Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tortilla Casserole

Casseroles are so much fun. Plus they are an easy meal. Seriously. You can't get any easier than throwing food together all in one dish. Way easier than cooking up some meat along with 2 or 3 sides.

If you have kids, you know the wonders of a casserole.

Aside from that, they are super yummy : )

When I found this particular casserole I was pretty confused about the recipe. I originally assumed that it was made from flour tortillas and then layered similar to a lasagna. I read further and realized it was tortilla chips. Kind of weird right?

THEN the tomato mixture sounded like it was going to be pretty loose so I thought, how in the world does this recipe work!? You just pile slop onto the chips??

I decided to trust the recipe and just go with it. After all, it came from the Cook's Illustrated people.

Man, it was hard not to make any changes...

Since I'm sharing the recipe with you, you can probably guess that everything turned out okay haha Well, you're right! The casserole was very good and definitely a keeper.

As I went along with the recipe I realized that the tomato mixture must be so loose because it hydrates the tortilla chips. RIGHT. Then I began assembling just as it was written and I started to question how the chips were supposed to be layered. The bottom layer was SO sparse... it didn't makes sense to me. Again, I went with it. It's all about trust, right people? And again, I was right to do so. It all came together beautifully and made for one very easy, very yummy casserole!

NOTE: a lot of people do not like beans. This recipe contains beans. So if you are a hater then just substitute out the beans for corn or something that would be similarly delicious. Okay? : D

I should also probably point out that this recipe calls for a 8" square pan. If you are trying to fill a 13" x 9" pan for a big family then you will want to double it.

Tortilla Casserole
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Print Recipe

1 Tb vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1cup low sodium chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 Tb minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (or parsley if you are not a cilantro fan)
5 cups tortilla chips (3 oz), broken into pieces, not crushed
2 cups shredded mexican style-cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Heat oil in sautee pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken brother and bring to simmer.

Stir in beans, tomatoes, and chipotle into sauce and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, 3 Tb cilantro, 3/4tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Spread 1 cup tortilla chips over bottom of 8 inch baking dish and top with 1 cup chicken mixture. Spread 2 more cups tortilla chips into dish and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Spread remaining chicken mixture into dish and top with remaining tortilla chips. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese on top.

Bake until cheese is golden brown and casserole is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro before serving.

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