Monday, June 19, 2006

Southwest Lasagna


This has a nice little "kick" to it, but it's not "where's my water!" hot.  If you have family members that insist on "mild" use a mild salsa as the enchilada sauce has a little bit of heat.

Southwest Lasagna

1 and 1/3 to 1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground sirloin or venison (measurement is basic, it's not rocket science)
6 - 10 inch (fajita sized) flour tortillas
1 and 1/4 cup (10 ounces) homemade enchilada sauce (see below).
1 cup hot salsa (I used Krogers house brand Habanero and Chipotle).
2 cups Trader Joes Frozen Roasted Corn (thawed) or your own corn.  To roast, place a dry large cast iron or heavy nonstick fry pan over medium high heat.  Add the corn and cook, stirring constantly, until the corn just begins to brown, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
4 cups bagged shredded cheese (I used a sharp cheddar Colby jack combination).

Brown meat, drain and add salsa and enchilada sauce (depending on how long you cook it you may have a little bit more than 10 ounces of enchilada sauce.  Store any leftover sauce.  It's great with scrambled egg dishes the next day. 

Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan or a deep dish 10 x 10 one (I used the 10 x 10 one, an old Corning Ware dish of Mom's) with non stick spray.

Lay two tortillas in bottom of pan. Overlap as needed.  If there are gaps around any edge(s), adjust the tortillas in the next layer to lay over those spots.

Top with 1/3 of the meat mixture, 1 and 1/3 cups of cheese and 1 cup corn. Top with two more tortillas, 1/3 of the meat, rest of corn, and 1 and 1/3 cup cheese. Two more tortillas, then rest of meat mixture and cheese. Cover and bake at  350 degrees F. 30 minutes for 13 x 9 inch pan, 35-40 for deep dish pan  (until bubbly around edges and cheese on top melted but not browned. Let sit a few minutes before serving.

Feeds 8  but freezes well if you have leftovers.

Enchilada Sauce

3 and 1/2 tablespoons canola oil or EVOO
3 tablespoons and two teaspoons Penzey's 9000 chili powder  (try this stuff, it's amazing)
1 teaspoon Penzey's Ancho Chili Powder
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 heaping tsp.Penzey's Italian seasoning ( or any type Italian seasoning)
1/2 Tablespoon honey
2 cups chicken or turkey stock (broth)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 CAP-ful of Scoville Brothers Singing Smoke hot sauce or smokey hot sauce of your liking (about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon, with the larger amount giving it more "hot")

Heat oil on low and stir in spices. Mix in flour and honey to make a paste and stir into the oil, still on low. Whisk in two cups of broth and whisk, raising heat to medium until it comes to a simmering  (low) boil. Add red pepper flakes and hot sauce. Simmer at least 15 minutes, whisking constantly and reducing heat slightly if it tries to get near a rolling boil.

Use immediately or cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for a week.  Makes 1 and 1/4 to 1 and 1/2 cup depending how long you let it simmer.  As it cools, continue to stir it once in a while before using or putting leftovers away.

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