Maggie’s Monday Meals

Maggie’s Monday Meals

ou know what I love about Mexican “Lasagna” (aka”Mexican Casserole,” “Stacked Enchiladas,” or “Taco Lasagna”)? It’s all of my favorite Mexican foods—tacos, enchiladas, tostadas—layered into one giant dish.  It’s called a Mexican “lasagna” because it’s layered like its distant Italian cousin. Only in true southwestern style, we are using corn tortillas in place of lasagna noodles, salsa instead of sauce, beans in place of béchamel, and mild cheddar and jack instead of ricotta and Parmesan.  . You can assemble it ahead of time, refrigerate, and bake it before serving, or you can bake, cool, and warm it back up in the oven.

For some more ideas check out this week’s handy Foods sales flyer!

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 14-oz can refried pinto beans
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed or diced tomatoes, preferably “Fire Roasted”
  • 1 7-oz can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (choose sturdy tortillas mad with yellow corn)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 oz)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated mild cheddar cheese (about 8 oz)
Directions

Brown the ground beef

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan or cast iron frying pan on medium high heat. Add the ground meat,

Sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle on the chile powder, cayenne, cumin, and coriander. Increase the heat to high. Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

As soon as the meat is browned, remove the pan from the burner. Remove the meat from the pan to a bowl. Set aside.

Sauté onions, bell peppers, garlic, add tomatoes, chiles, oregano

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the empty pan used to cook the meat and set over medium heat.

Add the onions and chopped bell peppers. Cook until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for an additional 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, green chiles and oregano. Bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the tortillas.

Cook the tortillas

While the sauce is simmering, soften the tortillas by frying them in a little oil. In a 9-inch skillet, heat 1/2 cup olive oil on medium high heat until it is sizzling hot, but not smoking.

Cook the tortillas one at a time, for 5 seconds on each side, so that they soften, but don’t get crisp.

Remove the tortillas with a metal spatula or tongs and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

  • Preheat oven

    Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 9×13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

  • Assemble the casserole

    In baking dish, arrange 4 tortillas in one layer, overlapping slightly (tortillas will not cover bottom completely).

    (If you don’t have time to pre-soften the tortillas, coat the bottom of the pan with some olive oil and spread a little sauce over the bottom before adding the tortillas.)

    Spread half of bean mixture evenly over tortillas in dish and top with half of meat mixture. Sprinkle one third cheese over the meat and spread half of the sauce over the cheese.

    Repeat layering of tortillas, beans, meat, cheese, and sauce and top with remaining 4 tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas.

    Bake

    Bake casserole on the middle rack in the oven at 350°F for 35 minutes, until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is completely melted and bubbling.

    Let the casserole stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
    Top with all your favorites!  Try tomato, sour cream, avocado and lettuce.