Southwest Lasagna


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Southwestern Pork, Corn & Green Chili Lasagna (Gluten Free Option) Serves 6-8
I developed this recipe for a recent class I taught about lasagna. It is similar to an enchilada casserole, but instead of using tortillas, it uses lasagna noodles. The noodles actually hold up better than the tortillas do – as the tortillas often become too soft and a little gooey. The lasagna noodles have more structure and absorb some of the delicious flavors of the sauce and cheese. The directions instruct roasting the pork roast in the oven, but you could also cook it in the crock pot. Of course, you could substitute a beef roast for the pork. Either way, if you make a large roast for dinner, you could use the leftover to make this lasagna for another day.

Some other quick tips you could substitute are:

1. Purchase pre-cooked shredded pork carnitas or beef machaca from the grocery store instead of roasting the meat.

2. Use two small cans of roasted green chilies in place of the two roasted poblano peppers.

3. Use 2 cups of frozen corn instead of the charred corn on the cob.

4. Use the no-bake lasagna noodles, but if you do this, make sure you use all of the sauce as the no-bake noodles have a tendency to absorb a lot of liquid as they cook.

1 teaspoon each – oregano, cumin, chipotle chili powder, salt, sugar (Quick Southwest Spice Mix)
1 2.5# pork sirloin roast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 ears of corn, charred and removed from the ear
2 28 ounce cans of green chile enchilada sauce
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 pound of pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 box of dried lasagna noodles (substitute gluten free lasagna noodles if you like)

1. Preheat the oven to 325.

2. Rub the Southwest Spice Mix all over the pork roast. Over medium high heat in a shallow roasting pan, heat the olive oil, add the roast and sear on all sides. Add the can of tomatoes and ? cup of water to the pan, cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and place in the oven for 2 hours until the meat is fork tender. Check the meat occasionally and add a bit of water if the pan gets dry. Shred the meat when it is cool enough to handle. Add the cooking liquid and tomatoes from the roast to the green chili enchilada sauce.

3. Increase oven temperature to 350.

4. Roast the peppers under a broiler or on a BBQ grill. The skin will char and blister. Remove the charred skin and seeds, but don’t rinse them under water, that will rinse away some of the flavor. Chop the peppers into 1/2” dice.

5. Prepare the lasagna noodles according to package directions.

6. Combine the ricotta with the cream, chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper.

7. Spread 1/2 cup of the green chili sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch lasagna baking dish.

8. Cover the sauce with a slightly overlapping layer of cooked noodles.

9. Evenly spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Then spread 1/2 of the pork, poblano peppers and corn over the noodles. Spread 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce and 1/3 of the shredded pepper jack cheese. Repeat with a second layer.

10. Top with a third layer of noodles and another 1 1/2 cups green chili sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining pepper jack cheese.

11. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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