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The Best Mexican Lasagna… Ever? December 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — crankychef @ 4:04 am

If you ever want to spend a lot of time making a dish that will make you and your loved ones all happy, listen up. None of this is in any way technically challenging, but there are a lot of steps that will take longer than you anticipate and you will thank your lucky stars you have a nice boyfriend who does the dishes.

The original recipe is from Gourmet (R.I.P.) and is detailed quite simply and adequately there. I made the following adjustments: cilantro omitted, raisins omitted (for a fellow diner), spinach reduced, black beans doubled (to use a whole can, rather than 1/2). If you like spicy things, you might want to add some kick into one of the components. Although poblano (pasillas, in California) peppers can be spicy they generally aren’t too much. Every once in a while a bite gives a shocking kick, but I would not call this a spicy recipe overall.

Step 1: Roast peppers

  • Broil ~12 poblano or pasilla peppers, regularly turning, until blackened (about ten minutes). Toss in a paper bag and seal up, or throw in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Both methods will help steam off the skins. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with your hands and remove the core, seeds, and pith.
  • I recommend doing this step the evening before for two reasons: (1) it takes longer than you may expect, and (2) although the peppers are mildly spicy and your hands will not burn at the time, there is enough capsaicin in these peppers to make your hands burn from the heat and steam of subsequent steps. I peeled mine, washed my hands, watched a bunch of football, and when I finished the recipe a few hours later my fingers were absolutely burning. So, be warned!

broiling pasilla peppers

Step 2: Tomato Sauce

  • Puree 1 can whole tomatoes plus juice, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, 2T olive oil, 1/4t sugar, and 1/4t salt, and a small handful of cilantro if so inclined. Simmer in a small saucepan or skillet until reduced to about 1 cup sauce remains (about 10 minutes).

tomato sauce

Step 3: Goat Cheese Sauce

  • Whip this up while working on your tomato sauce!
  • Simmer 1 cup heavy cream and 2t dried epazote, covered and stirring periodically for about 10 minutes. Either strain out the epizote after 10 minutes, or make a cheese cloth package for the epazote and remove.
  • Whisk in 8 ounces goat cheese and salt to taste, keep over low heat. This will become perfect and creamy in no time. You will want to eat it like soup.

goat cheese sauce

Step 4: Spinach

  • I did everything (sans raisins) according to the main recipe. But, screw it: use frozen spinach. For a dish like this, with so many layers and flavors, I think it’s okay. I absolutely love spinach, but every time I cook it I find myself annoyed. So, instead:
  • Buy a couple packages of frozen spinach. Thaw ’em, squeeze ’em dry, and then briefly saute them and a handful of raisins in a couple tablespoons olive oil for a minute or two.

Step 5: Fry tortillas

  • Heat up a few tablespoons olive oil in a skillet, and fry up 6 corn tortillas, halved, in batches as you can fit them in the pan without crowding. Flip ’em in the oil a few times. They should be crispy and slighly browned in a minute or two.
  • This is my new favorite thing to do in the kitchen. If you are smart like me you will fry a few extras as a special chef’s treat.

my new hobby

Step 6: Black beans

  • Open and rinse 1 can black beans.

Step 7:  Assemble!

everything but the beans

From BOTTOM of a 2 quart (~8″x8″) casserole dish, layer as such:

  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce on bottom
  • 1/2 of tortillas
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup or 1/2 black beans
  • layer of chiles
  • 1/2 of spinach
  • 1/4 of goat cheese sauce
  • layer of chiles
  • remaining spinach
  • remaining black beans
  • 1/4 of goat cheese sauce
  • layer of chiles
  • remaining tomato sauce
  • remaining tortillas
  • remaining goat cheese sauce, smotheringly applied!

Bake at 350 degrees, covered in foil, for 30 minutes. Then place under the broiler for about 3 minute, or until nice and browned.

voila!

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One Response to “The Best Mexican Lasagna… Ever?”

  1. rosemary Says:

    wow, feed.me.now.


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