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Darienne

Mexican Casseroles

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Pati Jinich of the Mexican Table wrote this article on Mexican casseroles. Three recipes were provided, one based on rice, another on chicken and corn tortillas, and the third on any kind or mixture of meats with a thick masa double crust. I just made the third one from cooked chicken, adding corn, rajas, black beans and cheese (hardly anything at all :raz: ) to the ingredient list. Basically the ingredients as called for are a sort of picadillo encased in masa.

Casseroles are not a "Mexican" thing I guess. What's your take on this notion? Do you have any Mexican "casseroles" which you bring out regularly?


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Rick Bayless has a few recipes that in my mind qualify as casseroles, such as his version of tamale pie.

When I lived in NEW Mexico there were endless variations of casseroles built around masa, tortillas, beans, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, tomatillos, green chiles, zukes, potatoes, cornbreads. Some were more like souffles or custards or standard brunch backups and some were more like architectural constructions built with layers of various ingredients. Every B & B in New Mexico will serve something like that for breakfast, especially if it can be constructed the night before. I used to make a tomato zucchini rice cheese green chile baked affair that was comforting in the extreme. A casserole, definitely. Maybe not Mexican, but using the most commonly found ingredients in the southwest and south of the border.

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My Mexican friends, who used to live next door, make a lot of dishes I would consider to be "casseroles" - take enchiladas, for instance.

If you click on this link, and scroll half-way down the page you will see a title for Easy Mexican Casseroles.

There is a list of various dishes that are like casseroles but are not identified as such in the language.

My friend makes a sort of layered casserole in one of the huge cazuelas, starting the cooking on top of the stove with onions, meat and/or chicken and a basic sauce, to brown the onions and meat, then adding potatoes and various other vegetables, tortillas torn into pieces, slices of cured or pre-cooked meats, cheeses and whole chiles and then pours a meaty broth over the whole thing and puts it in the oven for an hour or so.

Sometimes she omits the potatoes and adds rice instead. The way she makes it this serves about 25 people.

She doesn't have a name for it but agrees that it is essentially a "casserole" as one is defined.

She also makes a dish that starts with burritos that are layered with a sauce, either green or red, and "fresh cheese" and then topped with whole chiles and grated cheese then baked in the oven. I would consider this a casserole.

In any event, the web site I linked to should provide you with plenty of ideas.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I make no claims to the authenticity of either of these -- likely little to any -- but I make an "enchilida pie" when I'm too freaking lazy to roll the enchiladas and make sides. It involves layering flour tortillas, meat of some sort, black beans, whole-kernel corn, enchilada sauce and cheese, and repeating until I run out of dish room. Kids love it.

The other is taking essentially the same ingredients along with a masa/cornmeal batter; the Dutch oven gets well greased, masa goes in the bottom, other stuff in the middle, and a thinned masa batter mixed with cheese on top, and it's baked. Kids love that one, too.


Don't ask. Eat it.

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Pati Jinich of the Mexican Table wrote this article on Mexican casseroles. Three recipes were provided, one based on rice, another on chicken and corn tortillas, and the third on any kind or mixture of meats with a thick masa double crust. I just made the third one from cooked chicken, adding corn, rajas, black beans and cheese (hardly anything at all :raz: ) to the ingredient list. Basically the ingredients as called for are a sort of picadillo encased in masa.

Casseroles are not a "Mexican" thing I guess. What's your take on this notion? Do you have any Mexican "casseroles" which you bring out regularly?

That was a pretty good article. Upon seeing the title of the thread, I came here prepared to tell you to look for Mexican casserole recipes online by googling "cazuela de..." because Mexicans often bake things in their fabulous cazuelas. But sure enough, the author of the piece says basically the same thing in her first sentence.

I've never been in a Mexican home kitchen that didn't have an oven, so they're clearly baking things in them. I can't directly recall any dishes served to me in Mexico by a Mexican home cook that are reminiscent of the "can of cream of fill-in-the-blank soup" sorts of casseroles that we see in the US, but I sure have been served things that I, personally would consider to be casseroles. Some of these "cazuelas" might have originated as a dish made stovetop, but are now baked in an oven, primarily for convenience. A fabulous Arroz con Pollo comes immediately to mind. And most Mexican cooks have several recipes for baked chilaquiles.

I do, however, have a LOT of southwestern US/border casserole recipes, which I do "bring out regularly."

Including that Tex/Mex staple: King Ranch Chicken.

Although the "classic" recipe definitely calls for "Cream of" soups, I'd wager that there's not a single Texas mom that doesn't make this, and not a single Texan that doesn't consider King Ranch Chicken to be the ultimate comfort food memory from his/her childhood.

So here's my recipe: King Ranch Chicken

I sure won't claim it's "authentic" Mexican, and you probably wouldn't believe me anyway if I did. But I won't apologize for it, either. When you're in the mood for King Ranch Chicken, nothing else will do.

