I’m feeling a bit… ummm… spicy on this MAN-ic Monday! Yup, definitely spicy, mildly hot even! Ok, not mucho caliente, just a bit past warm. And a Spicy Mexican Enchilada Torte is the perfect solution to my craving for fast, spicy, almost hot food on this definitely cool and breezy MAN-ic Monday.
This is the kind of meal you really want to come home to… the smell of fresh chorizo sausage, smoky ancho chilies and salsa will make you drool while you wait for it to finish baking. Well, it makes ME drool anyways – as I hop from foot to foot and beg it to hurry up and get bubbly hot and golden brown on top!
It’s the second recipe I’m sharing from a handwritten collection I begged off of Maria, my wonderful B&B hostess in Tijuana, Mexico many years ago. It has no name, so I made one up myself…. and I think I nailed it! (that’s what I tell myself anyways)
I have to be truthful here and admit that I was really hesitant to make this casserole type dish when I got back home to Omaha so many years ago. I had tried several of the local Chorizo sausages that were available in our Mexican stores, but they were all quite spicy and way too hot for my tastes. I also wasn’t a big fan of Chipotle peppers and this recipe called for an entire jar of them!
Eventually I got brave and made a couple of small changes to the recipe, then whipped it up and ate it… and LOVED it! My changes you ask?
I made my own Chorizo Sausage so that I could control the amount of heat in it, and I reduced the amount of Chipotles in it. In fact, there are times when I leave them out altogether these days and just add more Ancho Chilies instead.
So if you’re like me, and prefer a spicy dish without too much tongue melting heat, look for a store bought milder Chorizo and substitute some flavorful, less spicy chilies for the Chipotles.
Ohhhhh, I also make my own refried beans, but canned ones work just as well. But if you have a few hours on a Saturday, make your own, you’ll love them and they’re far less expensive. The leftover cooked beans freeze well in small portions that are perfect for quick additions to any Mexican meal!
See that up there? Those are my homemade Refried Beans and a bowl of homemade Chorizo sausage! One pound of dried Pinto Beans will make about 8 cups of cooked beans – so lots of leftovers.
Ok, back to the recipe. Fry up the store bought or homemade Chorizo sausage in a big cast iron skillet (or a non stick one).
If you’re curious and want to try your hand at making homemade Chorizo, it’s pretty danged easy to do and here’s how:
1) Grab 2 pounds of ground pork
2) Whirl several dried Ancho chilies in a food processor with 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp. Cumin, 2 tbsp. Red Chili Powder, 1 tsp. Salt and 1/2 tsp. Oregano till you have a nice paste.
3) Mix the chile paste into the ground pork until it’s all a nice bright red color, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours, or overnight if you have time (I never do!)
If you want your Chorizo a bit spicier, add a few red pepper flakes to the food processor when you make the paste. And that’s it – you made sausage fit for a king… or queen!
Ok, so now that our Chorizo is nearly cooked through it’s time to add some chopped onions to the pan.
Cook the onions and sausage till the onions are translucent and the sausage is completely cooked through.
When the onions are translucent, add the canned, chopped Green Chilies to the pan and stir them in:
Time to move on to layering the Spicy Mexican Enchilada Torte. There are 2 ways to make this – one involves yet more fat and creates firmer tortilla layers and the other works well with less fat, but makes soft tortilla layers in between all the fillings. Choose the one you prefer, or just toss your diet to the wind and go all out for one day.
For this meal, I chose the quick and soft route. If you want the crispier, more authentic version, lightly fry the tortilla’s in a small amount of oil just till they puff up. Drain them on paper towels and then make the layers. You can use the frying method from my Chicken Enchiladas Verde recipe.
So place 2 tortillas in the bottom of a lightly greased round pan. I used a 10″ pie tin.
Add a layer of the Chorizo meat mixture and spread it evenly to cover the tortillas:
These are some of my favorite kitchen helpers. They're Dang Good and I love 'em!
Then top the meat layer with a handful or two of grated cheese. I can’t get decent Queso Blanco, so I substitute Monterey Jack in this recipe… and whine…every… single… time!
Now top that with 2 more tortillas…
Then spread 2 cups of Refried Beans over the top.
And top it with either a jar of Chipotle Peppers (sauce included), or do what I do – save your tongue and use 1 Cup of Salsa instead!
Add 2 more tortilla’s, then top with the remaining Chorizo sausage mixture:
And now add the final 2 tortillas, then spread ALL the remaining cheese over the top of them:
And that’s it! Just pop it into the oven and bake it at 350F for 40 minutes and you have a Spicy Mexican Enchilada Torte that will make you drool for days…
And in case that picture didn’t make you drool enough…here’s another one… grab a bib… you’re gonna need it!
- 8 10" Flour Tortillas (lightly fry these if you prefer a firmer, crisper texture)
- 1 Pound Chorizo Sausage (skins removed if you purchase link sausage)
- 1 Large Yellow Onion
- 2 Cans Chopped Green Chilies
- 2 Cups Refried Beans
- 4 Cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 Cup Salsa or 1 Jar Chipotle Peppers in Sauce
- * Optional - 1 Jar Roasted Red Peppers
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Break up the chorizo sausage and fry in a large non stick or cast iron skillet till nearly cooked through.
- Chop the onion, then add to the chorizo in the pan and continue cooking til the onions are translucent and the chorizo is completely cooked.
- Add the 2 cans of undrained chopped green chilies to the pan and stir well.
- To Assemble the Torte:
- Lightly grease a 10" round baking pan. An aluminum pie tin works well for this.
- Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of the baking pan.
- Add ½ the Chorizo Sausage mixture and spread evenly over the tortillas.
- Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese, distributing it evenly over the meat layer.
- Top with 2 more tortillas, then spread the 2 cups of refried beans evenly over the tortillas.
- Top the beans with either 1 cup of salsa, or 1 jar of Chipotle Peppers.
- * Optional - You can add one jar of Roasted Red Peppers to this layer if you like them.
- Add 2 more tortillas on top of the bean and pepper or salsa layer.
- Top these tortillas with the remaining Chorizo Sausage mixture and spread evenly.
- Add the final 2 tortillas to the top of the meat layer, then spread the remaining shredded cheese over the entire top of the Torte.
- Cover loosely with foil.
- Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking till the cheese is golden brown and the torte is hot.