First thing I need to say is that I did not make up the name of this dish, lol! It’s a authentic name for a style of enchilada that is quite popular in Mexico. And to think, that all this time, I thought layered enchiladas in a casserole style were originally from Texas! Lol! I love Texas! For many reasons. #familia The one thing you would notice if you were served this dish in Mexico is the beautiful way that it is presented to you. Typically in a decorative and ornate cazuela de barro(mexican pottery). Some of the most common ingredients found in the pastel de azteca would be roasted poblanos, corn, onions, chicken and pork together. The sauces vary from a popular red chile sauce to salsa verde. For today’s blog post, I needed a meatless variation. But you could easily add in some shredded(cooked) chicken, beef or pork. Or for you seafood lovers some grilled shrimp would be delicious! And an easy and tasty sauce is the white jocoque style sauce prepared with sour cream (or mexican crema) and buttermilk. No cooking required, just a quick blend and it’s ready to go. I am sure that these days if you enjoyed this recipe with a family in Mexico, things are so modern that it would look more like that southern style casserole we all know and love.
Pastel Azteca~Layered Enchiladas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large poblano, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, red fresno or serrano, minced
2 ears of fresh corn
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
For Salsa de Mesa
3 roma tomato, sliced in half or quartered
1/4 sweet onion
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 to 2 serrano peppers or red fresno, roughly chopped
Pinch of oregano
salt to taste
*You could add some lime to the salsa, but I did not this time
For White Sour Cream Sauce (Jocoque)
2 cups sour cream
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup cotija or queso fresco cheese, crumbled ( I added some extra jack cheese to the sauce as well, about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
You will also need
16 corn tortillas
More olive oil
2 cups Oaxaca, Chihuahua or Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
1. To a skillet add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium. Add the poblano, bell pepper, onion, garlic and chile pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 -8 minutes. Add the corn, oregano, paprika and a little more salt and pepper (just a pinch). Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your salsa de mesa. You can cook them on the stove top or pop all of the ingredients in the microwave. Add to a glass bowl, cover with paper towel and microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the blender, add oregano, lime (if using) and salt to taste. Blend until smooth, pour into a bowl and rinse out the blender jar.
3. For the sour cream enchilada sauce, you will add all of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Taste for salt, set aside. Brush the corn tortillas on both sides with olive oil. Preheat a nonstick pan to medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Cook the corn tortillas for 45 to 50 seconds per side or until they start to get crisp in spots. you want them to still be pliable. Stack and set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a deep oven safe skillet(4 quart) or pie pan build your pastel azteca. Start with a layer of white sauce, just enough to cover the bottom of pan. Don’t be skimpy, lol! Add a layer of tortillas, they should overlap slightly. Then add a layer of white sauce, sauteed vegetable mixture, cheese, salsa de mesa and end with more white sauce. Repeat the layers until you end up with a light layer of white sauce, vegetables, cheese and salsa on top. Top with a little more crushed oregano. Don’t go too heavy on the layers in between or you will run out of ingredients. Cover with foil paper and bake for 30 minutes. remove foil and cook under broiler just to brown the cheese a little. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Yields 6-8 servings
*Serve with extra salsa and crema(sour cream)
Tips~Prep ahead! I cannot stress that enough.
Tips~ This is a popular medley to add to this recipe, but you can use any of you favorite vegetables. Just make sure they are not too chunky when you build your layers.
Tips~ It’s easy enough to combine all of the ingredients for the salsa in a glass bowl, cover with a paper towel amd cook in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes.
Tips~ Any salsa would be delicious for this recipe
Tips~ This sour cream and buttermilk sauce is a jocoque style of enchilada sauce and is popular in Mexico.
Tips~ If you cannot find Oaxaca cheese, a string cheese would work well!
Tips~ Take the extra time and crisp the corn tortillas before you layer the enchiladas. It will prevent the tortillas from getting too soggy.
Tips~ If you have time, roast your peppers before you even saute the mixture. The flavors are much more pronounced!
Tips~ I should have added way more cheese! LOl!
Tips~ An oven proof deep skillet works well for this recipe. Or if you have a deep dish pie pan, that works too.
Wish I could have showed you the layers of yum after it baked, but I dropped the dish off at a pot luck lunch…It was gone too fast, ha ha!