Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Off the Cuff Mexican Lasagne

Last night I drew a blank near dinner time. Not sure what I wanted to make, not sure what I was in the mood, for,...but hungry. I had 1/2 lb of ground turkey breast in the fridge that I had intended to make some breakfast sausage out of to freeze, but the day got busy and I didn't get around to it. So I pulled it out and threw a pan on the stove. Hmmmm...what to do?

I began chopping stuff and pulling things out of the fridge and pantry until a light went on in my head and I decided to make something "like Mexican Lasagne"...I thought it might come out tasty, so I took photos just in case...good thing it did...it was DELICIOUS! :)

NOTE: This serves 4-6 people, so you may want to double it and bake in a 9x13 dish instead.

Meat Sauce:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 of a medium sized sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and pithed, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground turkey breast
Chili Powder
1/2 - 1 tsp. minced Chipotle Chilis in Adobo Sauce (I always keep these chopped in my freezer, no need to defrost)
Dash Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 heaping Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (mild)
2 C. Chicken or Veggie Broth

Bean Layer: 

1 can beans of choice (I actually used 1/2 can leftover great northern plus 1/2 can red kidney)
Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Couple of big dollops jarred salsa

Cheese layers:

Use whatever you like. I used 3 cheeses; 1layer of shredded fiesta blend cheese, 1 layer part-skim mozzerella pieces, and 1 layer of Cabot 50% less fat Pepper Jack, shredded.

You will also need a box of NO BOIL lasagne pieces. Hey,...if you want to sit there and boil them and drain them and keep them from tearing and sticking together go ahead...but I'm here to tell you, those no cook pieces are the BEST!

Toppings (Optional):

Chopped fresh Cilantro
Black Olive slices
Light Sour Cream
Additional topping ideas: chopped avocado, chopped onion, parmesan cheese (because cheese is a good thing), green chilies, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce...whatever really...

Preheat oven to 400 and prepare meat sauce:

In a medium pot, heat a little olive oil on med-high heat. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic, saute a few minutes, turn it down if it browns to quickly. Add turkey and, stir to crumble. As turkey browns, sprinkle with seasonings; a couple good dashes of Cumin, about 1/2 tsp of oregano and basil or thereabouts, a slight dash of turmeric, and Chili Powder to your taste, add a little dash of salt and pepper. Add the Chipotle and stir until meat is cooked through and crumbled well. Add canned tomatoes with chiles, chicken broth and tomato paste. Stir well, reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 5-10 minutes uncovered.

Prepare beans: Place beans and salsa in a food processor and drizzle with olive oil. Process until smooth.

Layer all items as you would Lasagne: Rub baking dish with Olive Oil. Spread just 1/4 C. meat sauce on bottom of dish. Top with 2 pieces of pasta, spread to cover with 1/2 the beans, sprinkle with 1st layer of cheese (fiesta blend), add 1/3 of remaining sauce. Add 2 more pieces of pasta, spread with remaining beans, add 2nd layer of cheese (mozzerella), top with 1/2 of remaining sauce. Add last 2 pieces of pasta, cover with remaining sauce and top with 3rd layer of cheese (Pepper Jack).

Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes to firm up. At this time, chop some cilantro and whatever else you choose to top it with.

Sprinkle it on and serve it up! YUM! Great with a simple salad on the side.

Thin layer of sauce, 2 pasta pieces and spread 1/2 of beans...

Add first layer of cheese...Fiesta Blend Shredded...
Add a layer of meat sauce...look at that steam!  Woo-Hoo!

Layer with 2 more pieces of pasta...
Spread with remaining beans...
Top with second layer of cheese...slices of part skim Mozzerella...
Top with Meat Sauce...add last 2 pieces of pasta and top with rest of sauce...
And, of course, add MORE cheese...this time Jalapeno Jack!
When it's all said and done, you'll end up with this...

Now clean up that mess!


WhiteStone said...

Looks pretty tasty!

Anonymous said...

This is impressive for an "off the cuff" dish! It looks delicious, thanks for sharing- and for recommending Cabot cheese!

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Off the cuff?! Oh, my! This looks divine!

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