Blue Lifestyle

Home of James Beard Foundation Award winner Anthony Dias Blue, one of the most influential food, wine, spirits, and lifestyle personalities in the United States.

Turkey Tortilla Casserole

If you find yourself with a lot of turkey left over from the big day—and typically, who doesn’t?—then take a more southwestern spin on your bird and whip up a Turkey Tortilla Casserole. Among a stellar group of leftover creations, this dish is the champion. At least it always has been with the little ones around our table. The first time we tested this recipes, we left it in the kitchen for about 10 minutes and returned to find Jessica, our very fussy 15 year old, camped over the casserole. Half of it had been eaten already! Moral of the story: make this dish with precaution. It’ll probably be gone before you know it. Credit for this Turkey Tortilla Casserole must be given to the lovely Barbara Goldie, one of San Francisco’s most charming hostesses.

To make, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix 3 cups of ½ inch diced cooked white turkey meat, 1 quart tamale sauce, ½ cup sliced pitted black olives, ¾ cups chunky-style tomato sauce, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 ½ cups of either blanched fresh corn or defrosted frozen corn, 1 diced and sautéed red bell pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Now I know that may sound like a lot of things, but most of these ingredients and spices you’ll already have in your house in the wake of the holidays.

Now after you’ve mixed all these ingredients together in a bowl, pour into a 15 by 10 inch Pyrex baking dish. Stud the casserole with tortilla chips. I like the thick and crisp triangular corn chips that are actually made from cut tortillas, not the orange extruded ones made by the big commercial companies. Now bake the casserole in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, sprinkle the top of the casserole with ½ cup grated Jalisco or Monterey Jack cheese, and return to the oven until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

© Blue Lifestyle 2014