Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Layered chipotle turkey casserole

This is a hybrid of the Mexican Lasagna and casseroles.  It's tasty and warm with a gentle heat.  I fyou don't like spice, sub out the chipotle powder for chili powder of your choosing.  My kids eat this uup so it isn't truly spicy.  And if you do like spice, by all means sub out for a spicier pepper.  It's a versatile recipe as well.  I will note options below.

First part of the recipe is making the red sauce for the layering. 

1/4 cup of olive oil or oil of choice
1/4 cup of flour
1 can of tomato sauce
1/8 cup of chili powder
1/8 cup of chipotle powder
1 tsp of each, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin
1 cup of water or chicken stock. (if using stock, omit the salt and salt to taste after)

Juice of one half of a lime to finish sauce.

Warm up oil and add flour.  Make a roux by cooking it for about 3 minutes on medium.  Add rest of ingredients and stir with a whisk.  Bring to a gentle bubbling boil and reduce heat.  Let it simmer for 15 minutes or while the rest of the dish is being assembled.  When off the heat, add lime juice and stir through.

Chipotle Turkey Casserole

3-4 poblano peppers (you can use anaheim in it's place for less heat)
1 onion, chopped finely.
2 carrots, diced. (optional)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely.
1 pound of turkey
One tsp of each, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin powder
One tbsp of cilantro, coarsely chopped. (optional)
Use remaining lime

Package of flour or corn tortillas (if using corn, see note below)
Block of cream cheese cut up into chunks, (see note below)
Pound of favorite shredded cheese, (I used sharp cheddar and mexican melting cheese)
A cup of corn, cooked. (optional)
A cup of black beans, cooked. (optional)

Put oven rack as close to the boiler as possible.  On a cookie sheet, lay the peppers down and place under broiler on high.  Don't oil.  Leave it for 3-5 minutes till the skin blacken and blister.  Turn over.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes or similarly blackened and blistered.  Don't be alarmed, it will not taste burned, I promise.  And you really want it blackened.  Upon removing from oven, cluster the pepper together and wrap with foil tightly and lay a towel over it.  Leave it alone, it will steam up perfectly for you.  In about 10 minutes or more, unwrap and you should see it softened and very wrinkly.  Take off all the charred/shiny skin off.  Split open and remove all seeds and white membrane to lessen the heat. (leave on if you like heat).  Roughly chop and set aside.  Preheat oven now to 350.

In a large pan, saute onions and carrots in oil till softened.  About 5 minutes.  Add the now peeled/chopped charred peppers and garlic to the pan.  Cook an additional 5 minutes, add turkey.  Mash it all up so it's all mixed in as the turkey cooks.  Cook turkey till well done, about 10 minutes.  Add spices and cook an additional 5 minutes.  When off heat, add rest of lime.

In a oven safe pan, layer tortillas to cover bottom, coming up the sides a bit.  Ladle in a bit of red sauce to just cover, layer of meat, layer of cheese, layer of corn and layer chunks of cream cheese. Finish with a bit more red sauce before adding the next layer of tortillas.  To this layer do the same but use black beans instead of corn.  Keep layering till done.  On the top, add final layer of tortillas, rest of red sauce and sprinkling of cheese.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes in the 350 oven.  Serve with a tomato and avocado salad.


If using corn tortillas, cook them in a fry pan with no oil/grease on high on both sides for a minute or so.  This will melt the fat in the corn tortillas and make them pliable and delicious.  This is how corn tortillas should be used before any dish. 

My husband hates sour cream, so I used cream cheese.  I made a separate one with sour cream and it was delicious.  Feel free to choose. 

Optional stuff listed can be omitted (I have made it both with and without). 

I highly recommend a chipotle powder.  I have seen it in flakes and it isn't as good as the powder.  It resembles smoked paprika.  This isn't the brand I use, but to show what it should look like.