Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Enchilpaula’s – Chicken Enchilada Casserole (Gluten Free)

Hola! It’s enchilada day here at It’s All Gouda! Well, actually, today’s recipe is kind of an enchilada wanna-be, but it’s a taste bud pleaser nonetheless. Actually, I had planned to post a different recipe (Hot Mocha Beverage), but was so pleased with the results of this baby that I changed plans mid stream. The Mocha will be posted later.Yesterday, I was craving Mexican food. I am so fortunate to have many wonderful Mexican taquerias near my home. We’re not talking Taco Bell here. I’m referring to the little mom and pop restaurants that offer addictive fixin’s that are beyond compare. Dark rich moles (mole-lays) and tangy verdes (vare days), spicy salsas and home made tortillas that elicit dreamy smiles on the patrons. Mmm, mmm. mmm. Since going out to eat is not an option on a school night, I thought I’d whip up something using ingredients I had at home. I had just made chicken broth, so I used some of the chicken from that process to complete this recipe.Now, let me be up front here. My recipe today can’t compare with the genius that comes with authentic Mexican cooking. I chose to stick with tried and true flavor combos, and based on the stunning number of servings that my hubby had of my wanna-be creation, I think it was a hit.My plan manifested into a casserole of sorts. Instead of rolling each enchilada individually, I layered corn tortillas and other ingredients lasagna fashion. Now I know I’m not the first person to discover this method, but I just went with my gut, and the rest is history. Don’t you just love it when you throw something together and it is a success? This is gluten free all the way, too.Just look at the top of this baby! Alrighty then ... enough chatter from me. Lots of photos today to help demonstrate how to assemble this goody. Let’s begin, shall we!


1 package corn tortillas (I use pure corn tortillas to keep it gluten free)
1 can La Victoria Green Enchilada Sauce, Mild
½ jar Trader Joes Salsa Verde (Medium – more tangy than hot)
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup sour cream
2 cups (approximate) cooked chicken
1 can whole green roasted and peeled chiles, mild (I like La Victoria brand)
1 lb Mont. Jack cheese, shredded
½ cup Cotija (Co Tee Ya) or Ranchero Cheese (can substitute parmesan)
1/3 brick Cream Cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350.
Here’s the chicken that I made when making soup! If you get out your magnifying glass, you can see little bits of orange in there ~ that's the carrot bits from the broth. In a large bowl, whip the Enchilada Sauce, Salsa Verde, chix broth, and sour cream together until smooth.
Here’s the brand I used. No, they don’t know me, but I wouldn’t say no if they offered to send me some of their yummy products.I like Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde. Any type of green salsa will do. Drain the canned whole chiles and dice fairly large. Note: I recommend buying the chiles whole. The ones that come diced, I find, are tough and not appealing. I get the feeling that they are the bits and pieces left over during processing. Ick. Time to assemble. Ladle about a 1/3 cup of your sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish.Cover completely with one layer of corn tortillas, tearing some pieces to make it fit.Layer chicken, green chiles, and cotija cheese. Try not to take a nibble. I nibbled. *sigh*Now put on a nice layer of shredded Mont. Jack. Try not to take a nibble. I nibbled. Don’t judge me.Add some sauce, not a lot, just to keep it moist. Repeat the layers, adding the cream cheese this time. Try not to nibble. I nibbled. Hey, if anything, I’m consistent.End with a layer of tortillas. Squish down firmly. Uh, what’s up with the pink skin? Somebody, get me some moisturizer!Ladle some sauce and then the remainder of your cheeses. Try not to nibble. Do I even need to add that, oh yeah, I nibbled?

Cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes.Remove the foil. See how yummy and gooey it is? I suppose you could serve it now and have it be an uber-cheesy event. I like the word uber. Try to use it in a sentence today, 'kay?But it’s not done yet. Return the pan uncovered to the oven, crank up the broiler, and broil until golden brown ... less than 5 minutes.See how puffy it gets? I like puffy. Do you like puffy?
I also love this golden brown spot. I claim this piece.This was really terrific. I served this with additional salsa and some of the sauce. This was soo full flavored. The texture was wonderful with the chicken, chiles, and tortillas. The flavors bursting forth from this reminded me not only of enchiladas, but also of tamale’s.The cream cheese just about sent me over the moon.Mmm, take a bite and see for yourself! You’ll note that I didn’t layer in any onions or peppers. Knock yourself out and add them. They would be a great addition. Actually, corn would be great, too, and maybe even some grilled zucchini. There’s always next time. I had just a little left over today, and it reheated beautifully. If anything, the flavors were even better after sitting over night.YUM! And it’s gluten free!

