Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dinner & Movie: Tex Mex Taco Stack

Guys, I’m hardcore daydreaming about Texas right now. I’ve never been (except for some airport layovers, and some Friday Night Lights fantasies), and Austin is for sure on my bucket list. SXSW is just starting, and the press for it makes me crave sunshine, margaritas, and tacos. Seriously, how can you look at this and not be tempted to jump on a plane right this minute!? If you decide to stay put, you can satisfy your cravings with a grindhouse flick and a big plateful of Tex Mex food. (If you’re squeamish, you may want to fill up just before the movie starts).

It's dinner & a movie: Tex Mex Style!

The Movie: Death Proof
My name is Amber and I’m addicted… to Quentin Tarantino films. I love his movies, and Death Proof has to be one of my favorites. If you’re not a Tarantino fan, I still encourage you to watch this movie. I LOVE the way it’s shot, all grainy and gritty, and the soundtrack—out of this world. And the way he builds the characters and focuses on random insignificant details, I’m obsessed. It starts out in Austin, with a group of 20-something gals out for a night on the town, then some crazy stuff happens, and it ends in Tennessee. The scenery—from Texas to Tennessee—makes me long for nothing more than a sunny day and a pair of cowboy boots. Also, did I mention Kurt Russell and Rosario Dawson? Oh yeah, there’s also some bloody violence, I mean, it IS Tarantino, after all. Sometimes though, I forget about the gory parts because I’m so caught up in how awesome everything else in this movie is (but um, I like the gory parts… so, yeah, there’s that).

Photo Credit: This is actually a pic I took of my movie cover

The Dinner: Tex Mex Taco Stack
In the movie, the girls go out in Austin for margs and tacos at Gueros. Ps. they actually filmed at a place in Austin called Gueros Taco Bar, and it looks amazing. Every time I watch this movie (which, um, is often) I get a super craving for Tex Mex. This Tex Mex Taco Stack has layers of chicken, corn, beans, and corn tortillas, drenched in a spicy chipotle chile sauce and melty cheddar and jack cheese. Do I really need to say more? Stir up a batch of these super fresh blood orange margaritas, put out a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa, and turn off the lights: it’s time for dinner & a movie!

Tex Mex Taco Stack
Olive oil
3 chicken breasts, cubed (or thighs, your preference)
1/2 onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup black olives, sliced
Chipotle chili sauce (see recipe below, or use about 2 cups canned enchilada sauce)
Corn tortillas (about 12)
1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
1.5 cups grated jack cheese
Sour cream, green onions, and tortilla chips, for serving

Preheat oven to 350. In a large casserole dish, add a spoonful of sauce to coat bottom.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, add a swirl of olive oil. Add chicken and onion, and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Add lime juice, and cook another couple of minutes, until lime juice is evaporated/soaked up. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Combine beans, corn, olives, and sauce in a large bowl. On top of sauce layer in casserole dish, layer: tortillas (you may have to cut them or overlap them, that's fine), bean/sauce mixture, chicken/onion mixture, cheese. Repeat until ingredients are gone, ending with tortilla covered with cheese as the top layer. Depending on the size of your dish, you may need to make 2 dishes. 

Lightly cover foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and cook another 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving, so it can set up. 

Top with sour cream and sliced green onion, and serve alongside tortilla chips. 

Chipotle Chili Sauce
This seems like a lot of ingredients, but it comes together so quickly, it's totally worth making it! 

1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Chipotle peppers in adobo 
2 tablespoons chile powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, diced

Start with one chipotle pepper plus a spoonful of the adobo sauce, and then blend all ingredients together until smooth. I prefer to do it in a large bowl with my immersion blender, but a regular blender will work too. Add more peppers and blend to get to your preferred spice level. Use in taco stack. 

If you're using canned tomato sauce and chicken stock, you'll have a cup left of each. If you want to use these up, feel free to double the recipe and freeze half for later. Here's a good way to use up extra chipotle peppers. 

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