Tag Archives: Mexican ‘lasagna’

Chilaquiles — Mexican ‘Lasagna’? Ole!

4 Sep

I stumbled across this recipe looking for a way to use up a can of red kidney beans opened in error. I like beans, so finding new ways to cook with them is a fun culinary quest. Chilaquiles [tchee/lah/KEE/lehs] is a novel dish I found in Quick Vegetarian Pleasures [QVP] (Jeanne Lemlin, Harper Collins, 1992, page 163). Their description calls Chilaquiles a Mexican lasagna-like dish.

Chilaques: Made as a Mexican-style lasagna.

Chilaquiles: Made as a Mexican-style lasagna.

However, in researching the proper pronunciation of the word, I discovered this recipe bears little resemblance to the authentic Mexican breakfast/brunch dish of the same name. The more traditional Mexican dish uses the same layers of corn tortilla strips (but fried), salsa and grated cheese and/or cream but includes cooked eggs.

The QVP recipe makes a great evening meal and easily reheats for subsequent servings. Individual portions of this recipe can also be frozen, unlike the traditional Mexican dish which appears to resemble a breakfast fry-up.

I found the Chilaquiles a hearty, tasty meal with just the tiniest bit of zip (akin to a tingle of your lips). It’s great to have a new dish to add to my vegetarian repertoire. Uncertain whether I’d like it well enough to eat the four servings of the original recipe, I made a full batch of the chile sauce. I used only half of it to make a smaller casserole dish for my meal and I still ended up with three large servings. The rest of the chile sauce made a great dip for tortillas chips as a snack. Or make the full recipe (increased amounts given inside square brackets) in a 10 x 10 x 2″ or 12 x 7 x 2″ casserole dish and take it to a potluck dinner.

Garlic, onion, corn tortillas, EVOO, green chies, MOnterey Jack cheese, canned tomatoes, red kidney beans and sour cream.

Garlic, onion, canned tomatoes, corn tortillas, EVOO, green chiles, Monterey Jack cheese, red kidney beans and sour cream.

CHILAQUILES                                                            Makes: 3 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Tbsp                                 olive oil
  • 2                                              onions, finely diced
  • 2                                              garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 28 oz (796 mL) can        tomatoes, finely chopped plus the liquid
  • 1 – 16 oz (540 mL) can        kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 4 oz (118 mL) can           mild green chiles, minced and drained
  • 6 [12] small                           corn tortillas, cut into 1 – 2″ strips
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) [1 cup]     sour cream
  • 1.25 cups (284 mL) [2.5 cups/568 mL]   grated Monterey Jack cheese  about 4 [8] oz or 113 [227] g.
  • If you can’t find Monterey Jack, substitute a mild cheddar.

Instructions:

1.     Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 5 x 2″ casserole dish with oil.

2.     In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes or until the onions are tender.

Saute onions and garlic until tender.

Saute onions and garlic until tender.

3.     Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the chiles and the red kidney beans. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the juices begin to thicken. Remove from  heat.

Add tomatoes, green chiles and kidney beans. Boil to reduce liquid.

Add tomatoes, green chiles and kidney beans. Boil to reduce liquid.

4.     Reserve 1/3 to half of the chile sauce for another use. (Serve with tortilla chips as a snack.) Of the remaining sauce, spread half of it evenly over the bottom of your lasagna pan.

One layer of sauce on bottom of baking pan.

One layer of sauce on bottom of baking pan.

5.     Top the sauce with half of the corn tortillas strips, laying them like lasagna noodles, first in one direction and then the other. Spread half the sour cream over the tortilla layer and half the cheese.

Create a layer with strips of corn tortillas.

Create a layer with strips of corn tortillas.

A layer of sour cream and then grated Monterey Jack cheese.

A layer of sour cream and then grated Monterey Jack cheese.

6.     Create the next layer with the second half of the corn tortilla strips, the remaining sauce, sour cream and cheese.

Repeat layers and bake in 350 F oven for 35 minutes.

Repeat layers and bake in 350 F oven for 35 minutes.

7.     Bake in pre-heated 350 F oven for 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. The cheese layer will be golden and a little crusty.

. . . until hot and bubbly and cheese is crusty.

. . . until hot and bubbly and cheese is crusty.

I prepared a quick guacamole with a chopped avocado, diced tomato, garlic, salt and pepper and a squirt of cilantro (from a tube). It was a great complement to Chilaquiles along with a frosty lager.

A hearty, zippy dish paired with fresh guacamole.

A hearty, zippy dish paired with fresh guacamole.

Subsequent servings are best reheated covered with foil in a 350 F oven. If frozen, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight or in the microwave on 60% power for 3.5 – 4 minutes before re-heating in the oven.

A great addition to the vegetarian entrees section of your recipe box.

A great addition to the vegetarian entrees section of your recipe box.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Finally! Some Summer Meal Planning: Starting August 17th

18 Aug

I don’t know about you, but I am far more likely to eat out in the summer months. A patio beacons, a picnic seems right, friends come to town.

The week returning from the cottage is always depressing. For so many reasons. But after a determined effort to purge the fridge, scrub it clean, sourcing bins to keep it organized, a trip to the market and re-stocking some basic groceries I have moved forward to plan menus. Regular life returns.

Pollo al Mattone: aka Chicken under Bricks

Here’s what’s on my fridge-mounted meal planner for the coming days:

1.     Pollo al Mattone {Chicken under a Brick} – this recipe comes from Canadian Living’s “Let’s Barbecue” [Summer 2004]. It was served with skewered new potatoes, steamed fresh green beans and boiled corn on the cob. I’ll precede the post of the recipe with a lesson on how to “spatchcock” a whole chicken.

How to 'Spatchcock' a whole chicken

How to ‘Spatchcock’ a whole chicken

2.     Chili Espresso Strip Loin Steaks from Chatelaine Magazine’s September 2013 issue (page 80). I’m going to try making my first Green Goddess Salad and dressing with these steaks. Rounding out the meal are Grilled Balsamic Cafe mushrooms and some raw market carrots.

3.     Chilaquiles (tchee/lah/KEE/lehs) from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures (page 163) is billed as a Mexican-like lasagna dish. In researching the proper pronunciation of the word, I have discovered this recipe bears little resemblance to the authentic Mexican breakfast/brunch dish. The QVP recipe still sounds delicious and will help me use up a can of kidney beans opened in error. It layers strips of corn tortillas, with tomatoes, chilies, beans and Monterey Jack cheese and is then baked in the oven.

4.     The cover recipe of Chatelaine Magazine’s September 2013 issue is just too glorious-looking not to try. Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes (page 79) will help me use up the last of my 2012 batch of pesto before I haul home fresh basil bunches from the market to make enough pesto to see me through another year. A pint of multicoloured cherry tomatoes will add to the eye-appeal of this meal.

Strawberry Fudge Sundaes

Strawberry Fudge Sundaes

On the sweet side I don’t have my baking mojo back just yet. But Strawberry Fudge Sundaes pulled together from local berries, some store-bought waffle bowls, fudge sauce and premium vanilla ice cream hit the spot last night. Proving that Savvy Singles need not make everything from scratch to put a fine meal on their tables.

 

%d bloggers like this: