Monday, May 30, 2011

Lundi: Recipes

We had company last weekend here at chez Pauline, which is always a nice break from the usual routine.  I thought, keeping in line with the theme of busting out of the ordinary, I’d try a new recipe.  I wanted something that could cook while I socialized and would be easy to serve buffet style.  Voila, lasagna: Mexican lasagna.

This is a recipe from the Times-Picayune cookbook Cooking Up a Storm and they attribute it to Cynthia Shields Viator of Harvey, Louisiana.  Of course I’ve tweaked it a little because that’s how I roll but let me tell you it is delicious.  It is a bit of work on the front end but it was easy to deal with once assembled and a crowd pleaser.  One of my guests had three pieces.

2 tbsps olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef
1 10 oz can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 package taco mix
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 package lasagna noodles
1 8 oz container of sour cream
1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
1 pound Jack or pepper Jack cheese, grated
1 pound sharp cheddar or American cheese, grated
¼ cup black or green olives, sliced

Cook 10 lasagna noodles as per package instructions.  Set aside on a tea towel to cool.

In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese and sour cream then stir in the green onions and mix well.  Mix the Jack and cheddar cheese together.  Set all aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add the onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Saut√© until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the ground beef and brown.  Drain fat and then add the Ro-Tel tomatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Now stir in the taco mix and combine thoroughly.  Add the tomato sauce, stir and then simmer for about fifteen minutes.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Coat a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Now, layer your lasagna in your baking dish starting with 5 lasagna noodles on the bottom.  Coat these with ½ of the cream cheese mixture followed by ½ of the ground beef mixture and ½ of the shredded cheese.  Repeat the same process for a second layer.  Now sprinkle the cheese with sliced olives and cover the dish with aluminum foil.  Bake for one hour or until bubbly.  Allow to cool 15 minutes with foil on, slice and enjoy.

Note that your lasagna may bubble over, so baking it on a foil lined cookie sheet will save you from a mess in your oven.  Bon appetite ~

Header: Barroom Dance by John Lewis Cromwell (pretty much the way most of my get-togethers end up)

2 comments:

Timmy! said...

It was super good, Pauline (and very filling). I couldn't manage three pieces, but I did have two... and a good time was had by all.

That picture is a pretty good depiction of one of your parties, Pauline... That must be you dancing in the middle. You are always the belle of the ball (to me at the very least).

Pauline said...

It was good leftovers, too.

I do love to get my dance on.