Tex-Mex Lasagna

My husband hails from Texas, originally, and Mexican is his favorite cuisine. I, on the other hand, grew up in a home where cumin was a bad word and salsa was something I had never heard of until I was well into my teens. Now that I’m able to cook just about anything I want, I’m delving into Mexican cuisine with gusto. Sometimes the real deal, and sometimes Tex-Mex, because my husband goes for either.

This recipe is from Cuisine At Home‘s September/October 2012 issue. I know. It’s old. I’ve had it on my list to make for a while, and just never got around to it until now. Joshua is very easy about seasonal food; he doesn’t mind having a hot casserole at the end of an 88-degree day. What a guy. 😉

I subscribed to Cuisine At Home for many consecutive years, and just recently allowed my subscription to lapse, as I feel ready to move on to more intricate recipes and gourmet flavors. Bon Appetit is now my go-to cooking magazine. However, I appreciate Cuisine At Home’s basic and essential approach, and their spread on kitchen tips each issue was particularly helpful as I spread my culinary wings.

I made the recipe as is, but I suppose you could switch out the chicken for black beans and/or tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian approach. I also used two jalapeno peppers instead of the poblano chile, which should have blown us away with heat. They did not. I think cooking peppers diminishes their firepower.

TEX-MEX LASAGNA

Makes 8 servings.

14 corn tortillas, cut into thirds (6-inch)
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 large poblano chile, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. ancho chile powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
8 oz. Cheddar, shredded
8 oz. pepper Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
Arrange tortillas in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake tortillas until slightly crisp, about 15 minutes.
Saute onion, bell pepper, poblano, corn, and garlic in butter over medium-high heat until softened, 3-4 minutes.
Stir flour, chile powder, cumin, and coriander into vegetable mixture, then whisk in broth. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes; add lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
Line bottom of prepared baking dish with one-third of the tortilla strips. Layer with one-third of the chicken, vegetable mixture, and cheeses. Repeat twice, using one-third of the ingredients in each layer, ending with cheese.
Bake casserole until cheese is bubbly and melted, 30-35 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and let set 15 minutes before serving.

Joshua says: 9.5 out of 10. He thinks it could have been hotter, which is true – it definitely could have been, although I was happy with the dish. But honestly, there wasn’t much heat at all. I don’t know what happened to those jalapenos. Next time, I’ll douse his with cayenne pepper just before he eats it…

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