One of the perquisites of being a food writer is that people communicate with me about cooking, cooking projects, special occasions, and recipes. In the mail, a few days ago, I found a letter from my dear friend, Lorraine, who I’ve known for about 30 years, telling me about her travel plans to visit Mt. Rushmore, and points of interest along the way. She also sent me a recipe for a Mexican Lasagna that she has made many times and is always asked for the recipe. I am now the lucky recipient of a time-tested, favorite recipe, quite unsolicited. A much-loved recipe from a much-loved friend. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you Lorraine, I will cherish this recipe, and now that it is scanned into the world-wide web, it will live forever.
This is obviously not a traditional lasagna – the noodles are replaced by tortillas, and the cheeses are cottage cheese, Monterey Jack, and cheddar. I think of it as more of a deconstructed taco salad than as a lasagna. The bottom layers are baked in the oven for 30 minutes and then the fresh toppings of scallion, black olive, tomato, lettuce, and cheddar are applied once out of the oven, and served. One of the things that I like about this dish is that it contains no condensed soups or seasoning mixes so I know exactly what’s in it. This is an easy dish to prepare, it comes together quickly making it a good weekday dish, and made with corn tortillas, it is gluten free. This would also make an excellent pot-luck dish. I used ground beef but some not too lean, ground turkey would work nicely as well (I would add a little more seasoning if using turkey.) I served the dish with some vinegary hot sauce and some cool sour cream on the side. We loved it!
Here then, from the heart, is Lorraine’s Mexican Lasagna.