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Terry & Dave Taylor

Mexican Lasagna

This recipe uses corn tortillas in place of noodles. It smells delicious and is very filling. A red pepper or green pepper will work, but if your family doesn't care for peppers, use a cup of corn kernels. The casserole is fairly spicy - but you could heat it up even more by adding a chopped jalapeno pepper.

1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 pound ground beef (or turkey, or chicken)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
10 ounce can diced tomatoes & green chilies (I use Rotel Original)
4 ounce can diced green chilies (I use Ortega)
2.25 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
6 corn tortillas
8 ounce (2 cups) grated Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup your favorite Mexican salsa

Heat oven to 350°. Oil an 8x8-inch glass baking dish. Heat oil in a large skillet and saute the beef, onion and pepper together over a medium-high heat, breaking up the ground beef as you stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. After five minutes, stir in the garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, paprika and continue cooking until the beef is just cooked through, about another five minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the cans of diced tomatoes, diced green chilies and sliced olives into the skillet with the ground beef mixture and stir well. (Mixture will seem soggy - this is good.)

Overlap 3 tortillas on the bottom of the baking dish, covering as well as possible. Spoon half of the beef mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top of the beef mixture. Repeat by layering three more tortillas, the remaining beef mixture and remaining cheese. Press the layers down a bit with your palm and then spoon the salsa decoratively over the top of the cheese.

Bake for 40 minutes, until the casserole begins to brown at the edges and is bubbly. Remove from oven and let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

NOTES: Mexican Lasagna can be earlier in the day, refrigerated and baked before serving. The resting time is important - it will not serve well unless it sets up a bit. Round tortillas in a square pan? It isn't necessary to cover every inch of the bottom of the baking dish with the tortillas, but if you wish - simply cut the tortillas with scissors and pretend it's a puzzle. Need to feed a crowd? Mexican Lasagna doubles easily.

: This dish works well in the RV, because it only uses one skillet and one baking dish. Make it even easier on yourself and buy a bag of already-shredded cheese. I can put this together in less than 15 minutes.

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