In my novel Counterfeits, the hero sends an enchilada casserole to the heroine and her friends for their lunch (gotta love a man who cooks). The following recipe is not traditional, but it’s my quicker and healthier version of an enchilada casserole. The directions are informal, as I cook by the “make it up as you go along” method.
One large onion
1 tablespoon oil for cooking
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 can (~10 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 can or jar (12-15 oz) of enchilada sauce (red or green)
1-2 cans (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped green chile to taste
Optional: additional vegetables, such as shredded or chopped broccoli/carrots/squash, steamed spinach,
1-2 cups shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican blend cheese
- Spray oil a 9 x 13 casserole dish or rub lightly with oil.
- Scatter broken tortilla chips in the bottom of the dish. (This is a great way to use the broken chips at the bottom of the bag. It doesn’t matter what size they are or if they're stale.)
- Chop a large onion and sauté in oil.
- Add about 3 cups of chopped cooked chicken (from a rotisserie chicken, leftover cooked chicken, or frozen chicken tenders that you cook in advance)..
- Add cream of chicken soup, enchilada sauce, pinto beans, optional veggies, and green chile (or red chile powder). Mix well.
- Pour the chicken and sauce mixture over the tortilla chips. Cover with another layer of broken tortilla chips.
- Top with a layer of shredded cheddar, Jack, or Mexican cheese.
- Bake at 350° for about 45 min.
This is one of my standards, because it only takes about half an hour to put together, and it makes enough leftovers for lunches. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it! You can also vary it by using black beans or ground beef, by skipping the meat and adding vegetables, or by adding extra red chile powder or chopped green chile if you like it spicy.
(In New Mexico, it's chile, not chili, when referring to the vegetable.)
Kris Bock lives in New Mexico, where she enjoys hiking, watching the sunset from her patio, and hanging out with her husband and their ferrets. Her home office looks out on nature, complete with distracting wildlife such as roadrunners and foxes. Her BFA in photography is used mainly to show Facebook friends how lovely the Southwest is.
Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog
Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.