

Tex-Mex Tortilla Pie

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 deli-roasted chicken, skin and bones removed and shredded
  • 16 oz. salsa
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • 1 cup crushed Doritos

Place oil in large saucepan. Saute the chopped onion in the oil. Cook 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat, until caramelized. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Let simmer a few minutes.

Add the chicken, salsa, cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and 1 cup pepper jack cheese. Using kitchen shears, snip cilantro into small pieces into pan. Stir everything together and simmer until cheese melts.

In 2-quart casserole dish, layer tortillas, chicken mixture, tortillas, chicken mixture, tortillas, chicken mixture, and tortillas. You may have to rip the tortillas to make them fit. In small bowl, combine remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese and crushed Doritos. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350*F for about 25 minutes until heated through and top is crispy. Let stand about 10 minutes before cutting.

Garnish with sour cream, chopped tomato, and additional cilantro.


Adam said...

um yum! make this when we come. :)

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