Today my husband is coming back from a week in Asia so I thought I would make something Mexican to welcome him back home as Mexican food is his favorite and there is not plentiful Mexican food where he was visiting. I recently made enchiladas and remembered why I rarely make them –they are a lot of trouble! So I started with an old favorite, Cooking Light’s La Bamba Casserole and while looking at it I felt it didn’t look quite as appealing as it did when it first came out in 2002. I updated it with fresh roasted peppers, onions and garlic, fresh corn, shredded rotisserie chicken breast, some enchilada sauce (store bought to save some time) and a bottom layer of corn tortillas to hopefully keep it together better- which failed, it was a little loose, BUT still very tasty! I don’t think it resembles the inspirational recipe very much anymore, but I still think it is fair to give credit where credit is due.
Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Enchilada Casserole
An abundance of roasted peppers, fresh corn onions and garlic mixed with some chicken and cheese updates the standard enchilada.
- 1 small sweet onion cut into quarters
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 3 assorted bell peppers (I used red and orange) halved and seeded
- 3 Anaheim chiles, halved and seeded
- 2 ears of fresh corn, cooked and cut off the cob (I use a microwave most of the time)
- 1 lb of cooked chicken breast meat, shredded
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste (I used about 10 turns of my pepper grinder and less than a 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt)
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded mixed Mexican cheese blend
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1 can refried beans (or black whole beans)
- 2 packages of red enchilada sauce (or 2 cups of homemade sauce)
- guacamole and diced tomatoes as a topping
- Turn on broiler in oven.
- Spread the peppers, separated onion chunks, garlic, and Anaheim chiles on a baking sheet and roast until peppers begin to blacken. Remove onions and garlic if they start to blacken, you just want to cook them, not burn them. I feel like broil can burn everything really quickly so I check on the vegetables every 3-4 minutes and stir them or remove the ones cooking too quickly.
- When all vegetables are cooked, change the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Wrap the blackened peppers in foil or a paper bag and let cool for 15 minutes or so. When cool peel off the blackened skin on the peppers and chop the peppers into small chunks.
- While the peppers cool chop the roasted onions and garlic into a medium chop.
- Chop the tomatoes. Save half for the guacamole (if making) and garnishing.
- In a large bowl combine the peppers, chiles, onions, garlic, tomato, corn, chicken, 1 cup of the cheese, spices and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Lightly coat a 9 x 12 baking dish with cooking spray (I used two separate dishes today because I made one without beans and chiles and a larger one with everything).
- Spread a thin layer of sauce on bottom of baking dish. Put a single layer of tortillas on bottom of dish (I cut mine in pieces so the whole bottom is covered. Spread half of vegetable and chicken mixture over the tortillas. Add enough sauce to cover the mixture. Spread beans over the vegetable mixture. Spread the rest of the vegetable mixture over the beans and top with remaining sauce and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and let stand for 5 minutes to set. Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of guacamole. Enjoy!
November 14, 2016