Mexican Lasagna

I seem to be having a problem with life / work / blog balance lately. While I’m still cooking up a storm, it’s been tough to find the time to post about it.  This, however, REQUIRED me to get it up as soon as possible!  Not only did the entire family give it 3 very enthusiastic thumbs up, but 2 of my fab girl friends did, too!  When the Mexican hubs is this excited about a dish, I know it’s  not only a keeper, but should be a repeater, too. You see it served in the photo below with my baked tortilla chips. Oh, and It’s just as good the next day, and the next, for lunch!  ¡Buen provecho!

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (can easily sub chicken or turkey)
1 cup water
2 Tbs Tajin (go easy on Tajin, it quickly becomes too salty)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups sour cream, divided
1 tsp Mexican paprika
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbs cornmeal
10 flour tortillas, 6 inches (mine were much larger, so I cut them in half)
1 cup salsa (such as Herdez)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet heated to medium, cook beef until no longer pink, drain.  Stir in water, Tajin, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and Mexican paprika.  Set aside.  Sprinkle cornmeal into a greased 13×9″ baking dish.

Arrange five tortillas, overlapping, in the bottom of the prepared dish.  Spread ½ cup salsa, add ½ of the meat mixture and ½ of each cheese.  Repeat layers.

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Corona (ok, admittedly not wine, but come on!  This is all the flavors of Mexican food!)
Cabernet Franc
Sangiovese
Beaujolais
Chianti

Serves 8 (large servings)

Prep time: 25 – 30 minutes; Bake & standing time: 50 minutes

Mexican Lasagna & Baked Tortilla Chips

Mexican Lasagna & Baked Tortilla Chips

*Derived from Taste of Home


Mexican Sour Cream Rice

Pretty much everyone that knows me knows how much I adore my rice cooker.  I can’t help it!   When it finally dawned on me that I should have been using a rice cooker all these year, I had no idea where to start.  First I checked out Consumer Reports and then I went to Amazon.  I was so overwhelmed with rice cookers.  Who better to ask than my girl friend Matilde.  She and her family make rice just about every day!  Once I made the decision of which rice cooker to purchase, I haven’t looked back!  And am seriously considering a bigger version of the one I have.  A lot of lovely things come out of my rice cooker, including this dish!

Ingredients:

1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
4 oz diced green chiles (I omitted)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ¾) can yellow corn, drained (I used frozen)
¼ cup cilantro chopped (I omitted)
1 cup uncooked rice

Preparation:

In rice cooker, add rice and chicken broth.  Set it and forget it.  Or, if preparing in a pot, bring rice and broth to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  When rice is done, in a large bowl mix sour cream, green chile peppers (if using), ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, corn, and cilantro with cooked rice.  Season with salt.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining ½ cup cheese.  Bake uncovered 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serves 4

Prep time 15: Total cooking time: 50 minutes

Mexican Sour Cream Rice

*Derived from Just a Pinch Recipes

Related articles


Mexican Black Bean Pizza

Remember Taco Bell pizzas?  Anyone who has ever had a love of fast food knows Taco Bell pizzas.  There was something so good about them.  Maybe it was the flour tortilla crust, all crunchy and munchy.  What was not so good about them?  How truly bad they are for your body.  Probably not such a big deal when I was in my 20’s.  Certainly an issue now that I’m in my 40’s.  From the perspective of my thighs, if nothing else.  And, I’d like to keep my kids as far away from fast food as I can.  It’s such a horrible habit to get into and such a difficult one to break.  Try this lighter, healthier version and I promise, you’ll forget about your Taco Bell days!

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tbs olive oil
8 (6″) flour tortillas
1 small onion chopped (or buy the pre-chopped from the produce section)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
½ cup salsa, mild or spicy
*Optional – 2 oz canned chopped mild green chiles
*Optional – You can add about ½ a cup of any meats you may prefer, pulled pork, chorizo (casing removed), shredded chicken, etc.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix half the Cheddar cheese with the Monterey Jack in a bowl and set aside.
Brush a baking sheet with 1 Tbs olive oil (or line with parchment paper) and arrange tortillas in a single layer.  Using a fork, puncture each tortilla a few times.  Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese evenly over 4 of the tortillas, then cover each with a remaining tortilla.  Bake 5-6 minutes or until browned slightly.

While tortillas bake, heating 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet and cook onions until browned.  Add beans and partially mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork.

