I would make this dish again just for the charred tomato salsa. We have been eating light since the first of the month, but every once in a while I get a desire for Mexican food. Most of my recipes for Mexican dishes are heavy on the cheese and sour cream. My good friend Maxine has been passing on her Cooking Light magazines to me and I found this recipe for a lightened up Mexican casserole. It add lots of vegetables, a homemade tomato salsa, chicken instead of beef and less of the cheese and corn tortillas.
I did make some changes to the recipe. I had two turkey thighs that I simmered in some water and taco seasonings instead of the chicken breasts. If you were pressed for time you could even substitute a rotisserie chicken. The recipe also calls for 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese which is not one of my favorites so I eliminated that and added a little more of the Monterey Jack. I used black beans instead of corn only because I had no corn in the freezer like I had assumed.
The charred tomato salsa uses plum tomatoes which are easy to find this time of year, a jalepeno pepper, onion and garlic. It is easy to assemble and would be good on it’s own with tortilla chips. For the original recipe you can go to the Cooking Light website. Here is my version.
MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE WITH CHARRED TOMATO SALSA
8 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 seeded jalapeno pepper, quartered
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh or frozen corn ( I used black beans)
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 cups shredded cooked chicken ( I used turkey thighs )
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
I halved this recipe successfully.
Preheat broiler. To prepare salsa, combine 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, and pepper. Process again.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. To prepare casserole, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, zucchini, and bell pepper; saute 6 minutes or until tender. Add black beans and chicken and next five ingredients; saute 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.
Spread 1/2 cup salsa ove the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of tortillas over salsa. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with 3/4 cup salsa. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers, starting with remaining tortillas, and ending with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield; 8 servings.