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ENCHILADA BAKE - VARIATION
Crust:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 ounce tortilla chips, finely crushed *

Beat or whisk the cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Add the seasoning; mix well. Stir in the cheese and crushed chips; mix well. Grease a 9x13" baking dish or line with parchment paper; spread the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom. Bake at 350, 35 minutes or until browned, but not too dark. Let stand 5-10 minutes before adding the topping.

* 1/4 ounce is about 4-5 small round tortilla chips. I used the unflavored white corn kind. They only add about 4 carbs to the whole recipe.

Topping:
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 batch Red Enchilada Sauce (about 1 cup)
8 ounces pepper-jack cheese, shredded

Brown the hamburger; drain fat. Stir in the seasoning and enchilada sauce. Spread over the crust. Top with the cheese. Bake another 20 minutes or so until hot and bubbly.

Makes 8 servings

Per Serving: 414 Calories; 32g Fat; 27g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs

The addition of the tortilla chips makes a big difference in this dish and adds less than a carb per serving. I was making the crust for my Enchilada Bake recipe and threw the crushed chips in on a whim. I wasn't even sure if such a tiny bit would be noticeable but was pleasantly surprised to find that they add a nice corn tortilla flavor. I made enough changes that to my original recipe that I thought I might as well make it a new recipe. Since creating the Enchilada Bake recipe, I've come up with an improved taco seasoning mix, an enchilada sauce recipe and I decided to try pepper-jack cheese instead of cheddar this time. Oh, and I omitted the canned green chiles. There are so many flavors and textures going on that I figured they wouldn't even be noticeable. This version is super tasty and I think it rates a whole 5 stars. Click the photo to see a close-up.

By the way, this time I made the crust a couple weeks ahead and froze it. I was making another recipe that called for 4 ounces of cream cheese and thought I might as well use the other 4 ounces to make the crust for this recipe rather than let the cream cheese go to waste. It froze very well and didn't turn soggy. I baked my crust on parchment paper on a 9x13" baking sheet. I lifted it out of the pan by the edges of the parchment and wrapped the whole thing with plastic wrap. Then, I wrapped it in heavy foil to keep it fresh since the plastic wrap wasn't really big enough to seal it well. I thawed the crust overnight in the refrigerator and then placed it, still on the parchment paper, into a 9x13" baking dish and added the toppings.


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