Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Frozen Dinner Swap Returns!

The frozen dinner swap is back! Revived for the first day of summer. Just in time to save us from having to turn on our stoves and ovens during this sweltering heat. It's hard to get motivated to cook when it's so darn hot.

A group of us got together last night to catch up and swap meals and devour appetizers and wine. It's always such a good time, and I love sampling some new recipes. I highly encourage everyone to round up friends and start your own recipe swap. Here's a list of what everyone brought and recipes I'll share in the coming weeks.

Taco Pie
Latina Lasagna
Chicken Dorito Casserole
Red and White Tortellini
Chicken Zuchini Casserole
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Spaghetti
King Ranch Chicken

I took a risk this time around and made a recipe I've been lusting after but have never made. Risky move. I made six servings of Latina Lasagna, a delicious recipe I eyeballed in Southern Living several months ago. It's a fusion of traditional lasagna and south of the border flavors. Mexican-inspired lasagna doesn't sound the most appealing, but this dish is a divine twist on the original.

It was a hit in my household. We nearly mowed down the entire pan. And there's only two of us.

I hate to call anyone out ... but I only had one serving.

The best part about this recipe is you can use no-boil lasagna noodles. Boiling should be forbidden this time of year.

The second best part about this recipe is that it uses chorizo, a spicy mexican sausage, which is not expensive and has far more flavor than ground beef.

Me encanta el chorizo!

English Translation via Google Translate, "I love chorizo."

Odio Wal-Mart.

English Translation via Google Translate, "I hate Wal-Mart."

It's true, but I'll go there for chorizo.  

I found my chorizo at the Wal-Mart in the small town (population 12,799 as of 2009) where I work. If you can find it here, you can find it just about anywhere. Check in your grocery store near the other refrigerated sausage or wherever the specialty chilled Mexican ingredients are kept.

Here's the recipe and more great swap recipes are on the way!

Latina Lasagna
You can assemble and chill this up to two days ahead to bake before serving. Simply add 20 to 30 minutes to the baking time.

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Total: 1 Hour, 48 minutes

1 ½ pounds fresh chorizo sausage, casings removed
2 (24 oz.) jars tomato and basil pasta sauce
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
1 cup whipping cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 (16 oz.) package shredded Mexican four-cheese blend


·    Preheat oven to 375. Cook sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking sausage into pieces while cooking. Drain; return sausage to Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in pasta sauce, cilantro and chilies; cook, stirring often, 5 minutes.
·    Stir together ricotta cheese, whipping cream and eggs until smooth.
·    Spoon 1 cup sauce mixture into a lightly greased 13x9 inch pan. Top with 4 lasagna noodles. Top with half of ricotta cheese mixture, one-third of shredded Mexican cheese blend, and one-third of remaining sauce mixture. Repeat layers once, beginning with noodles. Top with remaining 4 noodles, sauce mixture and shredded cheese blend. Cover with aluminum foil.
·    Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 20 minutes before serving. 


Lindsey said...

Jenny was telling me about this on Sunday. sounds fab!

Stephanie Jordan said...

I really liked it. The chorizo made me nervous since I've never cooked with it before, but it wasn't bad or difficult. I put a lot of faith in Southern Living.