After making one form or other of Green Enchiladas for a number of years, I have finally gotten my own recipe just the way we like it, at least my 7 family members + 1 extra staying here say so! You guys might remember me telling you that last Fall while I was getting things in order for the largest job I've had to date for The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas (read that post HERE), I was given the name Mecha Corte, aka short fuse, by my family. Our house was seriously like a shipping and receiving warehouse and maze for awhile as every room, bedrooms included, were filled with transferware and packing materials. This was all during the holidays and it was a little more than crazy. Good crazy. Nonetheless, I earned another nickname, Mecha Corte, because I was on a short fuse more than once during that time.
We decided this dish needed a better name than just Green Enchiladas and since I've actually grown a fondness of the jest in being called Mecha (meecha), an even shortened version of my nickname, we came up with Momma Mecha's Green Enchiladas La Cazuela (casserole in Spanish). How's that? =)
For almost 2 months, Shawn and I have been cooking nightly for 9! Whew. For that reason, the green light is on when it comes to casseroles and one pan dishes that feed a crowd! You could easily make a smaller version, or larger (I sometimes double this and freeze one casserole for a quick meal later).
Momma Mecha's La Cazuela Green Enchiladas
2 lbs ground hamburger meat
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 Family size can (26 oz) Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 to 1 soup can full of milk (13-26 oz)
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 large can chopped, diced green chilies…I do not drain
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 bag tortilla chips (I usually use Tostitos or buy from my fave Mexican restaurant)
1 1/2 cup Monterey Jack or Colby / Jack cheese blend, shredded
Sliced black olives
Mexican cheese blend
Brown ground beef and onion in skillet until onion is translucent and beef cooked through. Drain fat.
While beef is cooking combine mushroom soup, cream cheese and 1/2 soup can of milk in sauce pan over low-medium heat and blend to mix. Add ancho chili powder, stir. Add green chilies. Once warmed, stir in the grated sharp cheddar cheese and stir until melted and blended into sauce. Stir in green chilies. Add more milk if it is too thick. You want it to be about the consistency of a thick soup, like a chowder, or a thinner queso cheese sauce. Set aside.
Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 casserole dish with Pam or grease very lightly. Slightly crush a couple of handfuls, about 1/4 bag, of tortilla chips on bottom. Layer with beef & onion mixture and then 1/2 sauce. Repeat. Top with a few more, small crushed chips and shredded monterey jack cheese or cheese blend. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
Serve with optional garnishes such as sour cream, extra cheese, green onions, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives, sliced jalapenos, and salsa. I always have sour cream and green onions to garnish ours with.
I made this again night before last and served it up in some green transferware bowls. Each of my kids, Shawn and an extra one staying with us commented on how delicious it was. In fact, we have found that the cheese sauce is excellent for tortilla chip dipping and would be a wonderful base for a soup/chowder with just a little extra added milk or perhaps broth to thin it down. It would also be good with chicken. There are endless possibilities with this! If you like Mexican food, I am pretty confident you'll like this. I hope you'll let me know what you think!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
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