Saturday, June 16, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

I am not completely strict with my paleo eating; I eat rice and corn on occasion.  I also eat full fat dairy, which is more primal than paleo, but I tolerate the dairy well, so it isn't an issue for me.  Paleo is really about finding what works for you without bothering your gut.  Gluten free is a must for me, however, due to strong, er...reactions to it. In other words: yes, I know corn is not strictly paleo, but sometimes I enjoy some good Mexican type food with a corn tortilla.

This casserole has a texture similar to a tamale and would still be wonderful with some spinach added to it.  You can make it spicier with fresh jalapenos or cut back on the green chiles if you are very sensitive to heat. If you are feeling truly ambitious or have some extra time, make your own salsa verde.

Enchilada Casserole

  • 3 cups of shredded poultry**
  • 24 pack of small corn tortillas (you won't use them all, but you will use most)
  • 1 can of tomatoes and green chiles (such as Rotel), drained
  • 1 can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 16oz of sour cream
  • 19oz can of green enchilada sauce or salsa verde if you can't find enchilada sauce (or homemade if you are super ambitious!)
  • 8oz monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 8oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. Shred the cheeses and set aside.  I like to use my food processor for this, very quick!
  3. In a large bowl, mix shredded chicken, tomatoes and green chile mix, half of the can of green chiles, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. In a blender or food processor (or a strong mixing arm) mix the sour cream, enchilada sauce or salsa, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble the casserole: 
    1. In a 9x13 pan, place a layer of corn tortillas.
    2. Spoon some of the sour cream and enchilada sauce mixture on the tortillas.
    3. Next add half of the chicken mixture in an even layer.
    4. Add a layer of cheese.
    5. Repeat steps above one more time.  
    6. To finish: add a final layer of tortillas, add the rest of the sour cream and enchilada sauce mixture (there will probably be a lot left to pour on and that is okay!), and top with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until cheese is nicely browned like the picture above.
  7. This makes about 8 large servings.  Enjoy!
**I used leftover turkey breast from a turkey I had roasted, but cooking up a pound and a half of chicken breasts with some salt, pepper, and olive oil and then shredding it would work just as well.

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