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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recipe: Enchilada Casserole

I was feeling rather ambitious on Sunday so I decided to try out a new recipe for dinner. I went on the hunt for something a little different than the usual meals in our weekly rotation. We’ve also had to adjust to a few different diet restrictions in the last few weeks (to try and nail down a root cause of some issues), so our options have been fairly limited.

I had been in the mood for Mexican, so I was excited when I found an enchilada casserole recipe that met all these requirements.

Here’s what you’ll need (with my alterations and notes included):
  • 1 ½ pound ground turkey breast (we used 1 pound, and it was perfect)
  • ½ cup chopped onion (got home from the store to discover I’d forgotten the onion, so I improvised with a few dashes of dried, minced onion instead)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce (our can was 28 oz. – close enough!)
  • Salt
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide) (I think mine were smaller than 6 in., so I used about 14)
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheese (we used cheddar)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
Start by stirring the turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in a skillet until browned.

Then stir in 1 cup of the enchilada sauce and add a dash of salt to taste.
While the meat is cooking, cut your tortillas in half.

Arrange about 7 of them evenly over the bottom of a shallow casserole pan, overlapping to fit (7 worked well for my pan, you may need to adjust depending on the size of your tortillas and the size of your pan).
Sprinkle about ½ cup of cheese evenly over the top of the torillas, and then add a third of the turkey mixture on top, followed by about a half cup (slightly more) of enchilada sauce.
Add another layer of tortillas, cheese, meat, and enchilada sauce. Then, do it one more time! Top it off with one more layer of tortillas and then the remainder of the enchilada sauce.

Cover with the remaining cheese (maybe even a little more, if you love cheese like we do).
Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes—until cheese is melted and it’s hot in the center. (22 minutes was just about right for us).
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, serve, and enjoy!

So what was our take on it?

Let me preface it by saying we don’t do spicy. Black pepper about the extent of how wild and crazy we get. We can handle a bit of kick from time to time, but generally try to avoid it.

So it’s not terribly surprising that this dish was a little too spicy for us. I’m pretty sure it was the enchilada sauce I chose. We enjoyed it, but only served alongside tall glasses of ice cold milk and water. I’d definitely make it again, but would need to try a different sauce for sure.

So if you like spice, you’re golden. You could even add more! But if you’re anything like us and prefer to stick to mild tempered food, I’d definitely recommend playing around with this a bit.

(I’ve also seen some tasty-looking chicken enchilada recipes all over Pinterest, so maybe we’ll try that next time!)

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