Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mexican Lasagna To Die For (if I do say so myself)

This is one of my favorites. I took about 6 different recipes that appealed to me and went to work combining what I liked about each. I then began experimenting and came up with the recipe below. It's what we're having for dinner tonight along with spanish rice (that I also made up the recipe for).

It looks daunting, but it really isn't a big deal at all.

Mexican Lasagna

1 can corn, drained (or 1 ½ C. frozen or fresh corn)
1 large can (24 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. oil
1-1 ½ T. cumin
few pinches of salt and pepper
couple handfuls of cilantro, chopped
1 box no-bake lasagna noodles (I like Barilla flat no-bake noodles)
2 C. salsa
1-1 ½ lbs. ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken (you can put chicken breasts in the
food processor for ground chicken)
2 green onions, chopped
4 C. shredded fiesta blend cheese

For serving:
sour cream
fresh diced tomatoes
shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté garlic in oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes (don't let it burn or get brown!). Add 1 large can crushed tomatoes, stir in about ¼ C. cilantro, salt, pepper, and cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes.

In large saucepan, brown meat. Drain fat. Add corn and salsa and cook for a few minutes.

Spray 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

½ of tomato sauce mixture
lasagna noodles
½ of meat mixture
1 ½ C. cheese
lasagna noodles
remaining tomato sauce mixture, and sprinkle with cilantro and green onions
1 ½ C. cheese
lasagna noodles
remaining meat mixture
remaining cheese
sprinkling of cilantro

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Suggested toppings: sour cream, fresh diced tomatoes, lettuce.

Spanish Rice

2 C. uncooked long-grain rice
2 ¾ C. chicken broth
1 can (14 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, lightly drained (leave a little liquid)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. onion, diced
1 T. cumin
1 T. olive oil
handful of chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Saute onion and rice until onion is soft, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute or so more.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and cumin. Stir well and bring to a boil.

Cover, turn heat to low and cook until liquid is mostly absorbed – about 25 minutes. DON’T LIFT THE LID TO STIR.

When the rice is finished, stir in cilantro, salt and pepper before serving.