Southwestern Lasagna

southwestern lasagna
This is a beautiful dish. Pure Mexican comfort food! It has so many layers of flavors and pretty colors. For a complete meal, serve with Mexican rice and cornbread.

Southwestern Lasagna

1 pound ground chuck
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 poblano or Anaheim pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
10 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies, lime juice and cilantro, drained
14.5 ounce fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
20 to 28 ounce can red enchilada sauce (depending on how much sauce you like)
12- six inch, taco size flour or corn tortillas
3 cups Mexican cheese blend
Garnishes: Sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes, guacamole, and cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350F. Brown ground chuck with red onion in a large skillet. While ground beef and red onion are cooking, roast poblano or Anaheim pepper over the flame of a gas stove or grill. Turn heat to high and set pepper directly over the flame. Using metal tongs, turn the pepper until all the surface area is charred and blistered. Place pepper in a zip-top bag and seal it. After a few minutes the steam will loosen the skin of the pepper. Remove most of the blackened skin with a paper towel. Cut pepper in half, remove seeds and stem, and chop pepper into a 1/4 inch dice. Set aside.

After ground chuck is browned and red onion is soft, drain the mixture to remove any grease. Return to meat mixture skillet and add spices. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat to bloom the spices. Stir in charred pepper, diced tomatoes with green chilies; fire roasted tomatoes, and black beans. Set aside. Cut 12 tortillas in half with a knife.

Layer southwestern lasagna in a 9 X 13 glass or ceramic rectangular baking dish in the following order. Place 1/4 can of red enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch dish. Place the flat side of 2 tortilla halves along each side of the dish (4 halves total) on the 13 inch sides. Tear 4 more halves filling in the blank spaces. Spoon half of the meat mixture evenly over the flour tortillas. Top with 1 cup Mexican cheese blend. Repeat process to make the second layer. After you have two layers. Place one more layer of tortillas and top with remaining 1/2 can enchilada sauce. Reserve remaining 1 cup cheese for later.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes on 350F. The lasagna should be bubbling. Remove foil from lasagna and top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Cook 10 to 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before cutting. Serve with sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes, guacamole, and cilantro leaves. Can be made one day in advance and refrigerated before cooking. Set out for 30 minutes before baking and adjust cooking time to account for the ingredients being cold.

Published in The News and Neighbor on April 16, 2016

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