Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Retro time! Mexican Lasanga

I've been collecting old spiral-bound cookbooks for the last year or two while on my thrifting adventures - I have something like 15 now. Most of them are church fundraisers, and all of them have at least one Jell-O salad recipe.

We won't be making Ham in Aspic here at NFP, don't worry.

It is fun to trace recipes that are still standards now back to the 60s and 70s, tho - watching the spellings change in the non-English words (I found a recipe for Buf Borgonion, I kid you not), seeing margarine replace butter then shortening replace margarine then back to butter, it's all very entertaining. Obviously, there are huge expanses of each volume devoted entirely to Casseroles. And one that makes an appearance in one of my earliest books (1962, the publish date on that one) is Mexican Lasagna.

I have plans to sift through some of the stranger recipes and veggie-fy them in the coming months, but for now, that recipe serves as merely inspiration. Keep your eyes peeled for retro veggie dishes in 2011!

Mexican Lasagna

For the sauce:
1 28oz can tomatoes, diced or crushed
3 tablespoons butter
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin, toasted
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
Dash sugar
1 tablespoon faux-chicken or vegetable broth concentrate 
1 stick cinnamon, whole
Salt to taste

For the rest:
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles 
1 package TJ's soy chorizo or 10 ozs faux-hamburger crumbles
10ozs shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 Poblano peppers
1 package Requeson cheese or Ricotta
2 garlic cloves, minced
Dash Mexican Oregano
2 eggs, beaten
1 can black beans, drained 

Roast your poblanos either over a gas burner, turning until charred, or under your broiler, until the skins bubble and turn black. Place them in a paper bag to steam for 15-30 minutes. 

Melt your butter in a saucepan and add garlic, onion, jalapeno. Saute until onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to mix. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until tomatoes have softened and flavors blend. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375f.

De-seed and peel your poblanos. I do this under running water to make the skins slide off more easily. Mince the peppers and put them in a small bowl - add your Requeson (a Mexican ricotta-style cheese) or Ricotta. Add garlic, oregano, and taste - if you've used Requeson, you won't need to salt this. Add eggs and mix well.

Remove cinnamon stick from sauce and puree with an immersion blender or puree in batches in your food processor. 

Oil a 9 x 9 or 11 x 6 baking dish and layer as follows: 1 ladle of sauce, noodles, beans, chorizo, requeson, Jack cheese. Repeat twice, reserving most of the Jack cheese for the top layer. Top with remaining sauce and Jack cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and broil top of lasagna until brown in places.

Serve with hot sauce and minced jalapenos. 

Happy Holidays, my dears! If you're anything like me, you'll be cooking up a storm for family and friends. Which is awesome for vegetarian me - it feels like missionary work AND I can eat everything on the table! If I can manage to grab some shots of the grub, I'll put them up here for showing-offs sake. Cheers and happiness to you and yours!

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