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Red Chile Sauce: Put chile powder, onion, garlic, and tomato in a blender. Process this, adding water or canned tomatoes to make a fairly thick paste. (I usually use a large can of tomatoes and omit the fresh tomato entirely.) Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and sugar. When cool, add 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and wine vinegar. Finally, add some half & half cream. (Can be omitted, but makes a velvety, mellow sauce.)
Green Sauce: Blend tomatillos (Mexican husk tomatoes) with 2 Tablespoons of oil, onion, green chile peppers, garlic, oregano, lime or lemon juice, sugar, salt to taste, chicken broth, and 1 bay leaf. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add the ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Use one of these two sauces. These basics can be made in advance, except for the half & half in the red sauce. They are staples for me and make this dish a matter of 20 minutes to assemble and refrigerate.
Poach one double chicken breast in water, salt, cumin, and a bit of chile powder. Skin and shred the meat. (Leftover chicken or turkey breast is fine.)
Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cut the corn tortillas in wedges and put a layer of them in the casserole dish. Add a layer of chicken, some grated cheese (can be low fat), and some drained non-fat yogurt. Sour cream is classic. Add a bit of sauce, depending on how much Mexican flavor you want in the casserole itself. Repeat with the tortillas, chicken, and cheese, etc.
Finally, make a custard with eggs and milk. Pour custard over the ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Be sure there is ample custard to soak into the tortillas. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) until done. Time depends on the size of the casserole. 45 minutes to an hour is average.
You may serve this with avocado wedges, olives, fresh tomato wedges, and more salsa. Cilantro is classic and could be added to the sauce. Cumin is wonderful and should be in the poaching broth.
Heated flour tortillas with butter and honey, virgin sangria, fresh mango, and Mexican Altura coffee round out a hearty "Fall breakfast" before a Penn State football game. To really "gild the lily," serve Mexican hot chocolate made from Ibarra chocolate with a turban of whipped cream instead of sombrero.
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