Monday, July 31, 2017
MEXICAN LASAGNA 2 lbs. 93% lean ground beef 16-oz. can refried beans 4-oz. can chopped green chilies 1 pkg. taco seasoning or Homemade Taco Seasoning 2 8-oz. bags shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided 16-oz. uncooked lasagna noodles 24-oz. jar Pace mild or medium chunky salsa, divided use 2 cups water (see note below) 16-oz. sour cream 2 ¼-oz. can sliced ripe olives, drained 3 green onions, chopped 3 small roma tomatoes, chopped In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the beans, chilies, taco seasoning and 2 heaping tablespoonfuls salsa; mix well. Heat through over medium heat about 5 minutes. In a well greased 9x13” baking dish, spread at least a cup of the meat mixture on the bottom to prevent noodles from sticking. Layer a row of four noodles and spread with one-third of the remaining beef mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layers twice. Combine remaining salsa and water; pour over top. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour and a half, or until noodles test fork tender. Uncover; top with sour cream, then cheese, then olives, then onions, and finally tomatoes. Bake 5-15 minutes longer—until cheese melts. Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting. Notes When pouring salsa/water mixture over top it is imperative that you cover the noodles as much as possible so they don’t get dried out while baking. You must spread at least a cup of beef mixture on the bottom of the baking dish or the noodles will stick to the bottom of the pan. You can use enchilada sauce with the salsa to pour over top, if desired. Since the noodles aren't pre-cooked you cannot add additional layers or there is not enough moisture in the casserole to bake them through sufficiently. Baking time is approximate. Your oven may take 1 hour or 2 hours depending on if it runs fast or slow. Check for doneness by pricking noodles with a fork. If the noodles are tender, the casserole is cooked enough. If you wish to precook your lasagna noodles, cook only to al dente. Then spread the salsa over top of the casserole WITHOUT mixing it with water. Bake about 30-40 minutes or until casserole is bubbly. Then spread with sour cream, add cheese, green onions, olives and tomatoes. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts.