We got quite the surprise in our garden this year. The plan was to buy 4 bell pepper plants, as we eat quite a few bell peppers every week. Apparently someone at the nursery had a little fun because when the plants finally started producing peppers a couple of weeks ago, we found ourselves with a crop of banana peppers. Good thing we like Mexican food!
This is my “more complicated” Mexican recipe that I promised. In reality, the dish is not that hard to make, but it does have several steps. Some of which would be easy enough to make ahead of time if you did not want to make it all at once.
The recipe comes from Amber at Chocolate Broccoli, and she indicates this is a recipe she has been making for quite some time. It is basically a Mexican-themed lasanga filled with vegetables. She makes her own roasted salsa for the sauce which is amazing. I made very few modifications to the recipe – mostly using my banana peppers rather than the poblanos.
Despite the steps, I promise it is delicious. It made a wonderful dinner and lunch for several days afterwards. Enjoy!
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Slightly Adapted from Chocolate Broccoli
For the salsa:
8 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and quartered
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp. lime juice (1 lime)
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
For the casserole:
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 large banana peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (10oz) can green chile enchilada sauce
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into quarters
1 cup (4oz) shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup (4oz) crumbled Cojita cheese
Preheat broiler. To prepare salsa, combine the first 4 ingredients on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 20 minutes or until charred, stirring once. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Place tomato mixture in a food processor; add cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Decrease oven to 350 degrees. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, corn, zucchini, banana peppers, and bell peppers. Saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add chicken and other ingredients through the enchilada sauce. Cook until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Just cover the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with the salsa. Arrange half the tortillas over the salsa, tearing if needed to cover the entire dish. Spoon 2 cups of the chicken mixture evenly over the tortillas. Top with half the remaining salsa. Sprinkle with half of each of the cheeses. Repeat layers, starting with the remaining tortillas and ending with the remaining cheeses. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbly.