Tortilla Casserole

Not pretty, but yummy:  tortilla casserole

I realize you might see this photo and think to yourself, “I will not make something that looks this unattractive.” You should, though. I made this casserole up myself–an original recipe!–and it’s loosely based on some enchiladas Mr. Pea has made a couple of times. The casserole features flour tortillas, sour cream, green tomatillo salsa, cheddar and spinach; those are must-haves, but from there it’s very flexible. It’s a little sloppy and a little messy but it’s insanely tasty.

Begin with four flour tortillas. Cut them into quarters, place them on a cookie sheet, and pop into your oven as you preheat it to 350. Turn them over once while you prep everything else, and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. You just want them to crisp up a little so they don’t turn to mush later.

Take 1 chicken breast (this is tasty but not required–this could easily be vegetarian). Slice it in half so you have two thin fillets and cook them in olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. When it’s done, shred with two forks and resist eating all the crunchy outside bits.

While chicken cooks and tortillas brown, thaw a box of spinach in the microwave. Drain well. I added some frozen corn and beans that we had from a barbecue pizza last week. You could certainly add lots of those and skip the chicken.

Add two big spoonfulls of sour cream to the spinach (I was just using a big soup spoon and rounding well when I spooned the cream) and two big spoonfulls of salsa. Add about 1 c shredded cheddar. All of these things can be adjusted for taste and texture–you don’t want it too soupy, but you don’t want it too dry. Stir up.

Take your tortillas and place a layer on the bottom of a 9x 13 pan. Spoon half your spinach mixture on top. Add more tortillas, then more spinach, then a last layer of tortillas. In that bowl stir together a couple spoonfulls of sour cream (we used half a pint container–quart?–that medium-sized one at the store) and more salsa. We used half a jar of salsa from Whole Foods. It was only $2.69. I was impressed. Anyway, pour this mixture over the top of the dish and top with another cup of shredded cheese. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet in case of spillage. Bake for 25 minutes to a half an hour, and dig in. It’s comfort food with a little zing, a little tang, perfect for early spring.

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