Monday, May 4, 2009

Heritage Cooking -- Nana's Enchilada Casserole and Cowboy Caviar

I am so excited that Cinco De Mayo and my kids' spring break coincided. We cooked our Mexican meal a day early because we will have to settle for fast food tacos on the real Cinco De Mayo, due to the fact that we are going to planted at the baseball field for two hours during chow time.

I have been eagerly awaiting my kids next break so I could teach them this easy family favorite made by their Nana. I amped up the recipe by adding the fried eggs, or I should say my husband fried up the eggs. We have been missing an enchilada montada from a now closed down Mexican restaurant. The owner moved on to greener money pastures. I decided that a fried egg with a soft liquid center would be perfect on top of his Mom's enchilada casserole. The "Cowboy Caviar" which is by no means an exclusive family secret is still a family favorite made often by my sister-in-laws. Like the casserole, it also uses a lot of pantry staples. This meal resulted in happy people and an especially happy husband. My kids enjoyed shredding the store bought roasted chicken and layering the casserole. Of course, you can always use canned chicken. It just won't be as tasty. I love when family dinner is the highlight of the day.

Here is a link to the Cowboy Caviar recipe. Cowboy Caviar.

Enchilada Casserole (serves 12)
1 roasted chicken (shredded)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 TB dried onions or 1 onion finely chopped
1 Cup salsa
1 1/2 Cups milk
2 Cups shredded cheese (A sharper cheddar or a monterey jack makes for a tangier casserole.)
12 corn tortillas

Spray with nonstick cooking spray, a large casserole dish.
Combine liquid ingredients and stir until well combined.
Spread 1/4 Cup sauce onto bottom of casserole. Cover with 1/3 of corn tortillas.
Evenly layer 1/2 chicken, 1/3 cheese, 1/3 sauce mixture.
Repeat layers starting with tortillas.
Add third layer of tortillas, remaining sauce and cheese.
Spray a piece of tinfoil to cover casserole.
Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours.

Top with a fried egg if you feel so inclined.

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