Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cilantro Mexican Chicken Casserole #72

I love my cranberry Pampered Chef baker, but I have no idea what to do with it.  The only thing I've ever made in it is roasted chicken.  And it was delicious.  The baker is famous for being able to go in the microwave.

A friend told me about this recipe.  As soon as she said it was cooked in the Pampered Chef baker, I knew I had to try it.  I went home and googled the recipe, and found this pdf containing several recipes to use with the Pampered chef baker.

The case:
1⁄4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey
Jack cheese, divided
1 medium onion (about 2/3 cup chopped)
1 can (28 oz) enchilada sauce 12 (6-in.) corn tortillas
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken Additional chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

1. Chop cilantro with Chef’s Knife. Place cream cheese in Classic Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until very soft. Add cilantro and 11⁄2 cups of the Monterey Jack cheese; mix well using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®. Chop onion using Food Chopper; set aside. Spread 2/3 cup of the enchilada sauce over bottom of Deep Covered Baker. Pour remaining enchilada sauce into Stainless (4-qt.) Mixing Bowl; set aside.
2. To assemble lasagna, using Sauté Tongs, dip four tortillas into enchilada sauce in mixing bowl and arrange over sauce in baker, overlapping as necessary. Scoop half of the cream cheese mixture over tortillas using Small Scoop; spread using Small Spreader. Top with 1 cup of the chicken and one-third of the onion. Repeat layers one time. Dip remaining four tortillas into sauce and arrange over second layer. Top with remaining chicken and onion. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over lasagna and sprinkle with remaining 1⁄2 cup Monterey Jack cheese.
3. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 12-15 minutes or until center is hot. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro. Cut into squares using Utility Knife; serve using Mini-Serving Spatula.

The ruling:
I only used 3 tortillas in each layer, tearing the last tortilla in half.  I used all the enchilada sauce from the can soaking my tortillas.  I happened to have a bit of enchilada sauce from Trader Joes in the refrigerator, so I poured that over the casserole instead.  I also added a layer of cheese on top of the first chicken layer.   One tip that I think is important is that the cream cheese mixture needs to be soft to spread over the tortillas.  Put into the microwave for an extra 30 seconds if needed.  Of course, I didn't have or even use the tools that are listed.  You could make this same thing in a medium sized casserole dish.

This dish was absolutely delicious- a home run!  I will be making this for years and years to come.  It was so quick and easy.  I served it with saffron yellow rice.  I will definitely play around with the cream cheese mixture.  I think it would be tasty with lime juice and maybe even garlic added.  I forgot to add chopped cilantro to the top, but I'm sure it would be a great addition.