Oh, and PS. A while back, someone (I think maybe here on eG) said that they made it but it didn't have much flavor. Definitely wasn't spicy enough. Turned out she couldn't find Ro-Tel Tomatoes in her store, so she just subbed a can of regular stewed tomatoes.

Bless her heart.

Do not do that again, Darlin'.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Oh, and PS. A while back, someone (I think maybe here on eG) said that they made it but it didn't have much flavor. Definitely wasn't spicy enough. Turned out she couldn't find Ro-Tel Tomatoes in her store, so she just subbed a can of regular stewed tomatoes.

Bless her heart.

Do not do that again, Darlin'.

You'll be so proud of me. I brought home a case of Ro-Tel Tomatoes from Utah. I'll try your recipe. Thanks. :wub:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Andie, Thanks for the list of casserole dishes. Interestingly enough, only one of them turned out to be made from pork. Curious.

I recall a local Mexican restaurant not having any pork dishes on the menu. I asked the cook/owner and he said that Canadians simply won't order pork. Also, the availability of pork in Utah far surpassed anything I've seen in my region.

Just something I am curious about.

Will no doubt try some of the recipes. We have this huge gang every August for the Annual Dog Weekend and I am hoping to cut down on the work this year. Casseroles would help greatly.

ps. The Jinich casserole tonight was a great hit with DH and the guests. With Margarita pie for dessert. All the major delicious ingredients. :wub:


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Andie, Thanks for the list of casserole dishes. Interestingly enough, only one of them turned out to be made from pork. Curious.

I recall a local Mexican restaurant not having any pork dishes on the menu. I asked the cook/owner and he said that Canadians simply won't order pork. Also, the availability of pork in Utah far surpassed anything I've seen in my region.

Just something I am curious about.

Will no doubt try some of the recipes. We have this huge gang every August for the Annual Dog Weekend and I am hoping to cut down on the work this year. Casseroles would help greatly.

ps. The Jinich casserole tonight was a great hit with DH and the guests. With Margarita pie for dessert. All the major delicious ingredients. :wub:

Your evening sounds terrific!

Interesting about the pork. I have to say that although I've never done any sort of actual investigation, my impression is that pork is much more common throughout Mexico than beef. The large states in northern Mexico do produce cattle, but that takes a lot of land. My guess is that farther south, more folks are raising hogs, which require less space. And chickens, of course, which take up very little.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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On Casseroles in Mexico... according to an online definition a casserole has the following components:

> Indirect Heat

> Clay, Glass or other non-browning vessel

> Protein & Starch + Liquid

> 1 Pot Meal

Included in the definition of Casserole are Cassoulet, Tagine,Ragouts etc.,

Under that definition then yes Mexican cuisine has a vast repertoire of Casseroles... a tradition that goes back thousands of years to Pre-Hispanic cultures. For example, THE main dish of Hanal Pixan (Yucatec Day of the Dead) is Mucbil.. a layer of masa goes down in a clay pot, then on top of that poultry rubbed with an achiote paste, on top of that another layer of masa and then it goes into the Pib to bake. Every indigenous community (villages with indigenous names & coat of arms where the majority of residents speak an native language as their primary or villages that are only a few generations removed from primarily speaking native languages).... has some regional version of that dish... a regional protein mixed with seasonal vegetables, the local seasoning paste... a layer of masa to seal the pot and in the underground pit it goes.

In terms of urban & mestizo Mexican cooking.. there are a proliferation of Casserole dishes typically referred to as a Budin, Cazuela or Cazuelita & Pastel. For examples you can search for Budin Azteca


Edited by EatNopales (log)

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On the protein preferences in Mexico....

Mexicans eat more Chicken than any other protein

Mexicans prefer raising Pork over Beef for the Lard... and in general it is a better protein for using small amounts of flavorful meat & fat to season a largely vegetarian dish

Mexicans see Beef, Pork, Chicken & Lamb as workhorse proteins...

Mexicans generally view Seafood as THE celebratory protein (but Beef has gotten a lot more popular as a celebratory protein since NAFTA as cheap U.S. & Canadian beef has allowed people to afford more steaks, chops & roasts)

Indigenous Mexicans still see the iconic native proteins as THE celebratory proteins (local varieties of Turkey, Venison, Duck, Pheasant, Quail etc.,)


Edited by EatNopales (log)

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On Casseroles in Mexico... according to an online definition a casserole has the following components:

On the protein preferences in Mexico....

I realize everybody has different interests, levels of experience, subjects of inquiry, desire for increased knowledge, etc.

But I just have to say that, for me anyway, these posts are two of the most interesting and informative of any I've read on eG.

So, thanks!

I think, in honor of you, I'm gonna go eat some nopales.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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