San Antonio Lasagna

P1100375The cuisine of the Southwestern United States is food styled after the rustic cooking of that region. It comprises a fusion of recipes for things that might have been eaten by Spanish colonial settlers, cowboys, Native Americans, and Mexicans, however, there is a great diversity in this kind of cuisine throughout the Southwestern states.

Southwestern cuisine (often referred to as “tex-mex”) is a very close cousin to Mexican cuisine, and it is also known for its use of spices (particularly the chile, or Chili pepper) and accompaniment with beans (frijoles), cooked in a variety of manners.   Southwestern cuisine also reflects its Mexican, Spanish, and Native American heritage.  Considering San Antionio to be sort of the regional epicurean center of southwestern cuisine, I have chosen to call this dish, San Antonio Lasagna.

We all know and love “Italian Lasagna,” but how do you convert this well-known favorite into a “Texican-Mexican-Southwestern” dish?  Not too difficult, actually – just use corn tortillas instead of lasagna noodles; salsa instead of tomato sauce; beans in place of tomatoes; cheddar and jack instead of ricotta and Parmesan.  Suddenly you’ve moved from Tuscany to the Mexican Riviera, and have yourself a serious Mexican casserole dish, with layers of beef, beans, corn tortillas, and enchilada sauce. This one is really great for large family gatherings and potluck dinners, because it’s a real crowd-pleaser! — but even so you can have a few servings now and freeze the rest for later consumption.  Although there are according to Bing, more than 1,340,000 Tex-Mex Lasagna recipes, this one is adapted from a recipe called “Tex-Mex Lasagna,” which appeared in Southern Living magazine.

San Antonio Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 Min.30689_1444118739186_1119645852_31288849_1405914_s
Cook: 22 Min.
Bake: 35 Min.
Stand: 10 Min.

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground chuck
1 cup combined, diced onion, red & green bell pepper, and celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp Chipotle seasoning blend
1 – 24oz jar mild salsa (such as Pace Picante Sauce or similar)
1 – 15oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 – 10oz can enchilada sauce
1 – 10oz package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
16 – 6″ fajita-size corn tortillas
4 cups (32oz) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend

Accompaniments & Toppings:

Sour cream
Avocado
Tomatoes
Cilantro
Guacamole
PREPARATION:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

2.  In a large, non-stick skillet, combine the ground chuck, veggies, garlic, chili powder and chipotle seasoning, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef is no longer pink and crumbles easily.

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3.  Stir in the salsa and beans, enchilada sauce, and corn; cook an additional 5-10 minutes, or until mixture is thoroughly heated.

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4.  Layer 1 cup of the beef mixture, 2 tortillas (edges will overlap) and 1/2 cup cheese in a lightly greased 7 X 5 X1 1/2″ casserole dish.

Note: If you prefer to use a larger 13- x 9-inch casserole dish, prepare recipe through Step 2 only.

Omit 4 corn tortillas. Layer one-third beef mixture, 6 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 2 cups cheese. Repeat layers with one-third beef mixture, remaining 6 tortillas, remaining beef mixture, and ending with remaining 2 cups cheese.

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When I made this recipe for the first time, as you can see from the photos, I used one 9X13 casserole dish, and one 8X11 dish as well.

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5.  Cover dishes with aluminum foil, shiny side down, as you want the heat to reflect downward and into the mixture.

6. Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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Serve with desired accompaniments and/or toppings.

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Freezes well!  You will most likely have plenty leftover!

 

sanantoniolasagnafrozen

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Will

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