A layered casserole or “strata” is a convenient make-ahead dish because it can be covered and refrigerated several hours or up to overnight until you’re ready to bake it. (It also can be baked immediately after assembly.) This one would fit right in at brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Chipotles add a distinctive edge to the dish; they are dried, smoked jalapeno peppers and they are "muy, muy piquante." They come in small cans and can be found in the latino foods section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find the pureed chipotles, get whole ones and chop them very finely. Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen; add small amounts to chili, bean soups, scrambled eggs, or any dish that you’d like to kick up a notch.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cooked ground meat, green onions, salsa and chipotle puree in a bowl. Combine half & half, sour cream, eggs, cumin, salt, and pepper in a second bowl; whisk until smooth.
Place 3 of the tortillas in the bottom of a round, 8-inch soufflé dish (or similarly sized deep baking dish), overlapping them to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread a third of the meat mixture over tortillas. Pour a third of the egg mixture over meat. Distribute a third of the grated cheese over this. Repeat these layers two more times. Bake uncovered until liquid is barely set, 65-70 minutes.
Add any of the following to this dish (or replace the meat with them): cooked black or pinto beans, roasted corn, chopped sweet peppers, sliced olives, or chopped tomatoes. Substitute Organic Valley Mild Cheddar or other cheeses for the Raw Sharp Cheddar.
Copyright by Terese Allen