Mary Carter - Enchilada Pie

I made enchilada pie this weekend--an enormous batch so that we could save some in the freezer for unexpected guests. It's so easy: just make a huge batch of tomato sauce using cumin, coriander, oregano and powdered ancho chilis. Use a bit of onion done up in olive oil in the sauce, too. Or, yes, for goodness sakes, use a bottled tomato sauce.

Grease a large flat casserole. Sauce the bottom of it with a couple of scoops of your sauce. Toss in handfuls of tortilla strips--use the real heavy, tough ones for best results. A ladle or two of the sauce, then pile on canned refried beans, strips of jalepeno or other chilis, mounds of grated jack and cheddar cheese and thump random spoons full of cream cheese onto all this. Then make another layer of same, starting with more chips, which you can break and push down into the casserole with the palms of your hands. Layer on more stuff. Don't be skimpy with the beans! Throw on the cheese with impunity.

Check your cupboards--Ortega canned chilis, great! Black beans, fine! Fresh tomato slices, bell pepper slices, you name it. Then finish your concoction by ladling on the remaining tomato sauce. Top all with plenty of grated cheese. Cook in the oven about 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Make yourself a ton. Eat a lot. Freeze the rest, if there is any. Nummy!

Mary E. Carter, themook@well.com


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