Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rosie Makes A Stacked Corn Tortilla Casserole With Salsa Verde.

I usually have Food Network droning on in the background throughout the day. A good amount of the time, the TV's mute button is employed, for example, whenever The Wretch is on, or Pauler with her dull spawn. The other day Rachael was on with yet another new program - Rachael's Week In A Day- (Someone please stop giving this woman new shows.) and she was making this recipe- Roast Chicken Enchilada Suizas Stacked Casserole. Technically, I don't think what she made is an enchilada. When I think of enchilada, I'm thinking of a rolled, stuffed tortilla, baked in a tomato sauce seasoned with chili, but what do I know? It's Rachael's show and she can call it whatever she wants. I did not follow Rachael's recipe to the letter. She called for 12 tomatillos. I had 5 tomatillos and 6 Roma tomatoes. She called for honey. I used the 2 teaspoons of honey, but don't think it added anything to the sauce. And Rachael called for 1 quart chicken stock-in-a-box. I was getting ready to add in a can of stock, not a whole quart, but when I tasted the sauce, I decided against diluting it with the stock. It was fine just the way it was. And I added a rice component which The Rache didn't. I'm starting out with the Salsa Verde. I'll be making corn tortillas. Then I'll poach some chicken breasts, make a seasoned rice, and then assemble it all, throw some cheese in the mix, top it with cheese, and bake it.
I started out with 4 poblano chiles.
When picking peppers, always look for smooth-skinned, non-blemished, firm peppers.
I blackened my peppers over an open flame. If you don't have a gas cook top, you could put the peppers on a sheet pan and blacken under the broiler on high for 10-12 minutes.
Keeping turning until the peppers are totally charred.
There are two schools of thought here - the paper bag school and the ice bath school. The paper bag school has you put the charred peppers in a paper bag and seal it for several minutes, letting the steam do its work on the charred skin, helping to release it. I prefer the ice bath method. It's quicker and easier and the skin just rubs right off.
After charring the peppers, immediately plunge them into ice water. Simply use your fingers to rub off the skin.
A good rub with a paper towel will release any stubborn pieces of skin. Here's part of my mise en place. Imagine 6 Roma tomatoes up there and you get the picture. 4 roasted, peeled, and seeded poblanos 4 garlic cloves 1 large onion 1 large jalapeno 2 teaspoons cumin bunch of cilantro salt and pepper and forget the can of chicken stock - totally unnecessary
De-rib and de-seed the jalapeno.
Mince the garlic and jalapeno and finely chop the onion.
Heat a little oil in your pan and it does NOT have to be EVOO - that's EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL!!! Imagine Rachael rasping and screeching out the explanation of her acronym here for the gazillionth time. I do not understand this habit of Food Network cooks. Just say the damn words. Don't add cutesy acronyms which you then have to explain over and over again. Anne Burrell takes the cake for this with her "BTB RTS." Any takers on that one? It should be obvious what it means: "Bring To Boil, Reduce To Simmer." Idiots. Sorry, but I digest. Add the chopped onion and the minced jalapeno to the hot oil.
Add in the minced garlic. Cook over medium heat ...
... until onions soften - about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
Dehusk and rinse the tomatillos. I only had 5 tomatillos and Rachael called for 12 ...
... so I used 6 Romas. Drop the maters into boiling water for about 20 seconds ...
... and the skin comes right off.
Slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze to juice and seed them. Discard, if you're lazy like me. If you're of a more desirable sort, strain out the seeds and pour the juice into ice cube trays, freeze, pop the cubes into freezer bags, and add to soups, salad dressings, whatever.
Quarter the tomatillos.
Tomatillos and tomatoes into food processor.
And why offer you only 1 picture of tomatoes being dropped when I can give you 4?
Cilantro in.
Slice the poblanos lengthwise ...
... cut out seeds and rinse. Pat dry ...
... and coarsely chop.
Add poblanos to processor ...
and process away until you have a nice, smooth sauce.
Pour poblano mixture into onion mixture.
Add cumin.
I went ahead and added the honey, although you could skip this part. The honey really doesn't add anything. Barely simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
