Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Mexican Lasagna

A few weeks ago one of my favourite fellow bloggers posted a recipe for her Momma's Lasagna, and it looked soooo good. In fact, it looked a lot like the lasagna my own momma used to make... and just like that, I was craving lasagna and resolved to make it for dinner that very night.

When I got home from work, I realised that I didn't have any pasta and I had no intention of going out just to buy some. What I did have was a stash of tortillas in the freezer, and chipotle lime sour cream leftover over from our seared steak fajitas... and so our dinner plans changed. OK, they didn't exactly change, they just altered. Instead of pasta we used tortillas, instead of herbs we used spices, instead of mushrooms we had sweetcorn and beans and instead of a topping of finely grated Parmesan we had chipotle lime sour cream. We had ourselves a Mexican Lasagna, folks!

This recipe is based on the lovely Nigella's Mexican Lasagna... but with a few tweaks. The main one being that we just couldn't resist adding some meat! Aside from that, we've just done our usual and personalised the recipe to suit our taste... a few spices, a different kind of bean, a few simplifications and slightly different quantities. If you're looking for a vegetarian treat though, please do go check out Nigella's original recipe in her book "Kitchen"!

Mexican Lasagna
Serves 6

500g beef mince
2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
340g tin sweet corn, drained
250g grated cheddar cheese
8 tortillas
1 red chilli
2 tblspns taco spice
2 tblspns tomato purée
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tspn minced garlic (2 cloves)
Handful fresh coriander
Salt and pepper, to season
Olive oil
1) Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the beef mince and gently brown. Add the taco spice, onion, chilli and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and starts to turn golden.

2) Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée and coriander to the pan. Season to taste, bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200c/ 180c fan/ 390 f/ Gas 6.

3) Put the kidney beans, cheese and sweetcorn in a large bowl and stir until evenly mixed.

4) When the meat sauce has finished its 15 minutes you are ready to assemble your lasagnas! We made one medium sized lasagna (to serve 2-3 people) and 4 individual portions, but feel free to make the combination that suits you- this freezes really well! To freeze some, assemble your individual lasagnas as below, allow to cool completely, cover with foil and pop in the freezer. To cook, defrost completely, preheat your oven to 200c/ 180c fan/ 390 f/ Gas 6 and cook for 30 minutes, uncovering for the last 15 minutes.

5) To assemble, line the bottom of your dish(es) with one layer of tortilla (you may need to tear them up a bit to make them fit!), a layer of meat sauce and then a layer of the bean mixture. Repeat twice more (tortilla, meat sauce, bean mixture) then top with a final layer of tortilla and a generous sprinkling of cheese.

6) Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, let it rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

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