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Coahuila Baked Taco Casuela
Serving Size: 6

1 lb Roma tomatoes
3 tbsps vegetable oil
1 onion thinly sliced
4 mild green chiles cut into strips
1/4 tsp salt
vegetable oil for pan frying
12 corn tortillas
3/4 c crema or creme fraiche
1 c queso anejo
1 tbsp cilantro

Preheat the broiler.

Place the tomatoes on a small baking sheet, covered with foil for
easier cleaning. Broil the tomatoes for 12 to 15 minutes, turning
occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft and the skins split and
turn dark in spts. Cool the tomatos briefly. Reduce the oven
temperature to 350 degrees.

In a blender, puree the tomatoes with their skins and cores. Set
the mixture aside.

In a large, heavy skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Sautee
the onion in the oil briefly untill softened. Add the chiles and
the salt and sautee for another couple of minutes. Raise the heat
to medium high. Stir in the tomato puree, being careful to avoid
spatters from the mixture as it hits the hot oil. When the most
insistent splattering dies down, reduce the heat to medium low and
simmer the filling the another 5 minutes, until somewhat thickened.
(The filling can be made head and refrigerated for a day. Warm
the filling before continuing.)

Heat 1/2 to 1 inch oil in a small skillet until the oil ripples.
With tongs, dunk a tortilla in the oil long enough for it to go
limp, a matter of seconds. Don't let the tortilla turn crisp.
Reapeat with the remaining tortillas and drain them.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto a tortilla. Roll it
up loose and place it in a baking dish. The baking dish should be
deep enough to hold about 2 layers of the rolled tacos but should
fit the tortillas closely on their sides, if possible. Repeat with
half the tortillas filling the bottom of the dish. Top the rooled
tacos with about 1/2 of the cream and about 1/2 of the cheese.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, placing them on
top of the cheese in a second layer. Top the second layer of rolled
tacos with the remaining crema and cheese.

Cover the dish and bake the tacos for 12 to 15 minutes, until the
cheese is melted and the tortillas are soft. Garnish with the
remaining crema, which will melt over the surface, and sprinkle
cilantro over the top, if you wish. Serve immediately.


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