Tortilla Chip Casserole

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I had very high hopes for this dish and while it was very good, it did not wow me. I will admit that I did adapt the recipe a bit, but not enough to make it less enticing. However, there is a lot of potential here. After all, it is a casserole and casseroles can be filed with all sorts of things. I see variations with taco meat, fajita meat, different spices, etc. It can be better.

But, it wasn’t all that bad, I think the biggest issue was the ratio of filling versus all the chips. 4 oz of chips isn’t all that much but I found, using the 11×7 pan as recommended, that it wasn’t filling the pan. So increased quantities (meat and cheese mainly – in my opinion) is needed. The changes I made were leaving out the coriander (didn’t have any), red bell pepper for a roasted bell pepper and a Colby/Monterey Jack cheese blend as there wasn’t just a Monterey Jack blend available.

So, take the recipe below for what it’s worth and try your own.

recipe from the January/February 2013 issue of Cooking Light

1 TBSP canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TBSP minced fresh garlic
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1 cup milk (I used whole)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 TSP ground cumin
1/2 TSP ground coriander
1/4 TSP salt
4 oz cream cheese
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
4 oz tortilla chips, crushed
1 roasted bell pepper
1 8 oz jar of enchilada sauce (I used mild)
2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I may have used more)
2 TBSP sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 6 minutes. Add garlic and flour, cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk and stock, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add spices and cream cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. I found I needed to put it back on the heat to melt the cheese faster.

Spread 1/2 cup of the milk mixture on the bottom of an 11×7 pan. Layer beans, half the chicken and 2 oz of chips. Top with one cup of the milk mixture. Layer the pepper, remaining chicken and 2 oz of chips. Top with remaining milk mixture. Spread enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes. Top with green onions.

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