Dinner with ChibiChonk: Mexican Lasagna

One of my favorite hobbies is cooking. There is something soothing about dicing vegetables and measuring out spices. It is comforting to fill a scentless kitchen with wafting waves of culinary magic. Unfortunately, the circulation in my house is poor so those initial good smells turn into hours of lingering unpleasantness. But, I digress.

This week, we were inspired, once again, by Sam the Cooking Guy. We love streaming his YouTube channel for recipes. Out of all the cooking shows I watch, he’s the most relatable. He uses easily-obtained ingredients and doesn’t fancy things up too much. Rugjen immediately had his eye on Sam’s version of Mexican lasagna. I admit. I was intrigued.

Ingredients:

  • Yellow onion;
  • Red or green jalapenos;
  • Serrano peppers;
  • Cloves of garlic;
  • Ground beef;
  • Beef chorizo;
  • Fajita seasoning;
  • Diced tomatoes;
  • Oven Ready lasagna noodles;
  • Pepper jack cheese.

Method:

I’m still new to sharing my cooking adventures. I did quite a bit of research and learned that I should do everything in my power to make sure you, the reader, knows this recipe is borrowed from someone else. Instead of giving you quantities and the entire method, I direct you to please use the provided link to access the original recipe. CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL RECIPE.

The Cast:

In this recipe, you can purchase pre-made fajita seasoning or use Sam’s recipe. We decided to use Sam’s recipe. Unfortunately, I some how screwed up the proportions and ended up with 9 tablespoons of seasoning instead of 12. Thankfully, whatever I measured wrong didn’t make much of a difference, the spice level was perfect. Just a side note: Yes, it makes 12 tablespoons of seasoning. The next day we did cook the remaining 1/2 lbs. of ground beef, added a few tablespoons of the seasoning, and made nachos. It works great as a taco seasoning, so keep that in mind.

I shredded the pepper jack cheese, diced the serrano and jalapeno peppers, and diced the onion before I started cooking. I like to have all of the ingredients ready to go. You really need to do that with this recipe because the cooking process is actually really quick.

Look how beautiful it looks in the pan before and after the addition of the beef and beef chorizo…

After everything is cooked and looking delicious, you add some oven-ready lasagna noodles, the drained diced tomatoes, and stir until the noodles are covered. Then sprinkle in some pepper jack. Sorry for the crap picture. The steam was really messing with my white balance and focus. Even Lightroom couldn’t save it.

After everything looks well incorporated, it is dumped into an oven-safe casserole dish. Alternatively, you could probably make this in a cast-iron skillet or oven-proof skillet and just plop the mixture into the oven. I chose to put it in a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more pepper jack and she’s ready for a 30-minute bake.

Here she is in all her glory

Deviations:

Like I normally do, I deviated from the original recipe just a little. I only used one green jalapeno because I had a very large one. I used two serrano peppers because we wanted it spicy. I removed most of the pith from the jalapenos and the serranos, but I left as many seeds as I could. We wanted it really spicy and we accomplished that.

Final Verdict:

It is definitely something I will make again. Reading the comments on Sam’s website, someone negatively compared it to Hamburger Helper. Look. It uses oven-ready noodles. In no way, shape, or form is this recipe meant to be fine dining. This recipe was easy to make and tasted damn good in my opinion. Our family loved it. The noodles cooked well despite there being a distinct lack of liquid. The spice was off the charts, so if you don’t like spice, you might want to reconsider the peppers. I think it would taste fine without them, or less of them. You might even be able to substitute red and green bell peppers instead. I would say the recipe took me about an hour to make including prep time. Unless you have all of the ingredients already prepped, this might not be the best weekday meal. However, if you plan ahead, you can have dinner on the table in 45 minutes. Also, in my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with Hamburger Helper. Sometimes, you just need to get food on the table. There’s nothing wrong with a shortcut. It doesn’t somehow make you, or the meal, any less.

Until next time, ChibiChonk OUT.

Author: The Filthy Casual

I live my life one casual hobby at a time.

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