Leftovers can be the best gift a cook can give herself and never moreso after a big holiday meal. With that in mind, we threw a few extra turkey thighs in the pot on Sunday so we'd take care of a few more meals through the week. Here's number 1.
I don't know about you but when I use the word casserole, I think of something quick and easy to make. Unfortunately this version of Mexican style lasagne doesn't quite fit into the "quick" category but believe me when I say it's worth every second of the time it takes to get it on the table.
Step one is the sauce. While you could forgo this by simply opening a can of prepared enchilada sauce, this sauce isn't difficult to make and definitely worth it in the flavor department. Simply mild California dry chiles mixed with a couple of dried Ancho chiles, six cloves of garlic, oregano and water, the pot of red simmers for a half hour until the chiles are softened and the garlic cooked, then steeps for another half hour before it gets hit with an immersion blender. A little golden roux, brown sugar, salt and a bit more time on the burner and the sauce is done - rich, red and absolutely delicious.
The enchilada filling includes onion, garlic and cumin, as well as pumpkin or butternut squash, simmered until just cooked then joined by a few cups of leftover turkey. Layered between warmed corn tortillas, the fabulous deep red rich chile sauce and shredded monteray jack cheese, the casserole hits the oven (finally) and 30 minutes later comes out looking beautiful and smelling glorious.
We loved it, in fact oddly enough I was the one who kept asking if it couldn't have used more spicey heat but honestly it's perfect just the way it is. We garnished our servings with sour cream and some purchased salsa but head on over to Fine Cooking for the recipe and see how they did it. I changed not one thing to the casserole and I'd make it exactly the same again in a heartbeat.
Next time I might just double the recipe and make 1 for the freezer and 1 for dinner. As for the sauce, we'll be canning quarts of it and calling it Ruby Red Chile Gold! Just sayin'.
A year ago - Pumpkin PIe Creme Brulee
Two year's ago - Cider Brined Pork Chops with Apples and Creamed Leeks