Crazy Chili Casserole


This yummy casserole was inspired by a favorite version of Chilaquiles from the Yucatan. Similar to migas, chilaquiles are broken-up tortillas that are cooked with meat and cheese in a chile sauce. When I taught a class on Mexican cuisine at the Melia Mayan resort in Cozumel, I happily ate chilaquiles almost daily at the resort’s breakfast buffet. Here I present my take on their dish, using chili for the meat to a wonderful effect.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

12 corn tortillas (6 inches each)

1 teaspoon butter

1 1/2 cups chili, any kind ( If thick, thinned to gravy consistency with chicken broth)

1 1/4 cups grated or crumbled white cheese such as queso blanco, feta, Monterey Jack or mozzarella

1 cup sour cream

1 cup chicken stock, plus more as needed (optional)

2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Quarter the tortillas and place them on a large cookie sheet. Bake the tortillas until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 F.

2. Butter a 2-quart or 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of crisp tortillas, overlapping them slightly. Top the tortillas with half of the chili, then half of the cheese. Dollop half of the sour cream atop the cheese layer.

3. Repeat the layers, beginning with the remaining tortillas and ending with the remaining sour cream. Sprinkle the onion over the top. If dry, due to thick chili, add chicken stock. Place the casserole in the oven and bake until bubbly and lightly browned on top, 30 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Chili Madness, 2nd edition.

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