Monday, May 11, 2009

What to do when someone at your table wants to eat something that once mooed, clucked, or oinked: Tomatilla Tortilla Casserole

What to do when someone at your table wants to eat something that once mooed, clucked, or oinked:

At first you say "Then YOU go out there and stab a cow and get your own ()(*^$ dinner, *(&%#ing ) &*%$, &*&^$, (&%$!." But then they present you with a pet hen that lays golden eggs, and they promise to never ever eat YOUR new hen if only you make them a dinner involving a different chicken just this one time. And so you decide to sell out and make them some chicken and tell yourself that a) the chicken you're about to make died peacefully of old age and b) you'll donate the money from two of the golden eggs to saving goats in Africa or some such animal friendly cause. And if you're making chicken anyway, you might as well make the poor bird's life worth two meals, so here's is a very inexpensive way to hit 'em with some meat (awww, yeah) twice:

Go to the grocery store or Sam's Club and buy one of those already cooked rotisserie chickens (this is going to provide you with enough meat for two carnivorous meals). Then, if you're a half-assed vegetarian who eats things of the sea like myself (only not manatees, because they're endangered and also because they called "Sea Cows," and eating a cow isn't cool, even if it does live in the sea), march yourself over to the seafood area and get yourself a lobster. Or, if you are against eating Pinchy, put some sort of an expensive exotic mushroom in your cart. You deserve it for putting up with these people.

On the first night, feed the bird eaters the white meat of the chicken (i.e., the breasts. Make them carve it their own selves, unless you're giving it to a two-year-old. Three is definitely old enough to yield a knife, but two is just plain bad parenting.) and you eat Pinchy or Shroomy or whatever trips your trigger. Make loud, frantic squawking noises every time someone takes a bite of the chicken.

Have someone who ate the bird shred about one and a half cups of dark meat. If they can't get one and a half cups out of the dark meat, adding white meat is fine. Put the shattered remains of the bird in the fridge for the Tomatillo Tortilla Casserole you're going to make tomorrow or the next day.

Tomatillo Tortilla Casserole

(we're going to make a big one here and feed about six people--three veg, three chicken eaters)

Here's what you're going to need:

Corona and limes

20ish 6 inch corn tortillas

1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (This is assuming your casserole is going to be half meat, and half non. Adjust the amount according to the number of chicken eaters you're feeding)

1 bag of frozen corn kernels

1 18-20 oz jar of salsa verde (Target makes a great salsa verde (Archer Farms) but, if you want to make your own like a sucker, here's a pretty good recipe: I recommend roasting the tomatillas.)

2 cups sour cream

A whole mess of shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about a cup and a half, for those of you who like to measure by numbers and not "mess"s)

And here's what you're going to do:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Get out your big ass short order cook Saturday morning pancake griddle and toast the tortillas. (What's that? You don't have a giant griddle? Then heat a couple of skillets on your stove, but this might take you a while. Go ahead and drink a Corona or three while you wait.) We're just looking to make them a little sturdier and perhaps a touch brown--don't over do it.

Layer a 9x13" casserole dish with seven of the toasted tortillas. Feel free to bend them, shape them, anyway you want them, you got the power to turn on the light... (Sorry, I was distracted by the thought of the guy in the white suit's mustache. Focus, Amy, focus!) ...I mean, you can break some of them in half if you need to to make them fit.

Add about half of the chicken to one half of the casserole, then a third of the corn, salsa, sour cream and cheese to the whole thing. Repeat for another layer, then top with the rest of the tortillas, corn, salsa, sour cream and cheese. Be sure to create some sort of line of meat demarcation, such as a kabob stick or a line made out of food coloring or sprinkles. Or, if you don't have kitchen ADD, just remember which side is yours. (If you're using a kabob stick, make sure you've soaked it in water first--otherwise it might light on fire in the oven which would be pretty sweet, but perhaps not what you're going for. Or maybe you are. Your call.)

Put the casserole in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until it's golden brown and bubbling. And voila! That was easy, and now every one's happy, except for the bird (insert pathetic squawk).

The end. (Squaaaaaaaaaawk.)



  1. Sounds tasty! I think I might be a little addicted to salsa verde and anything that uses it. :)

  2. You're too funny! I like your recipe, definitely sounds like a winner. Hope you don't mind but I'd love to direct Foodista readers to your blog. Just add your choice of widget and you're all set!

  3. Tomatillo Tortilla Casserole is exactly what I was looking for because I'll have a party next week and it will be perfect to surprising my friends.m10m


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