So last year I did a small write-up for Easy Food Magazine in Ireland. The recipe: Mexican Lasagna. Check out EFM on FB… http://www.facebook.com/#!/easyfoodmag
I love Mexican food and this recipe was goooood! I made some adaptations to improve it and make it more like what I enjoy and eventually even used it in my Cheffactor entry (more about this adventure to come!) using a chicken variety.
Now before you go, how could you make a Mexican lasagna, that doesn’t sound good, give it a chance. It’s called lasagna only because it is layered like one, otherwise it’s more like a Mexican tortilla filled with rice and chilli.
The first layer consists of tortilla shells (they act like the noodles and go nice and soft when heated in this mix).
The next layer is rice (try using my temptatious rice, which I developed last year in an effort to bump up the flavour!).
The third layer is a sour cream (or creme fraiche) mixture that has been thinned with milk.
The fourth layer is chilli (you can use beef or chicken or maybe try other meats that you like, perhaps even a veggie version if you like).
The fifth and final layer is shredded cheese.
Repeat until you are happy (or the dish can’t hold anymore!) and make sure to end with a layer of cheese.
I threw on some crushed tortilla chips for the last 5 minutes of baking to give it a contrasting crunch and served with a simple sliced avocado but you could use guacamole on the side too.
MEXICAN LASAGNA RECIPE (Serves 4-6)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 red peppers, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or as per taste)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 500g lean minced beef
- 400ml beef stock
- 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans
- 300ml tub of crème fraîche (or sour cream)
- 75ml milk
- 6 flour tortillas
- 400g long grain rice (cooked)
- 280g cheddar cheese (white or red), grated
- Sliced avocado or Guacamole
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mince and cook for five minutes until the mince is browned. Drain any excess fat and set aside on a plate covered with kitchen towel.
- Heat the remaining oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.
- Add the garlic, red pepper, chilli, paprika and cumin, stirring everything together. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the spices become fragrant.
- Return the mince to the pan, stirring so it mixes with the spices and pepper.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, stock into the pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Squirt in the tomato purée and stir the sauce well.
- Simmer it gently for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce reduces.
- Add the kidney beans to the chilli about five minutes from the end, just enough to warm them through. Taste the chilli and season if necessary.
- Remove from the heat and leave the chilli to stand while you boil the rice in a large saucepan of water over a medium heat. Cook as per packet instructions, approximately 10 minutes or check out my recipe (coming soon!).
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4.
- In a bowl, add the milk to the crème fraîche, stirring the two together to make a white sauce for the lasagna.
- To assemble your lasagna; add a layer of tortilla into a baking dish, spoon some rice on top of this, spreading it out forming a layer over the tortilla. On top of this add some of the white sauce, then your chilli and finally shredded cheese. Repeat this until you almost fill your baking dish, leaving two centimetres at the top.
- Sprinkle cheese over the layer of chilli and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and turned golden then add crushed tortilla chips and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately, with some guacamole or avocado on the side.