Friday, May 20, 2005

Not your mama's lasagna

My husband and I love southwestern/tex-mex food, so I came up with this recipe to satisfy our cravings for something using our favorite ingredients but tastes and looks a bit different. Not only does it fill both of those bills, but it's easy to whip up as well--all you have to cut up are the onion and red bell pepper!

Mexican Lasagna

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup corn
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 14 oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 16 oz. jars of salsa (I like to use a chipotle-corn salsa)
1 14 oz. can refried black beans
2 cups shredded cheese (whichever kind you prefer)
24 small corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, red bell pepper and garlic and saute until softened slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for another few minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, beans, and about ½ jar of salsa and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes more (until all ingredients are heated through).

Put refried black beans in a medium bowl along with a few tablespoons of salsa and stir until loose (it needs to be spreadable but not runny).

Spread ½ jar of salsa in the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Top with six corn tortillas. Spread half of tomato-bean mixture on top of tortillas. Top with six more tortillas. Spread black-bean mixture on top of tortillas, then top with one cup of cheese. Top with six more tortillas and then last half of tomato-bean mixture. Arrange last six tortillas on top of the bean mixture and top with another ½ jar of salsa and remaining one cup cheese.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until cheese has melted and filling has cooked through. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Top with sour cream, guacamole, sliced jalapenos, etc.

Makes about 10 servings.

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