24 March 2009

Culinary Happiness - Chicken Tortilla Torta

A few days ago, I spotted a quick recipe on YumSugar, a favorite website that I follow. I posted the link on Facebook, and it got a great response from my friends who were interested in trying it. It looks a lot like a kind of Mexican-style lasagna. I had more corn tortillas than I knew what to do with, so I thought I'd give it a try, and I was NOT disappointed!

The recipe begins with coarsely chopped up roasted chicken. I used a shortcut because I bought a pre-cooked chicken from Safeway. The meat practically fell off the bone and I easily chopped it up with my handy chef's knife.

Next, you mix plain yogurt with heavy cream. The recipe doesn't call for it, but since this is the "binding" for the entire thing, I seasoned it up with generous amounts of chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic, and black pepper. This basically sealed the deal.

Next, begin the layers as follows: tortillas, salsa verde, chicken, cream, green chilis and cheese. Rinse and repeat and top with tortillas and cheese. I used my cast iron skillet to give it a more home-cooked feel. This gets kinda heavy, so make sure you're strong enough to handle all of the weight with a full, hot cast iron pan.

Put everything in the oven covered with foil at 375 for about 20 minutes. Then bake uncovered for another 20 minutes until it starts to boil and the cheese browns. Once out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Honestly, this recipe was so fast and simple. Since I didn't actually cook any of the individual parts, I felt like a culinary FAIL copying that awful woman Sandra Lee and her "semi-homemade" food with fake everything and ghastly "tablescapes." The Tortilla Torta was very easy, and a kind of "set it and forget it" dinner. It would serve between 10 and 12 people by my count, but beware the extra fat! This tastes rich and hearty, and would be a great meal for a big family on a cold night.

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