Remove tortilla pizzas from the oven and top each with bean mixture.  Top with salsa, green chiles (if using), meat (if using), and cheese mixture.  Return to oven and back until cheese melts, about 10-20 minutes.  Serve with sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, avacado.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc
Bonarda
Pinotage

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes

Mexican Pizza

*Derived from Bush’s Beans

Related articles


Vegetable and Rice Burritos

I thought my favorite Disney movie was The Incredibles.  I loved everything about that movie.  The family sticking together, using their super powers to save the day.  Relying on old friends to thwart the mortal enemy, Syndrome.  My favorite character is Edna ‘E’ Mode.  I aspire to be her when I grow up (shhh, no one tell me I’m grown up).  And then, a few years later (3 to be exact, but who’s counting) I happened upon Ratatouille.  I felt like I could connect, no sillies, not from Remy’s perspective (ok, maybe a teensy bit).  I was almost broken-hearted when Linguine sends Remy away because he was caught between friend and family by allowing his family to raid the pantry.  But I digress.  This dish reminded me of Ratatouille as I was making it.  All of the vegetables, but some savory ingredients, too.  Basically, take vegetables and turn them into something everyone would want to eat.  Which brings me to this latest dish.  The best way to describe it is as ratatouille enveloped in a tortilla. What is that you say? Yes, a tortilla. And what is not to love about anything in a tortilla. Make Remy proud and use up vegetables that you have on hand. Oh, and as a side note, my affair with the rice cooker continues. I often stop and day-dream about what life was like before this perfectly perfect appliance debuted in my life. And you know what? I can’t remember.

Ingredients:

4 tsp canola oil, divided
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 tsp minced garlic , divided
2/3 cup water
1/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
4 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded quesadilla cheese (can sub Monterey jack)

Preparation:

Heat 1 tsp oil in rice cooker.  Add rice and 1/2 tsp garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add 2/3 cup water and 1/8 tsp salt.  Cover and let rice cooker do it’s thing.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbs oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion; sauté 2  minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining 1/2 tsp garlic and mushrooms; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add corn and zucchini; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining 1/8 tsp salt and tomatoes; sauté 30 seconds or until tomatoes are thoroughly heated.  Remove vegetable mixture from pan.  Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

Heat tortillas in same skillet.  Divide sour cream evenly among warmed tortillas; spread to a thin layer.  TOp each tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese; about 1/4 cup rice mixture, and about 1/2 cup vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle each with cilantro.  Roll up each, tight.  Serve immediately.

Wine Paring Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc
Albariño
Alvarinho
Fume Blanc
Sancerre
(Or you can have a Corona like my husband did)

003

Serves 4
Hands-on time: 40 min; Total time: 40 min

*Derived from Cooking Light

Quesadilla Casserole

Meatless Monday brings us a wonderful casserole! What I loved about this dish: it came together so easily, filled the house with the most amazing smell as it cooked, and you serve it WITH the enchilada sauce; it’s not incorporated into the dish. This is great because my kids are just starting to really explore spicy foods and the enchilada sauce being IN the dish would have been a little overwhelming and the meal would have been a “Fail” (as Daniela has become so fond of saying). What I did not love about this dish: it cooks at 400 for 30 minutes. Turning an already warm day hot. But that is more a testament to my menu planning and nothing with the recipe itself. I cooked this in my cast iron pot and the edges were crusty. When the spoon hit that edge and I heard the crackle, I almost needed a moment! If you’re not in the meatless mood, you could easily add chicken, steak, or carnitas. Hey, you could make my carnitas in the slow cooker and then with the leftovers, make this one! Serving with a cool, crisp salad is the perfect accompaniment.

Before Cooking

Ingredients:

3 Tbs olive oil1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 (29 oz) can black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
5 white corn tortillas 
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup prepared enchilada sauce (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium skillet, heat oil to medium. Add onions, cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 1 1/2 cups black beans and mash into a chunky paste. Stir in reserved liquid.

Spray a heavy oven proof skillet with cooking spray. In medium bowl combine corn, parsley, and remaining black beans. Place a tortilla in skillet and spread with 1/3 cup mashed black bean mixture. Top with 2/3 cup corn, bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Press to compress layers. Repeat with remaining tortillas, mashed black beans, corn-bean mixture, and cheese.

Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. If needed to brown (I did not need this step), transfer to broiler a d cook for 1 minute. Serve with enchilada sauce (optional).

Serves 6

Prep time: 25 minutes, Bake time: 35 minutes

After Cooking

*Derived from Rachel Ray mag