Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

I made a Mexican feast of Mexican Lasagna, Restaurant Style Salsa, and Guacamole for our community group in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  I love making things like casseroles, soups, and pasta dishes for crowds, because they are not only cheaper per serving (than doing a meat and some side dishes), but they are easily made ahead and then just re-heated for company saving me the last minute hustle and bustle of trying to cook and entertain at the same time.  In this instance I even made the Mexican Lasagna and Retaurant Style Salsa a day ahead because I don't have time to cook between when I get home from work and when our group meets, and because both of these items taste even better the second day.

Mexican Lasagna

I used ground turkey for this because it's lean and cheap (when I buy it in bulk from Sam's Club).  Any ground meat would work just fine in here though, or even some cooked, shredded chicken.  Since we have some spicy lovers and non-spicy lovers in our group I doubled the recipe and made a mini non-spicy lasagna, and a larger spicy lasagna.  To do this I made the filling following the directions below, then used 1/3 of my total for the non-spicy lasagna.  Once that 1/3 was taken out I added some cayenne and canned chiles to the pan prior to assembling the spicy lasagna.  I topped the spicy lasagna with pickled jalapeno slices, because I love them, and so everyone could clearly identify which lasagna was designated spicy.  Black olives  would also be great on top of this, but my hubby hates them, so I tend not to cook with olives.  If desired, salt could be added to taste to the filling, but with the use of taco sauce I never find that it needs it.  Some cilantro could also be added into the filling, but I forgot while I was preparing it.  I tend to skimp a little on the inner layers of cheese so that I get a good, thick coating of cheese for the top layer.  Serve this with sour cream, guacamole, and extra taco sauce or salsa for using at the table.

-1 package whole wheat tortillas, cut into quarters (our favorite brand are Aztec, but I coudn't find those this week so Misson it was)
-2 lbs ground turkey
-1 yellow onion
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 Tbsp chili powder
-2 tsp cumin
-any combination you desire of the following forms of tomatoes for a total of 2 cups; canned diced tomatoes, canned fire roated diced tomatoes, canned tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel), taco sauce, salsa, or fresh tomatoes... (I used medium salsa, medium taco sauce, and fire roasted tomatoes for this lasagna)
-1 cup corn (either canned or thawed frozen)
-1 can black beans, drained
-2 cups of shredded cheese (I used a Mexican cheese blend, but pepper jack, cheddar, or a colby jack blend would all be great)
-about 1/4 cup of taco sauce
-sliced jalapenos, sliced black olives, fresh scallions, or fresh cilantro for garnishing the top

Heat large pan coated with olive oil or cooking spray over medium high heat.  Add onion and turkey and cook until turkey is no longer pink (5-10 minutes).  Drain and return meat mixture to pan over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).  Add chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant and evenly coated over the meat (about 1 minute).  Add desired tomatoes (and salt, cayenne, cilantro, or chiles if using) and stir until evenly incorporated.  Add black beans and corn, stir to combine, and cook until warmed through (about 3 minutes).

Coat a 13 x 9 pan with oil or cooking spray.  Place tortilla quarters along bottom of pan covering it.  Top tortillas with 1/2 of meat mixture.  Top meat mixture with 1/3 of cheese.  Repeat layers of tortillas, meat and cheese.  Top cheese with additional tortillas.  Spread a thin layer (of about 1/4 cup) of taco sauce across top tortillas.  Cover with remaining cheese.  Top with jalapenos or black olives (if using).  (At this point you could put the entire lasagna in the fridge to be pulled out and baked the next day).  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Top lasagna with fresh cilantro or scallions and serve.



Mary said...

That sounds so yummy! Hope you had fun last night!

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