Monday, February 28, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican food is a crucial part of the Californian diet.  There's not a week that passes by without picking up a monster burrito.  We can thank the large Mexican population for introducing us to authentic carne asada, mole, shrimp a la plancha, churros, or whatever heavenly Mexican treat that graces nearly every legit corner in California.  Mexican food is about as common as a media luna and about as necessary to my spice-seeking survival as mate is to an Argentina circle of friends.  With my last remaining package of trader joes corn tortillas, I made my version of lasagna Mexican-style.  And let me tell you, it's a little tricky, but it's the beeeeeeeeeeeest!

Ingredients: (for 2 lasagnas or 10-12 people)
1 whole chicken
1 jar of crushed tomato (the large glass liter-like jar from super chinos)
2 bay leaves
10-20 corn tortillas - cut in half
2 cans refried beans (get them at disco)
2-3 packages of cheddar cheese (the already shredded ones)
1 jar crushed tomato
1 large onion - chopped
1 red pepper - chopped
2 ears of corn - cut off cob
2 tomatoes - sliced
1 green onion - chopped
2+ pieces of garlic - diced
Taco seasoning (cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, onion powder, Cayenne pepper, salt, dried oregano - these are kinda hard to get here, but you can get cumin, chili's, garlic, salts, provenzal easily).
1-2 chili peppers or more depending on how spicy you want it.

Directions: Have the chicken quartered and the skin taken off.  Place in large stewing pot and fill with jar of tomato sauce and water until covered.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours until chicken is falling off bone.  Let cool.  Save stewing liquid to make rice if you want. After it's cool enough to handle, shred chicken off bone.

Saute onions until golden.  Add pepper, garlic, and chilies, saute 3-5 min.  Add spices and crushed tomato from the can.  Add water if necessary.  I often add some of the refried beans and a couple spoons of finlandia cream cheese if I have it to thicken it up a bit.  Add corn and stir.  Add 3/4 of the shredded chicken or as much as looks right depending on size of your pans and amount of sauce.  You want there to be enough sauce.  

Assemble the lasagna.  Place a layer of tortillas on the bottom of each pan.  Add a layer of beans (1/2 can), a layer of chicken sauce mix, layer of cheese.  Add another layer of tortillas and repeat.  Top with cheese and tomato slices.  Bake in the oven of medium heat for about an hour or until cheese is melted.  This is just to incorporate it all together, but everything is cooked so bake until lasagnas look good.  Remove from oven, top with green onion and let cool.  I like to serve with guacamole, rice, and sour creme (mendicream or whatever it's called)!

1 comment:

  1. Sound amazing! Except for the whole onions, peppers, corn, and onions part!!