Sunny's Enchilada Casserole

In the October 2013 issue of the Food Network Magazine, there was a delicious looking dish by Sunny Anderson, an enchilada casserole.  After reading through the recipe I was not so keen on a ground beef and chicken enchilada, so I tried just chicken and it was good.

I went easy on the enchilada sauce to make sure I got a mild enough type for HH (success!!), so they were a bit drier then I would have liked.  The enchiladas were good, especially with sour cream and salsa on top, next time I’ll add more sauce.

Try them, see what you think.

“Una De Cada” Enchilada Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson for Food Network Magazine

(Una de cada means one of each, this should help when layering this casserole.)



For the enchilada sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp or finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup beef broth


For the beef layer:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or finely minced
  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 packet (about 1/4 teaspoon) Sazon seasoning
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the chicken layer:


For the casserole:



Make the enchilada sauce: In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the oil, onion, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high and add the tomato paste; stir with a wooden spoon and cook until it deepens in color, 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and thyme. Cook, stirring, until combined and fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the crushed tomatoes and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Cover and keep warm over low heat.


Cook the beef: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large straight-sided pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and green and red bell peppers. Sprinkle with a nice pinch of salt and cook until the onion and peppers are tender but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. In this order, add the beef, onion powder, cumin, thyme, Sazon, tomatoes and broth, allowing time between each addition to stir and blend. Cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring to break down the beef into bits. When the beef is cooked through, taste and season with a pinch of salt and a grind or two of pepper. (Sazon adds salt, so be careful not to over-season.) Set aside.


Prepare the chicken layer: In a large bowl, toss together the shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Set aside.


Assemble and bake the casserole: Use the butter to coat the bottom and sides of a deep 13-by-9-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, toss the shredded cheeses together. Pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce into the prepared dish. One at a time, dunk the tortilla slices in the still-warm enchilada sauce in the pot and layer them on the bottom of the dish using the straight edges to line the sides, overlapping where needed and covering the entire bottom of the dish. Next, add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese blend, all of the beef, another 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese blend, a new layer of tortillas dunked in the enchilada sauce, all of the chicken and a final layer of tortillas dunked in the enchilada sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce over all of the layers and top with the remaining shredded cheese blend. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce bubbles, about 30 minutes. Let it rest a bit before you slice it, just like lasagna.



Diner Features

Here’s what’s been cooking at the Diner recently:


Asian cold noodles (served hot) with chicken - a Holly’s Diner take on a Food Network Magazine feature.


Pizza – I’ve done pizza before at the Diner.  Homemade dough didn’t have enough elasticity.  Restaurant dough in a deep dish style was too chewy for HH.  This was store bought dough (who knew!) on a pizza stone and it was just right!  HH liked it!


Pigs (Squared) in a Blanket – This was a childhood favorite, although the idea was sparked by My DiAnne’s (that's her name at the Diner) menu planning for her grandniece, Sydney.  This is Pigs (Squared) due to the hot dog AND bacon, but Holly’s Diner style the dogs are turkey so things are not so bad for you.  HH added mustard, I had them plain since the dogs, bacon, and cheese were enough.  Yummy!!


2013 Tomato Season Comes to an End

It has been about three (3) weeks, but it had to happen – Tomato Season has come to an end.

We were down to cherry tomatoes so what better way to enjoy the last of the fresh tomatoes than with HH’s homemade tacos.

Thank you HH.  Although I am looking to homemade tacos again soon, it will be next season before they are served with fresh, homegrown tomatoes.  In the meantime, my taste buds water just looking at this photo!


Cookie Therapy

Cookie therapy, need I say more?

And it makes for a very happy HH!


Fire In My Belly Part 2

Last month I introduced you to my new favorite cookbook Fire In My Belly. 


Now that cooking season has begun again (that means the weather outside is cooler so it’s comfortable to turn the oven back on!), I have a picture of HH’s favorite the Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Apples.  I included the recipe in the September 7, 2013 post, now here’s a photo of this deliciousness.


Also, tomatoes ripened in the garden at inconvenient times this past summer so HH and I gave some away and others I stuck in the freezer.  When the time was right (and the weather cooled) I followed the tomato roasting recipe in Fire In My Belly.  I’ll have to let you know how the tomatoes taste once I make Art’s Special Sauce with them during the holidays.  This is very easy - quarter and clean tomatoes.  Place a sliced onion and minced garlic with salt/pepper in a thin layer in a roasting pan.  Place the tomatoes on top of onions/garlic in a single layer.  Roast at 500 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, move the tomatoes around, roast for another 15 - 20 minutes, move the tomatoes around again, roast for last 15 - 20 minutes.  Let cool, put in food mill (I used a food processer.)  Yummy!