Having just moved to Ohio, I have very few friends in the area. I was pumped when this wonderful, charming girl (who I kinda know) wanted to hang out. Friend date! I offered to cook for her. She said she liked Mexican food and cheese and she tries to steer clear of gluten. I love having parameters to work within, it narrows things down and makes things easier.
Side note: sometimes I think of foods just because they sound funny. I’ll be on a road trip and my mind won’t shut off and I end up thinking of things like, Bread & Butterfinger or the Meat Menagerie. Seldom is it actually a good idea.
One of these monstrosities, the Enchilasagna stuck in my head. I really wanted to give it a fair go. Seeing as I’d be making it with corn tortillas anyway; this cheesy, Mexicany, gluten-free friend date seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I whipped it up. It was bangin’. I’ll definitely be making it again. The only note I had when tasting was, make sure not to skimp on the enchilada sauce.
Oh, and the friend date went well too. Erica is fucking awesome.
1 lb ground chicken (turkey or beef work as well)
1 packet taco seasoning + ¼ cup water
2 cups ricotta cheese
a handful of cilantro, chopped
1 large can enchilada sauce
12-16 corn tortillas
2 cups white cheddar, shredded
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray an 8×8” baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown meat. Break apart with a spatula as it cooks.
When meat is done cooking, drain grease off into something that isn’t your sink.
Turn heat down to low and stir in ¼ cup water and taco seasoning. Continue stirring and cooking for five minutes. Set meat aside.
In a bowl, combine ricotta and chopped cilantro. Set aside.
Warm a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add a generous amount of oil to the skillet (around ¼ cup). Cut the corn tortillas in half. Begin frying your tortillas, about 30-45 seconds per side. You want them crispy but still pliable.
Begin building the enchilasagna. Spread a small amount of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and then layer 6-8 tortilla halves (depending on the size) on top of the sauce. Spread ½ cup ricotta cheese mixture, followed by ¼ of the seasoned meat and a generous drizzle of the enchilada sauce. Repeat. You can generally fit four layers into the pan.
Top with buttloads of white cheddar. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover. Bake for 20 minutes.*
Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes, cut and serve. I served this with a quick spinach salad that had corn, black beans, tomatoes and cilantro. You’ll probably want something light to go with it, it’s a pretty hefty meal.
*If it’s close to the top, place a cookie sheet on the rack below it to catch anything that might bubble over.