The concept for this recipe came from a dish called “Montezuma Pie” from The Mexican Cook Book by Sunset books, Lane Publishing, 1977. It is an older, out of print cook book by Lane Publishing. I have many Sunset books in my vast collection and have referred back to them like old friends.
I added more vegetables, streamlined the original recipe, lowered the amount of cheese by quite a bit, and added more variability in making the dish.
Photos by Paulette L Motzko, Copyright January 2016, PLM Studios, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Spanish name for this dish is
Pastel deh Montezuma
A pastel is any kind of pie or casserole containing tortillas.
4 cups boned and skinned cooked turkey or chicken, cut into 2-inch pieces
(I had some cook seasoned ground turkey from another recipe I made and used that.)
I used leftovers from my fridge that simply went good together like:
4 cups total of a mixture of cooked meat, chicken or pork, cooked rice, assorted salsas, and roasted vegetables.
Vary it any way you like.
It’s a great way to use up leftovers.
Other great additions are cooked pinto beans and refried beans.
Cooked steamed rice, black bean and corn salsa, Guadajillo salsa, cooked ground turkey and Chili Verde Sauce with a little shredded Monterey Jack and Colby Jack Cheese. I used a fraction of the cheese called for in the original recipe.
One dozen corn tortillas made or purchased cut into one and a half inch pieces
2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded- or use less for fewer calories
For Verde Sauce Tamatillo Sauce
In a blender combine one 14 ounce can of Mexican tomatillos, that have been drained in a colander. Mix that with with 1 small onion, cut into quarters, 1 California green chile with the seeds removed, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
Whirl until blended.
The How-To and Assembly
arrange the meat- cooked chicken, cooked turkey, cooked seasoned pork like ADOBADO style, or seasoned shredded beef, in a lightly greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish or a shallow 3 quart casserole that you spray non stick spray in on the sides and bottom.
Put 6 corn tortillas on the bottom of the 9 x 13 pan, then some of the meat mixture with the black bean and corn salsa, and Guadajillo salsa, then a sprinkling of cheeses.
Repeat the layers, using remaining turkey, Guadajillo or green sauce and 6 more corn tortillas, ending with remaining cheese.
Top with Verde Sauce and a slight sprinkling of cheese and bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Uncover and bake an additional 8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and casserole is hot throughout. Cut into squares to serve.
Makes 8 large servings