For The Dead Man’s Treasure, I put together a recipe booklet of foods mentioned in the book, including this delightful breakfast classic. (See also my posts Red or Green: The New Mexico Chile and Homemade Green Chile Sauce.)
The following recipe is not exactly traditional, but it’s my quicker and healthier version of an enchilada casserole. The directions are a little informal, as I usually cook by the “make it up as you go along” method.
Several handfuls of tortilla chips
One large onion
1 tablespoon oil for cooking
3 cups chopped cooked chicken1 can (~10 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 can or jar (12-15 oz) of enchilada sauce (red or green)
1-2 cans (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped green chile to taste
Optional: additional vegetables, such as shredded or chopped broccoli/carrots/squash, steamed spinach
1-2 cups shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican blend cheese
- Spray oil a 9 x 13 casserole dish or rub lightly with oil.
- Scatter broken tortilla chips in the bottom of the dish. (This is a great way to use the broken chips at the bottom of the bag. It doesn’t really matter what size they are.)
- Chop a large onion and sauté in oil.
- Add about 3 cups of chopped cooked chicken (from a rotisserie chicken, leftover cooked chicken, or frozen chicken tenders that you cook in advance)..
- Add cream of chicken soup, enchilada sauce, and pinto beans. Mix well.
- Pour the chicken and sauce mixture over the tortilla chips. Cover with another layer of broken tortilla chips.
- Top with a layer of shredded cheddar, Jack, or Mexican cheese.
- Bake at 350° for about 45 min.
This is one of my standards, because it only takes about half an hour to put together, and it makes enough leftovers for lunches. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it! You can also vary it by using black beans or ground beef, by skipping the meat and adding vegetables, or by adding extra red chili powder or chopped green chile if you like it spicy.
Trisha pulled the pan from the oven and peeled off the foil cover. “It looks like some kind of enchilada casserole.” She leaned over and sniffed deeply. “Mmm, smells good.”
Jenny’s stomach grumbled at the heavenly scent of baked cheese and smoky green chile. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was getting. She set the table and they dug into the steamy, gooey dish.
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.
Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog