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Mexican Lasagna

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano, if you have access to it)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice (plain, no added spices) OR 1 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice, chopped
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups your favorite salsa, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, longhorn or colby cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for a few minutes. In a large bowl, combine the cooked ground beef and garlic with the refried beans, oregano, chili powder, cumin, tomatoes and chiles.

Line the baking dish with half of the tortillas. Spoon half of the ground beef mixture evenly over the tortillas. Then top with the remaining 5 tortillas. Spread 1 cup of the salsa in an even layer over the tortillas. Then, last, the remaining one-half of the ground beef mixture.

Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven.

Combine the sour cream, remaining 1/2 cup salsa and green onions. Spread evenly over casserole, and top with shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes 6 to 8 servings, depending upon appetites.

Note: There are all kinds of ways to vary this dish. It can be garnished with an array of fresh ingredients like chopped black olives, chopped cilantro leaves, and chopped plum tomatoes.

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