Monday, January 12, 2009

Put a little salsa back in your ... lasagna?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you to do.

But we're not talking about Mama Rigatoni's traditional dish here. I'm giving you the recipe for one of the fastest, cheapest, tastiest, comfort-foodiest dishes out there: taco lasagna.

My mom clipped this recipe out of The Inquirer I think sometime in the Paleozoic era, and photocopies and variations have been floating between our residences ever since. ("Variations" in this case means retaining only the concept and two ingredients, and playing around with all the rest.)

We love it because it a) can be made healthier, and b) is made in the microwave. Note: Sombreros are optional.

Taco Lasagna

[here's where the picture would be if I had remembered to take one when I made this two weeks ago. I will try to recreate it in words: Mmmm. steaming hot dish of melted cheese and warm tortillas and heated beans! mmmm. Um ... MMMMMM.]

Ingredients

1 to 2 pounds of ground beef (depends on your desire for meatasticness)
Salt
Pepper
6 whole wheat or multi-grain tortillas
2 cups Mexican cheese
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 can salsa

Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain off fat. Season with salt, pepper, and any other favorite spices.

In an 8-inch square casserole dish (make sure it's deep enough to layer), make 6 layers of tortillas, meat, beans, and cheese. Save a couple spoonfuls of beans for the top.

Note: You might only get four or five layers in, depending on your dish. Not a problem at all -- just keep layering until you can layer no more. This is not an exact science.

Cover with wax paper (to minimize any splatter), and microwave on high 10 minutes, rotating every three minutes. Remove from microwave and pour salsa on top. Return to microwave for another 3 minutes. Cut it in wedges to serve. Serves 8.

Feel free to continue our variation theme -- perhaps with assorted meats or cheese or beans or different instructions entirely. I'm down with that. Oh, and share your creations here!

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