Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

I was leaving town for a few days and wanted to give my boyfriend a yummy casserole to eat on while the cook was away from the kitchen. I was craving mexican food, but as the economy is turning I really couldn't go out and buy any additional ingredients, and I had a full fridge and pantry to work with. I don't go out on a limb like this very often, but my goal was to use up food I already have and create a mexican casserole.

Can't say where the "Mexican Lasagna" idea came from. I just started pulling ingredients out of the panty and fridge that sounded good and then decided to make this dish.

Yesterday I defrosted four chicken breast and put in a zip top bag with a homemade marinade. What did I put in there? Hmm... I added half a bottle of italian dressing, chipotle chile powder, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, coriander, salt, black pepper and a few other forgettable spices I grabbed off my spice rack.
24 hours later, here we are and I have found a purpose for these juicy marinated chicken. I placed three in a casserole dish and put into a 350 oven for 45 minutes.
Here are some of the items I pulled out of my fridge and pantry: shredded cheddar cheese, tortillas, an onion, picante sauce, hatch green chile salsa, a can of cheddar cheese soup and cilantro.
45 minutes go by and the chicken is done becuase it is no longer pink when I cut into it.
With a fork and knife I cut and shredded the chicken into bite size pieces.
Then dumped the chicken into a bowl and used the "dirty" casserole dish to start building my Mexican Lasagna.
Onions! We need to cook these, I like mine tossed with salt, pepper and a little olive oil and then sauteed until translucent.
This is NOT a natural color. Not sure how this got into my panty, but it's been there for a while and I thought I would use it up since I didn't have that much other cheese on hand (I know, I was surprised too)
When it is Hatch Chile season I buy up as much of this stuff as I can. I love hatch chiles. Pour half the jar into the oddly colored cheddar cheese soup.
Mix it up really good. This is starting to look a little better.

Now, my "noodles" in this lasagna are torn flour tortillas. For the bottom layer I dipped them into my cheese and chile mixture.
Then arranged along the bottom of the dish.
Cover the entire bottom.
Smear the cheddar chile sauce evenly over the bottom.
Top with half the shredded chicken.

Half the caramelized onion mixture.
Half shredded cheese.
It looked a little too yellow and orange so I found this can of rotel in the pantry.
I had enough liquid in the casserole, so I drained the rotel first.
Then dumped the entire can on top of the shredded cheese.

I put about a half cup of the cheddar cheese chile sauce on top of that
Then a 1/4 cup of the hatch green chile salsa.
Tore up some tortillas and made another layer of "noodles."
Some hatch chile salsa on top of my torn tortillas. The remaining chicken pieces.

The remaining shredded cheese.
The remaining cheese chile mixture.
Oh! Ground cumin. Yum! Let's sprinkle that across the top lightly. A little goes a long way.
I was looking for more cheese to shred as my top layer and I think this Monterrey Jack cheese should go in the trash! yuck!
This is what the gooey goodness looks like after 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

This was sooo good. Not exactly healthy, but I went through a lot of ingredients I had laying around the kitchen in the pantry and fridge.
Cheese is all melted and the rotel mixed with the hatch chile salsa gave the Mexican Lasagna a nice spicy kick.

The cilantro made this dish. I should have chopped up more and put it in between some layers. This turned out really well, hot and melty full of cheese and chicken and a nice spicy kick. I think Jim will really enjoy this while I'm out of town.

1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy! Good job throwing things together that you already had. I suck at that without a recipe!


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