As much as I like to fancy myself a highfalutin foodie, the sad reality is cooking for kids has knocked me down off my high horse many years ago. A nice example of how my children have humbled me: decent casseroles and crockpot dishes excite me as much as truffle oil. More so, in fact.
Years ago my friend Bonnie shared a recipe which won a contest in the Sunday Parade Magazine (that’s a division of Food & Wine, no?), and its many incarnations have been a hit with the family ever since. I rarely make this the same way twice, but this is a very forgiving recipe which allows much room for improvisation and substitutions. Leftovers are always rare.
1 pound of chicken, poached and shredded
2 cups restaurant style tortilla chips, crushed
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed well and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 can of corn, drained
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 red or green pepper cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove of garlic, minced
12 – 16 oz. grated cheddar
Diced tomatoes to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 13 x 9 inch baking dish and line with crushed tortilla chips. Combine everything but the cheese in a large bowl and mix well. Place half the mixture atop the tortilla chips, and sprinkle half the cheese over the mixture. Cover with the remaining half of the chicken-bean mixture, and then top with remainder of cheese. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.