Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tex-Mex Lasagna

This was GREAT! One of those dishes where you can add and subtract ingredients. I went 'all out' (extra 5 minutes) and made up my own refried beans, but if you were in a hurry, go ahead and use the canned version. Could use a square 9 x 9 pan and extra layers of tortillas, but I opted for a 9" pie pan (since the tortillas were round). Any tortillas would do, rice, corn.. I tried 'new' dark teff tortillas and liked them. Be sure to keep the first step, with the tortillas in the oil.
Adapted from "Simply Recipes".

Serves 4
10 + 30 + 5 + 15 minutes (1 hour total)
preheat 400 F
-large saucepan
-9 inch round pie/cake pan
-small pot

4 large corn or rice or teff tortillas
2 tbsp. peanut oil (or olive oil)

1 medium white onion
½ of a red bell pepper
½ of a green bell pepper
1 fresh tomato
[Handful of fresh cilantro; optional]

¼ lb. ground beef
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin

Refried Beans
**skip this if using a can of pre-made refried beans
1 can drained Bush pinto beans
1 tsp. peanut oil
1 tsp. water
Garlic and onion powder

½ c. cheddar cheese
½ c. mozzarella cheese

1. Defrost your tortillas and place your pie/square baking pan besides the range. Heat up 2 tbsp. of oil, over medium heat, in the large saucepan. Drop one tortilla at a time into the hot oil. Allow the tortilla to soak up a little oil on both sides (flip; no more than a minute on each side). Remove softened tortilla and place in the baking dish. Repeat for remaining 3 tortillas. Let them all sit in the baking dish.
--At this time, be sure to pre-heat your oven.--
2. Cut up vegetables: Coarsely chop the white onion. Wash and core both the red and green bell peppers. Coarsely chop up the bell peppers and set aside with onion. Coarsely dice up the tomato (don't bother to peel it). Wash and cut the fresh cilantro, if you have it on hand. Keep the tomatoes and cilantro separate from the onion/bell peppers.
3. Rinse off the ground beef. Place beef into the empty large saucepan used previously for the tortillas. Cook beef over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the outside of the meat is no longer pink.
4. Add in the onions and bell peppers. Cook the meat and veggies for another 10 minutes. Add in a generous amount of chili powder and cumin. When the beef is cooked and the onion pieces are translucent, stir in the tomatoes and cilantro. Cook tomatoes for an additional 3 minutes-- don't let them break apart. Remove pan from heat when tomatoes are heated through.
Refried Beans
5. Open and drain can of pinto beans. Place beans into the small pot and mash with the back of a large spoon as best you can (mine still had bits of pinto beans). If you want totally creamy refried beans, use a potato masher. Begin heating beans over medium-low heat. Stir in the oil and the little bit of water. Season with whatever you want-- I used garlic and onion powder, but feel free to add chilies or cilantro. Heat through until beans are nice and spreadable ~5 minutes. Remove from heat.
6. Remove top two tortillas from the baking dish (I used 2 tortillas per layer). Spread half of the refried beans evenly over the bottom layer of tortillas. Spoon half the meat/veggie mixture over the beans. Sprinkle generously with half of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
7. Place the last two tortillas on top of the cheese. Spread with beans, meat and top with a bunch of cheese.
8. Slide the dish into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes-- just want the cheese layer to melt and flavors to blend. Remove from the oven, serve hot; top with sour cream or avocado and serve alongside Spanish rice.

No comments: