Cozy up with one of these delicious Mexican casseroles that are perfect for those busy weeknights. Not only are these dishes great-tasting and simple, they freeze well so you can make them advance. Or even better, you could double the recipe so you can eat one and freeze one for later! What could better than that?
1. Pork Tamale Pie
2 (14.5 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, excess fat removed
1/3 c. yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 oz. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 c.)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
Combine tomatoes, onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl; transfer to prepared dish. Rub pork with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; place on top of tomato mixture.
Bake uncovered until pork is fork-tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Shred pork into bite-size pieces with two forks; stir back into the dish with sauce.
Make Cheddar-Cilantro Cornbread Crust:
Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Spread Cheddar-Cilantro Cornbread Crust over pork mixture, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Bake until golden brown and crust is set. 18 to 20 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
2. Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 serrano chiles
2 clove garlic
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. sour cream
1 c. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 dash cayenne
1 can tomatillos
24 corn tortillas
10 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
1 medium onion
Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add chiles; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Whisk in flour for 1 minute. Whisk in broth until thickened, about 6 minutes. Stir in sour cream, ¼ cup cilantro, cumin, and cayenne. Transfer to a blender, add tomatillos, and puree. Pour 1 cup mixture in each of 2 buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dishes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and cook tortillas in batches until soft, about 1 minute per side, adding oil as needed. Place 1/4 cup reserved chicken, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1 teaspoon onion on each tortilla and roll into a cigar shape. Place in baking dishes and cover with remaining sour cream mixture and cheese. Bake until top is lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
3. Baked Chili Rellenos
3/4-pound fresh Mexican chorizo
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup freshly shredded jack cheese
Peel chiles and discard skins. Cut off stem ends and discard; remove seeds. Set chiles aside on layers of paper towels to dry.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook chorizo, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix chorizo, cotija, and oregano. Stuff chiles with the mixture and lay them in an 8- by 12-in. baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until they are thoroughly broken up and uniform in color and texture. Whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle chiles with 1/2 the jack cheese. Pour egg mixture over chiles and sprinkle with remaining jack cheese.
Bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brown ground beef. Add onion to pan; cook until onion is tender. Add garlic and jalapeño; cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, black pepper; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Arrange tortilla chips in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top evenly with ground beef mixture.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add beans, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon until chunky and thick; cook 2 minutes or until heated, stirring constantly. Stir in lime juice.
Combine tomato and cilantro. Layer beans and tomato mixture over ground beef mixture in dish. Top with remaining tortilla chips, pressing to slightly crush. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 375° for 13 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Cut casserole into 6 equal pieces; top each serving with sour cream, onions, and olives.