Tomorrow, Ben and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. (It's hard for me to believe but it's true.) We started dating when we were in high school and after graduation we ended up going to separate colleges. Ben really wanted to study aeronautics and pursue his Air Force career at Miami and I was headed to Kent as an Interior Design major. (It didn't even take a whole semester before I changed majors.) While we were living at school, we didn't see a whole lot of each other so we spent endless hours on the phone and wrote good old fashioned love letters.
No long distance relationship is easy but we made it work. Ben learned first hand, the joys of the Greyhound bus. I caught a ride to Miami for the weekend with a friend a couple times and we would meet at home over long holidays and of course, we would spend as much time together as we could over the summer vacation.
My very first trip to see Ben at college was not long after we had gotten settled into our campus' as college freshman. Ben's parents were heading down to Miami for parent's weekend and offered to take me along. Of course, I jumped at the chance to see Ben. (Check out those groovy hairdos.) I don't remember too much about the weekend except that we all went out for Mexican just before we left Ben on campus and started our 5 hour journey home. Apparently, I ate A LOT of food because Ben's dad STILL talks about how much food I consumed that night. He was in total shock that such a tiny girl could eat that amount of food. (hehe)
Maybe I was drowning my sorrows over having to say goodbye to Ben - maybe I was just a really hungry college girl, or maybe the food was just really, really good, either way - my father in law as astounded.
I don't really remember much about that dinner and the only reason that I know that I ate a lot that night is because my father in law still talks about it. (I must have been quite the little piggy.) Anyway, I've always loved Mexican so I'm just going to assume that I ate a ton because it was delicious.
I found this recipe for Mexican Lasagne off of Nigella's Kitchen. I changed up her recipe slightly to make the dish a little more kid friendly but I think your going to like it. Even though it's delicious, I will try and not overeat - at least when my father in law is around, that is.
Source: Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 can chopped green chiles
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 1/4 cups drained canned corn, from about 1 1/2 (15-ounce cans)
- 2 1/2 cups grated mature goats Cheddar, or cheese of your choice
- 6-8 soft flour tortillas (approximately 10-inch diameter)
- 1 round ovenproof dish, approximately 10 inches diameter and 2 1/4 inches deep
- Salsa, for serving, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan on the stove and fry the ground turkey.
Add the onion.
Add the bell pepper.
Add the chiles and salt and cook gently for 15 minutes.
Add the chopped cilantro stalks.
Add the canned tomatoes. Spoon in the ketchup and let things come to a simmer, leaving the sauce to cook while you get on with preparing the filling- about 10 minutes.
For the filling:
Mix the drained beans and canned corn in a bowl. Add most of the grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on the top at the end, and mix together.
Layer on 2 tortillas so that they cover the bottom of the dish.
Add a third of the salsa mixture over the tortillas.
Add half of the beans and cheese mixture covering the salsa.
Repeat layering. Finish with a layer of tortillas and then a layer of salsa.
Finally, add the last layer of beans and cheese, nearly all of the remaining salsa and cover with the last 2 tortillas. Spread the very last bit of salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. (I accidentally used up all of my cheese in the filling - oh well.)