Add in the juice of one lime. Set salsa verde aside and start on corn tortillas. Yes, Rosie is making her own corn tortillas. Did you expect any less? And I must say, store-bought tortillas don't hold a candle to homemade. Just like homemade pasta isn't anything like store-bought. Trust me on this. Homemade tortillas have much more flavor than store-bought and the texture is different - in a good way - it's almost cornbready. Store-bought is one-dimensional. Homemade is faceted.
Ingredients for corn tortillas: 2 cups masa 1 1/2 cups warm water plus more if needed 1 teaspoon salt
I added the salt to the masa.
Add in the water, gathering the dough together ...
... into a nice ball.
Cut the dough into twelve pieces ...
... rolling into balls and covering to keep from drying out.
Cover a tortilla press with plastic and place a ball of dough off center.
Plastic over top ...
... and press.
Hmmm. First one was a little too dry. Cook about 1 minute each side.
For the rest of the balls, I dropped them in a little water ...
... and worked them a bit, kneading.
Oooh ... Nice tortilla.
Plop into hot, dry pan over medium high heat.
About a minute each side. After cooking all 12 tortillas, stack and cover with plastic while you prepare the chicken and the seasoned rice.
First, the chicken.
I had three boneless breasts ...
... which were bought on sale, of course. $1.77/pound.
I trimmed off the fat first.
... then sliced the breasts in half.
I added about 1/4 inch of water in my skillet
then poured in about a cup of beer.
A few bay leaves.
Some Kosher salt.
Freshly ground pepper.
The puppies will get these parts.
Bring water to a simmer and place breasts in.
Let simmer, turning, until just cooked.
The chicken took about 12 minutes. Set aside in pan with broth. And start on rice. The Hawthornes had some quite bad Chinese takeout the other day and I was saving the rice for the puppies, but decided to use it for this dish.
First, I mixed a small cube of achiote paste with some water, stirring to dissolve it.
Melt some butter in the pan and add the rice just to heat through.
I wanted color and extra flavor, so I'm adding yellow squash and red and green pepper.
Give it a quick dice.
And add to rice.
Toss to mix.
Add in the achiote liquid.
And a little salt.
The rice is good on its own. Or you could stuff a pepper with it and top with cheese. Or make chile rellenos with it. Or use it with some ground beef and roll up a burrito. Or ... use your own imagination.
And look what Rosie got for Christmas! One of my loyal readers, Ange in Wisconsin, sent me this wonderful Mexican spice box. Thanks again, Ange!
I'll be using the Adobo seasoning on my chicken.
I'm only using three half breasts for my tortilla stack. The other three halves I left in the poaching liquid and put back in the fridge for some other use.
Slice the tender chicken across the grain.
Season with Adobo seasoning.
Toss with hands to mix.
And we're ready for assembly. I have my chicken, my rice mixture, assorted cheeses ...
... and my salsa verde. Cover the baking dish with a layer of salsa verde.
Add a layer of corn tortillas.
Add some rice.
Some chicken.
And some cheese.
Top with more tortillas ...
... and continue layering.
I know. It looks like a mess. But it's an excellent mess.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until cheese is nice and melted and bubbly and the casserole is heated through.
I served this with some regular homemade salsa, sour cream, and my salsa roja which is made from dried chiles and is da bombe.
I apologize for one (only) thing. My photographs. I usually start cooking in the afternoon and when I finally finish and plate, it's dark and I'm shooting in fluorescent lights. And the pictures look like the one above.
The next day, in natural light, I get the next pictures. Color temperature is natural.
Sprinkle with a bit of cilantro.
I hate to say it, but thanks, Rachael. I just choked a bit. This was truly wonderful. I loved each and every flavor and the resulting combination of flavors brought this to a whole different level. And the corn tortillas were like none I've ever had. And I didn't just thank Rachael Ray for the corn tortillas. I own them.


Beth said...

That looks delicious! Not one of her 30 minute meals I'm guessing!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hi, Beth,
It was delish! as RayRay says, but it took me a tad over 30 minutes.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


dining table said...

This recipe really needs a lot of time and effort to prepare. But it looks delicious!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Dining table, It really didn't take that long to make and the process was quite soothing. And then you have that lovely salsa verde to use in other dishes.

zzzadig said...

Aw, come on Rosie, learn to pat those tortillas out by hand. You don't need no steenking press.

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to know what the inside of this place looks like. Get some interior shots next time!
English Bulldog Puppies