Friday, April 28, 2006


Last night I tried my hand at a dish I'd been contemplating for some time, a Mexican Lasagna. No clever bastardization of Spanish and Italian comes to mind as a name for it. The point of the exercize was to see if I could make something that looked and tasted like lasagna, but had a Mexican twist to the flavors. I'd tried it once before, but the result tased like enchiladas. This time, success.

In the first chapter of A Christmas Carol, Dicken's writes, "There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate." The same is true of this recipe and my desire to avoid merely making enchiladas. For that reason, it is important to note that when the recipe calls for flour tortillas, what it really means is FLOUR TORTILLAS. If you use corn tortillas, you get enchiladas.

2 lbs ground beef or buffalo
12 oz. chorizo
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
8 oz jack or white cheddar cheese
8 oz queso fresco casero
4 oz queso Cotija
10-12 large (burrito style) FLOUR tortillas

Fold tortillas in half. Cut parallel to the fold into strips the width of lasagna noodles. Unfold and cut along the fold. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, combine the hamburger, chorizo, and onions. Cook over medioum high heat for 10-15 minutes or until the meat is blended and firm. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, herbs and spices. simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat.

Spoon a layer of meat sauce into a rectsangular casserole dish. Crumble a layer of Queso casero over the meat. Place a layer of tortilla strips over the cheese. Repeat the layers until the dish is almost full, ending with a tortilla layer. cover with grated jack or white chedar cheese, then with Cotija. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve 8.

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