Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

In keeping with the Cinco de Mayo, Mexican theme, I made Mexican Lasagna last night. Both my boys enjoyed it. I have to say that it was pretty good. There is no comparison to the Italian version of lasagna but has a nice taste. I made this recipe a few years ago for a friend who had just had twins. She made a point of letting me know how much her family enjoyed it. I suppose, if you just had twins you would enjoy any meal that someone made for you. Just thinkin.

This recipe comes from The Dinner Doctor Cookbook by Anne Byrn. She has a similar style to Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade on the Food Network. Yes, she cuts corners but all the recipes I have tried from her cookbook have gone over well with my family and friends. So, as they say, "try it, you'll like it."

Anne says of this Mexican "Lasagna" recipe that she didn't come up with it herself, but that it "made the circuit". I guess she means that it has been passed around for a while. The only trick she mentions is that you need to use the correct size corn tortillas as your glass pie pan but if you have a 9 inch pan and 10 inch tortillas, just go ahead and cut them to size. No problemo.

Mexican "Lasagna"

To Prep & Cook: 15 Minutes
To Bake: 20-25 Minutes

Vegetable oil cooking spray for misting the skillet
1 pound ground beef round
1 jar (12 ounces) chunky salsa
6 corn tortillas (10 inches each)
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans, fat free if possible
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 package (8 ounces; 2 cups) pre-shredded Mexican-style 4 cheese blend
Chopped fresh tomato and chopped scallions, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mist a large skillet with vegetable oil cooking spray, and place over medium-high heat. Crumble in the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon, until the beef browns all over and is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the salsa. Set the beef mixture aside.

3. Spread the remaining salsa on the bottom of a 10-inch glass pie pan. Top it with 3 of the tortillas. Spread half of the beans over the tortillas. Spread half of the meat mixture, then 1/2 cup of the sour cream, then 1 cup of the cheese. Top with the remaining 3 tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with all but 1/4 cup of the remaining cheese. Cover the pie pan loosely with aluminum foil.

4. Bake the "lasagna" until it is hot throughout and the cheese has melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the "lasagna" from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes, then cut it into wedges or spoon servings onto plates, garnished with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the chopped tomato and scallions, if desired.

Sorry but I didn't take any pictures of this dish.

The Creative Cook