Saturday, 29 January 2011

Mexican Lasagne with Guacamole (From Nigella Kitchen)

Note that this photo doesn't at all match up to the one in Nigella's cookbook.
Continuing with recipes from my new cookbooks, I cooked a Mexican Lasagne from Nigella's 'Kitchen' last night. It's such a great idea, layers of tortillas filled with tomatoes, peppers, onion, chilli, sweetcorn, beans and cheese. It would be great for a crowd as her version serves 8. We halved the recipe and just used 3 tortillas instead of her 8. We also added some spitroast chicken which was a good addition. But I'd say the recipe needs a little tweaking and here's what I'd do when I make it again:
Put some extra chilli in the sauce, it needed zinging up a little to be more 'mexican'.
Maybe add some cajun seasoning for more mexican flavour.
Not put the extra water in that she recommends, it made the sauce way too liquidy and it didn't bake up enough.
We served it with salad and my boyfriend had his with some guacamole which he said made it much better.

Ingredients - serves 8
For the sauce: 1 tablespoon garlic oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, de seeded and chopped
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coriander stalks, finely chopped
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes, plus 400ml water swilled from empty cans (it definitely didn't need this, I'd advise you to leave it out and only add a little water if it's too thick)
1 squirt of tomato ketchup
For the filling:
2 x 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 250g cans sweetcorn
250g mature Cheddar
Some spit roasted chicken (optional)
1 packet (8) soft tortillas

Salad and guacamole to serve.

1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Then make the sauce by heating the oil in a pan, frying the onion, pepper and chilli. Add the salt and cook gently for 15minutes, once soft add the coriander. Then add the chopped tomatoes (and water, see note above). Spoon in the ketchup and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing the drained beans and sweetcorn in a bowl and most of the grated cheese. (we put the chicken here too)
3. Assemble the lasagne by spooning a third of the sauce in the bottom of an ovenproof dish (approx 26cm x 6cm deep) then layer 2 tortillas so they cover the sauce overlapping slightly.
4. Then add a third of the beans and cheese mixture, covering the tortillas and then add a quarter of the remaining sauce and 2 tortillas to cover.
5. Repeat with another 1/3 of the beans and cheese and some more sauce before layering another 2 tortillas.
6. Finally. add the last layer of beans and cheese and nearly all the sauce before covering with the last 2 tortillas. Then spread the last of the sauce with the remaining cheese before baking in the oven for 30minutes. Then let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and eating with the salad and guacamole. 

- Nigella also notes that this can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated until needed but with an extra 5 minutes cooking time. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months by wrapping the dish in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil. Then defrost in the fridge overnight and cook as above. 

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