Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Pie

If you happened to have read Moi's post on New Mexico's most famous and lucrative cash crop, and wondered, "That's all very well and good, but what do you all actually do with the stuff?" here's your answer.

You grow up in New Mexico, you can bet your family has in its recipe vaults some version or another of this enchilada casserole. No, we did not invent enchiladas. Just enchilada pie. It's as authentically New Mexican as you can get, comfort food at its finest.

This recipe was bestowed upon my mother by one of my home town's most venerable cooks. My mom passed it on to me. Now I pass it along to you.

2-3 cups authentic New Mexican green chiles, skin and seeds removed (24 to 30 chiles)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 11 ounce cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, uncooked, straight out of can
12 ounces of real, full fat sour cream
1-1/2 pounds cooked chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon authentic New Mexican red chile powder
3/4 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry
18 6" corn tortillas
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Chop green chiles into bite-sized pieces. Place in big mixing bowl.

Add the chopped onion and garlic, soup, sour cream, chicken, spices, and sherry. Mix well.

Spray a 9x13 glass pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with six corn tortillas. They come in packages like so, the best being our locally manufactured Bueno Brand.
In fact, these fine folks, who I know well, are your best resource for all things authentically New Mexican, from spices to tortillas to frozen chile and pre-made dinners. Check em out at: http://www.buenofoods.com/

Anyway. This is how your lined pan will look:

Then, place one third of your chile/chicken mixture on top and spread evenly to the sides. Sprinkle with a third of the shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat two more times, for a total of three layers.

At this point, you can cover the casserole with heavy duty aluminum foil and freeze for up to six months, un-thawing overnight in the refrigerator before baking. If ready to bake now, simply pop into a pre-heated 375ยบ F oven for 45-60 minutes, let sit for five minutes before serving, cut, and serve with a side of refried pinto beans, Spanish rice, and a dollop of even more sour cream.

As for liquid accompaniment, I find that the only wine that really pairs well with New Mexican cooking is, well, a New Mexican wine. Before any you oenophiles get all precious on Moi, know this: New Mexico is the oldest wine producing region in all of North America. They make wines here that will knock your socks off, so there. One of them, IMHO, is Santa Fe Vineyards's Tinto del Sol, a medium -bodied Cabernet blend with a rosy nose that brings out the best in either red or green chile. Ponderosa Valley Vineyards also makes a superlative Riesling, whose character is bold but sweet enough not to get overpowered by the chile. Otherwise, just save the strain on your brain and serve the pie with a good Mexican beer.

1 comment:

Doris Rose said...

yummo, what a great winter treat!