Monday, July 9, 2012

A Winning Combination

My brother used to tease about how Mexican food is pretty much all of the same ingredients, just packaged differently.  He's right, you know.

Let's look at the evidence:

Burrito--meat, cheese, beans, rice, etc. wrapped up in a tortilla with or without sauce on top.
Enchiladas--meat, cheese, beans, etc. wrapped up in a tortilla with sauce on top.
Tacos--meat, cheese, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. served in a soft or crunchy tortilla.
Quesadilla--meat, cheese, sometimes beans, etc. served in a tortilla.

I could go on, but I won't because I think you get the point.

But who cares?  I love burritos.  I love enchiladas.  Sometimes you're in the mood for a quesadilla more than a taco!  It doesn't make sense.  But those ingredients taste great together and prepared and presented in different ways makes them different enough!

This recipe will seem pretty similar to a lot of recipes I've posted in the past.  Green salsa, chicken, and Monterey Jack cheese--it's a winning combination.  Such a great combination, in fact, that it's worth repeating.  The beauty of this manifestation of the combination is that this is super easy.  It takes seriously only 10 or 15 minutes to throw together (and that's with kids grabbing at your legs and asking for fruit snacks while you prepare it--not while they're napping or settled down and watching a show).

So, here is the latest reincarnation of the combination of green salsa, chicken, and Monterey Jack cheese!  I hope you like it as much as I did.

Tortilla Pie with Chicken


12 corn tortillas (6-inch), toasted
2 cups cooked, shredded dark-meat chicken
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
1 1/2 cups Green or Red Salsa (recipes follow if you would like to make your salsa from scratch...I used a jar of salsa instead)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (6 ounces)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In an 8-inch square baking dish, layer 4 tortillas, 1 cup chicken, half the chiles, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/3 cup sour cream, and 1/2 cup cheese; repeat once.  Top with remaining tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cheese.  Bake until top is browned and bubbling, 30-40 minutes.

Green or Red Salsa


8 tomatillos (for Red Salsa, substitute 6 plum tomatoes, halved)
1 onion, halved
1-2 jalapenos, halved (ribs and seeds removed, if desired for less heat)
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Coarse salt


On a rimmed baking sheet, broil tomatillos (or tomatoes), onion, jalapenos, and garlic until lightly charred, about 4 minutes.  Puree in a blender until smooth.  Thin with 1/2 to 3/4 cup water, and season with salt.

Source: Everyday Food, April 2009

Notes: I used a jar of green salsa (about 16 ounces) instead of making my own.  I also mixed all of the ingredients together rather than layering them.

I also added a teaspoon of cumin, just because I love cumin so much.  :) 

This is a great recipe and I love that it can work as a pantry recipe if you use a jar of salsa.  I am all about dinners that I can just throw together from what I already have in my freezer or pantry these days!

Above: Yum!  I didn't serve it up very pretty (my husband was out of town and as a result, things were very informal.  So, there's no pretty sprig of cilantro or dollop of sour cream on top--though those things would be nice, if you so desire).  But trust me, it was really tasty!


  1. Looks good. Yum. I can't believe you still cook while he is out of town.

  2. I just cooked the one night. I caught the boys' colds, so I didn't feel like cooking. I don't usually cook while he's on business trips, but I noticed that I eat better if things are more structured. Otherwise, I don't make an actual dinner for myself and I just end up grazing and snacking. Not good for me.