Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

"It's like a kaleidoscope of flavors bursting in my mouth!" - Justin Hosek

I tried a new recipe tonight and I think it turned out quite successful! Its based off a recipe I found on epicurious.com but their version took like three hours to make and I find that unacceptable for a Monday night dinner! But the concept of using corn tortillas instead of lasagna noodles, filled with spinach and black beans, and goat cheese sauce!? Had to try it! So here follows my modified version which I am sure is just as tasty as the three hour recipe:

  • 1 jar of fire roasted whole red peppers
  • 1 jar of fire roasted salsa (or another salsa would work fine im sure)
  • 1 - 2 cans of black beans (depends on how much you like beans i suppose)
  • 10-12 corn tortillas sliced in half (whatever usually comes in a pack)
For goat cheese sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk (i actually used kefir - i like to improvise!)
  • 11 oz soft mild goat cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 small can of green chiles
For spinach filling
  • Bag and a half of fresh baby spinach - chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raisins (yes sounds strange but adds a lovely sweetness!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup of corn
  • Toasted pine nuts - super yum!
  • Avocado slices

Preheat oven to 350°F.  
Make spinach filling:
Heat oil in cleaned nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté spinach, corn and raisins, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in salt and other spices to your tasting - I added chili powder and cayenne.

Prepare peppers:
Slice whole peppers down one side so they open flat. Set aside 

Make goat cheese sauce:
Whisk together goat cheese and milk until pretty smooth. Stir in green chiles and salt.

Fry tortillas:
Heat oil in cleaned nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry tortillas 2 halves at a time, turning over once, until just crisp, about 1 minute total. Transfer tortillas to paper towels to drain. 

Assemble dish:
Spread 1/4 cup salsa over bottom of greased lasagna dish (9x12). Arrange tortilla halves to cover one layer, then spread another 1/4 cup salsa on top and sprinkle evenly with black beans. Arrange 4 peppers flat over black beans to cover, then spread half of spinach filling evenly over peppers and spread with 1/4 cup goat cheese sauce. Make another layer with tortillas, salsa, black beans, peppers, remaining spinach filling, and another 1/4 cup of goat cheese sauce.

Cover cheese with salsa, spreading evenly, then top with remaining tortillas. Cover tortillas with remaining goat cheese sauce, spreading evenly.

Bake lasagna, covered with foil, in middle of oven until bubbling and heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Remove foil and broil about 3 inches from heat until top is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.

Top with toasted pine nuts and serve with avocado slices. Devour.

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