How to make a slow cooker enchilada casserole, South Texas-style

Instant Pots might be all the rage right now, but slow cookers are still king in many Texas kitchens.

South Texas blogger Vianney Rodriguez has compiled a new book called “The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker: 100 Delicious Recipes for Easy Everyday Meals” (Countryman Press, $24.95) to share dozens of her favorite slow cooker dishes, as well as companion sauces, cocktails and salads to serve on the side.

 

This enchilada casserole can be made with green or red enchilada sauce. It cooks in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours. Contributed by Vianney Rodriguez.

We’re talking chilaquiles and elote shrimp dip, dulce de leche chocolate cake and a pecan old fashioned, mole and capirotada.

With each recipe, Rodriguez, whose first book was “Latin Twist,”a compilation of more than 100 cocktail recipes, gives a glimpse into her own kitchen, including these green enchiladas. The book includes recipes for her homemade green and red enchilada sauces, too, but store-bought is just fine, especially on a busy weeknight.

Enchilada Casserole

Mi mami started making enchilada casseroles as her familia grew and grew, and she tired of hand-rolling all those enchiladas individually. I can’t say I blame her — we’re a big crowd. This enchilada casserole can be made with either green or red enchilada sauce, and feel free to swap out the shredded chicken for beef or pork. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken.

1/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying
15 to 20 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups red enchilada or enchilada verde sauce (homemade or store-bought)
4 cups shredded chicken (see recipe below)
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
1 cup diced onion

Warm the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, lightly fry each tortilla on both sides for about 1 minute each side; they should still be pliable when done. Transfer each from the pan to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Continue until all the tortillas have been fried and then remove from the heat.

Liberally spray a slow-cooker liner with cooking spray. Place a fourth of the tortillas in a layer on the bottom of the slow cooker and then cover it with a fourth of the sauce. Add a fourth of the Shredded Chicken and sprinkle a fourth of the cheese and the onions over the chicken. Repeat until all of the ingredients have been used. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve warm. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Shredded Chicken

Shredded chicken is an essential base ingredient for many of the recipes in this cookbook. This recipe is an easy way to make it at home and bypass those boring frozen or deli rotisserie chickens. Use this chicken to make tostadas, tacos, flautas, tortas, enchiladas or pozole.

4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and tied together with kitchen twine
Water to cover

Place the chicken in a slow cooker and sprinkle it with the salt and black pepper. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and cilantro, and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender.

Shred the chicken with forks. Use in your choice of recipes or freeze for later use.

— From “The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker: 100 Delicious Recipes for Easy Everyday Meals” by Vianney Rodriguez (Countryman Press, $24.95)


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