• January 25, 2015

Warm up this winter

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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:30 am

When it’s cold outside, my body craves comfort food. One of my favorite dishes is Mexican casserole.

Updating a recipe I learned growing up, this dish hits all the highlights I crave when it’s cold: something hot, spicy and full of flavor.

A common dish with many variations, I switched from the ground beef version my mom served to one with shredded chicken, my current protein of choice.

It is also gluten free but so tasty you won’t notice.

If you want a creamier casserole, use a can of cream of chicken soup instead of chicken broth (though this will likely add gluten).

I’ve also made it with shredded pork or ground beef.

Cook this casserole and warm up dinnertime on a cold, winter night.

MEXICAN CASSEROLE

1 cup gluten-free low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup Mexican-style diced tomatoes

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles or jalapeños (depending on how much heat you want)

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon dried sage

¼ teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups lightly crushed corn tortilla chips

2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, green chiles, oregano, cumin, sage, chili powder, garlic powder and salt to form the sauce. Set aside.

Grease a 10-by-14-inch casserole dish with 3-inch sides.

Layer half of the chicken, then half of the sauce, half of the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, and half of the tortilla chips in the dish.

Repeat the layers, ending with a final sprinkling of the cheeses.

Bake until the casserole is hot and bubbly around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes.

Let sit for a few minutes so any moisture in the dish absorbs back into the casserole, then serve hot, garnished with the cilantro.

Makes: 6 servings.

M. Clare Haefner enjoys cooking for family and friends. Contact her at chaefner@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7551.

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