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Alaska enchilada is hearty fare.

And Idaho shrimp are considerate of calories

ALASKAN WINTER nights are often made glorious by the aurora borealis, usually referred to as the northern lights. Robert Hartzler's Anchorage dinner table is likewise made glorious by his Northern Lights Layered Enchilada Casserole, which takes its sunny flavor from the Mexican ingredients. It remains light by using beans and corn without meat, and by softening the corn tortillas in enchilada sauce instead of frying them.

Being light is not the same as being dainty, though; this dish is substantial fare. It is to be commended for this no less than for Hartzler's orthography, a good example to the young, who have seen "lite" so often that they are in mortal danger of forgetting the proper spelling.

Northern Lights Layered Enchilada Casserole

1 small (about 1/4 lb.) onion, chopped

1 small (about 1/4 lb.) green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, drained

1 package (9 to 10 oz.) frozen whole kernel corn

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cans (each 10 oz.) red enchilada sauce

12 corn tortillas (6- to 7-in. size)

1/2 pound jack cheese, shredded

1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, including tops Unflavored nonfat yogurt

Prepared salsa

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine onion, green pepper, garlic, and 1/4 cup water. Boil on high heat, stirring often until liquid evaporates and vegetables are slightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, chilies, cumin, and chili powder; stir well. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat.

Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into a 9- by 13-inch pan; pour remainder into a bowl. Dip 4 tortillas, 1 at a time, into bowl of sauce to coat. Overlap in pan to cover bottom.

Top with 1/2 of the kidney bean and corn mixture. Dip 4 more tortillas into sauce; cover mixture in pan. Top tortillas with remaining bean mixture. Dip remaining 4 tortillas into sauce and arrange over bean mixture. Spoon sauce in bowl evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with cheese and olives.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350 |degrees~ oven until hot through and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle casserole with green onions. Scoop out portions and accompany with yogurt and salsa to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 445 cal. (32 percent from fat); 21 g protein; 16 g fat (0.2 g sat.); 60 g carbo.; 1,749 mg sodium; 33 mg chol.

AN OLD PROVERB, thought to be Polish in origin, states that fish, to be properly prepared, should swim three times: first in water, then in butter, and finally in wine. James Kircher is more considerate of our calories. His shrimp take a dry run the first time in the pan, then bask in a reduction of chicken broth and wine. Only a dot of butter or margarine serves to develop bouquet in the confetti of celery, shallots, garlic, and red bell pepper that enlivens the sauce.

Shrimp Saute

3/4 pound large (31 to 35 per lb.) shrimp

1/2 cup minced celery

1/4 cup minced shallots

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup regular-strength chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine

1/2 cup fruity white wine such as Johannisberg Riesling

Shell, devein, and rinse the shrimp.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine celery, shallots, garlic, bell pepper, broth, and butter. Stir often over high heat until liquid evaporates and vegetables are faintly tinged with brown, about 10 minutes.

Add shrimp to pan; stir often just until shrimp turn pink and are opaque but moist-looking in center, 3 to 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift shrimp from pan; keep warm. Add wine to pan; boil over high heat, stirring often, until about 2/3 of the liquid has evaporated. Mix shrimp with vegetables; spoon onto plates. Makes 4 first-course servings.

Per serving: 120 cal. (16 percent from fat); 15 g protein; 2.1 g fat (0.6 g sat.); 4.7 g carbo.; 137 mg sodium; 107 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:Chefs of the West; recipes
Author:Griffiths, Joan; Dunmire, Richard
Article Type:Column
Date:Feb 1, 1994
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