One of those comfort zones happens to be Mexican food so i knew right away that I was going to try to incorporate those flavours into this challenge. I am sure there is a restaurant chain in there somewhere, "Paco and Pasquale's"? Gnocchi a la Veracruz? Carnitas ravioli?
One of my favorite stews to make is a green chile verde with pork. I would love to tell you the story behind how my Old El Asso chile verde came about but it's a salty tale and not at all PC. The bottom line is that I got my original recipe from an online friend of Mexican heritage and I have played with it and tweaked it over the years. I thought that if I made that but tried to make it less soupy and substituted the ricotta for queso fresco and added a bit of Monterey jack in place of mozzarella, it might work. Basically, if you switched out the pasta for layers of corn tortillas you would have an enchilada so there was no reason for it not to work.
I was, once again, happy to see that when i googled "chile verde lasagna" that i actually found quite a few recipes like this one over at closet cooking that looked like something i would like
I made the chili verde this morning using the crock pot and the three main changes I made to my regular recipe was to add less liquid, leave out the potatoes and leave out the jalepenos so that Little Shack would eat it. Sometimes I make my chili verde too spicy and he doesn't eat it and normally I am happy about that because it just means that there is more for me but I wanted him to actually eat this.
I used canned poblanos and canned tomatillos because, frankly, since this was going to end up in a cheesy baked dish where all the flavours were going to mash all together I didn't think it was as vital that I use fresh tomatillos and peppers and char them first and do all of that. If I make this to be eaten on it's own as a stew, I would definitely do my best to use fresh, charred veggies but the canned chiles and tomatillos were more than fine in this particular dish.
|stew in the crock pot ready to cook|
After the stew was finished, I let it cool completely and I ended up using about 3/4 of the meat. I strained out almost all of the liquid so it would be a bit thick and was left with kind of a tasty soup with a bit of pork that i will add potatoes too and maybe some chick peas for dinner tomorrow. Bonus!
As i was assembling the lasagna, i realized I still had a bit of pico de gallo left in the fridge so I did this:
Oiled the lasagna pan lightly, added a bit of sauce to the bottom of the pan, layer of pasta, layer of queso, sprinkling of pico de gallo, pork stew meat, a light sprinkling of grated jack cheese, lather , rinse , repeat for three layers and top the whole thing with lots of grated jack cheese.