NOTE to all my readers: I’m so happy that you come to visit, and take the time to leave a comment or send an email. I read each and every comment you send my way, and marvel at how lucky I am to have “met” people all over the world. Who would have thought that I’d connect with so many wonderful friends this way. Thanks for stopping by!


Cathy said...

This looks soooo good, Paula. Layering the tortillas is a real time saver on a busy night. How about sending a piece my way?

Marjie said...

I'd been thinking of making enchiladas last weekend, but life made other plans for me. Layering is a great idea, and I don't really have any issues with something not looking like it's "supposed" to! And if your kids think you're mean for not going out to eat on weekdays, remember, my rule has always been, "If it needs to be done outside my gate, it occurs between 6PM Friday and 6PM Sunday. Huge medical emergencies have always been the only exception. We need boundaries to keep life on an even keel!

Cheryl said...

Paula, only you my dear would put cream cheese in that and take me to the moon! I cannot wait to make it, we are Mexican fiends!

Kudos 2 U, said...

I made a dish very similar to this last week. Except I used whole grain tortillas and sliced them lengthwise to be like lasagna noodles. Then I switched the direction of the 'noodle' with each layer (width one row, length the next). Absolutely awesome dish! Glad somebody else has the same type of taste as we do!

Grace said...

i would L.O.V.E. this. i can't emphasize enough the volume i could eat and the speed at which i would eat it. baked cheese. spicy salsa. creamy sauce. congrats, paula--you win. :)

Mickle in NZ said...

Dear Paula - it isn't nibbling, dear foodie friend, is the all important testing the taste and flavour as you make the food.

The first ever MasterChef Australia is showing here (we've had the UK version for a few years). Well - one bloke was "dismissed" last week coz while his spanish paella looked wonderful, had the right ingrediants etc..... the flavour was minimal - he hadn't checked the flavour development throughout the cooking. Had been a very weak point of his through the competition ......

Sampling is essential! How else will we know if it can be released to our loved ones.

Another of my foodie theories that I'm sticking too!

Loving huggles from Michelle across the Pacific

(Zebby is sneezling right now - it interrrupted his snoring!!!)

Manggy said...

I'm not judging!!! Unless you mean the overwhelmingly positive response I have to this stack of loveliness and the golden brown puffiness on top :)

DayPhoto said...

That is one thing we've missed since Terry was diagnosed with Celiac's disease. Thank you for this cool recipe!


Pam said...

What a tasty casserole - you know how much I love Mexican food. Can't wait to try this recipe.

The Blonde Duck said...

Your enchiladas look much better than mine, and I live 100 miles from Mexico! I bow down to the Enchilpaula Queen!

Linda said...

You honestly inspire me to try new things. Thanks a bunch Paula.

Lo said...

*whew* I'm back. Finally. After having ZERO time to read blogs for a week or two. Feels good :) And you've welcomed me back with the perfect sort of comfort food. How did you know I was a big fan of the verde sauce? :)

LOVE free-form enchiladas. In fact, this was the ONLY kind of enchilada I made for years, having learned this method from my aunt when I first started cooking. Gotta say, that cream cheese is a good idea... gotta sock that away for next time. These look awesome.

Lynda said...

This is one tasty, addictive looking cassarole, Paula.We love mexican food so I'll be making this! YUM!

Robynn's Ravings said...

And I couldn't have read this beFORE I went to Trader Joe's 3 hrs. ago?! Well, this gives me yet ANOTHER reason to park my ample rearend on my bicycle seat and pedal my rearend over there. And then, after I eat six helpings of this, that'll give me 12 more reasons.

I had to punt for dinner tonight so your tomatoes I made didn't get used yet. I need garlic and a cross to keep people away from them! Their NEVER gonna make it to the capellini!!!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Editor's Note: Robynn should not visit blogs at 11pm but should go to bed.

"Rearend," if you will please note, is used twice in the same sentence. You lose a full grade mark for that blunder.

The pronoun "their" cannot and should not be used in place of the the contraction "they're." This will cause a deduction of FOUR grade points due the obvious nature of the mistake and the age and experience of the writer.

Final grade for comment: F

Please go directly to detention....or bed.

Robynn's Ravings said...

the the the the the

END. Help me.

Pam said...

I loves puffy.