Yesterday, Quatro de Mayo, I made this Cinco de Mayo Torte...because it can be made ahead of time to allow for easy entertaining, so you'll be ready when the Mariachis arrive - arrrrriba! So the mister walks in the door last night at his usual time, o'dark-thirty, as he had been with his good friend Vinny, and as the door slams shut (he is simply not capable of closing it gently) I hear him bellow, "Oh great, something to burn my backside!" Although I could be mistaken about his use of the word backside. His highly sensitive nose picked up the wafting aroma of the most amazing and EASY Mexican dish, and immediately it was a call to arms! He stormed into the kitchen and demanded to know, "Why can't a guy just get some boiled chicken and mashed potatoes?!" (His favorite meal...although if I served him cat food that might just move into the number one slot for him.)
This could not be easier...thanks to canned enchilada sauce, refried beans and green chilies and a rotisserie chicken! (My apologies to any Hispanics I may offend by taking shortcuts and saying this is a Mexican dish...I can only utter two words in my defense...stupido Americano! I simply did not have time to make the real deal because I made this chicken, instead of using a rotisserie chicken, which gave the dish more of a kick). Everything you love about Mexican food can be layered between tortillas, with lots of cheese to hold it all together, and then it's baked for an hour during which time some Mexican mojo happens and when it comes out of the oven, piping hot and bubbly, you will swear you hear a Mariachi band! Of course, I couldn't wait until tonight to try this, and it is every bit as good as it smelled...and every bit as good as I'm telling you it is! Five dangs on the ol' meter...this one is dang, dang, dang, dang, dang good!
Cinco de Mayo Torte - Pots and Pins
(This is a very adaptable recipe, feel free to use whatever "Mexican" ingredients you want! If you don't like green chilies, don't use them! If you want to use a mango salsa instead of enchilada sauce, go for it!)
1 rotisserie chicken or Cafe Rio Chicken
4 cups Kraft Mexican Blend Cheese
8 to 10 (10-inch) flour or corn tortillas
4 avocadoes, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 can (15 oz.) refried beans
1 can (15 oz.) red enchilada sauce
1 can (4 oz.) mild diced green chilies
1/2 cup green tomatillo salsa (I purchased a 7 oz. jar)
1 cup Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch cilantro, chopped, large stems removed
Tomatillo salsa and green chilies are used to top the torte, set aside until torte is made.
Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream on the side...Aye Carrumba! There, that's the extent of my Spanglish!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Debone chicken, cut into small, bite-sized pieces, put into a large saucepan and cover with Kraft dressing. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro. Combine chopped avocado, tomatoes and green onion in a bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. In a large baking dish, put about 3 tablespoons of enchilada sauce in the bottom of dish, top with a tortilla. On top of that tortilla, spread the entire can of refried beans (stir beans in can first), sprinkle with a little cheese. Top with 2nd tortilla. Put 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce on tortilla, spread around evenly. Top with half of shredded chicken, including a few spoonfuls of the sauce it was cooked in, and a sprinkle of cheese. Top with 3rd tortilla. Put 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce on tortilla, top with half of the avocado/tomatoes/green onion mixture and a sprinkle of cheese. Continue in this manner, using up all of the ingredients, as you layer the torte up in the dish. Finish torte by covering top with tomatilla salsa, green chilies and the last of the cheese. (You can also spoon on any left over enchilada sauce and the sauce the chicken was cooked in.) Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour, covering with foil after 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing into wedges. Serves 8. If making a day ahead, reheat in oven, covered with foil, at 350 degrees until heated through, about 25 minutes.