Best Recipe: Smoky Enchilada Casserole

Cook’s notes: This casserole is an expanded version of Sweet Potato Enchilada Pie. The fire-roasted tomatoes tone down the spice in the enchilada sauce. All of the ingredients came from Trader Joe’s. The hand-tossed tortillas are wonderful in this dish. The smoked cheese mixture is a blend of smoked cheddar, gouda, provolone, and mozzarella. Altogether, this casserole has a mellow flavor that’s just the thing on a rainy fall day. Leftovers are even better the next day.

Smoked cheese blends wonderfully with the sweet potato filling

Yield: Makes 12 generous servings (3 quarts of filling!); ready in about 40 minutes total

12 oz bag sweet potato spears, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (such as Trader Joe’s brand)
1 Tbsp water
1.3 pounds ground turkey (20-oz package or so)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
5 oz chopped crimini mushrooms (half of a 10-oz bag)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (such as Muir Glen brand)
1 bottle (12 oz) enchilada sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
9 flour tortillas without lard (8 inches); we like the “truly handmade” ones
Up to 2 cups (8 oz) shredded smoked cheese blend (such as Trader Joe’s brand)

Heat the oven to 400F. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine sweet potato cubes and water. Cover and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until potato cubes are tender.

Meanwhile, coat a large skillet lightly with cooking spray. Cook the turkey, onion, and mushroom over medium heat, stirring often to keep the meat loose. Cook until vegetables soften and meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the sweet potatoe, beans, crushed tomatoes with their juice, enchilada sauce, oregano, and cumin; make sure all ingredients are well-combined and heat through.

Coat a rectangular 3-quart dish with cooking spray. Place two flour tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan; tear up a third tortilla to fill in the gaps. Layer with a third of the turkey mixture and a third of the cheese (sprinkle a large handful of shreds evenly over the layer). Repeat layers twice. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

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