Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Slow cooker: Fajita lasagne
Mexican/italian inspiration here today, it's one of those days that feels like it should be 5pm but it's only 11am, it feels like it should be Friday but it's only Wednesday... nursing (not in the boob sense for once) sick kids here and awake since 5.20am blah blah, so I wanted an easy dinner that I could stick on while I still have the energy to walk around, and forget about until the evening.
Enter the slow cooker lasagne. I've done them before with normal dried pasta sheets but never used tortillas for the layers, we'll see how it goes. My main reason for using the slow cooker was that the rest of the kitchen isn't clean/tidy enough to cook in, my slow cooker sits on a metal pot stand in a space all of its own and doesn't give a damn about the mess. Love it. Plus it meant I could do dinner this early while I still have some energy, rather than mid-afternoon when I'll be looking for a nap.
My slow cooker is a 6.5l, and this would feed 5-6 people with a salad on the side if you are that posh, we're not.
I feel this needs a disclaimer before I begin: It's not a healthy homemade dish. It's a processed quick-throw-together-but-you-can-still-claim-you-made-dinner type, so no judgements here please. It's still a step up from frozen pizza. I think. It's loosely inspired by Nigella's recipe here.
Ingredients: (please don't go measuring your cheese etc, rock 'n' roll people, use what you have and substitute the rest)
4 flour tortillas
1 green pepper
1/3 butternut squash (previously roasted)
375g mature cheddar, grated
1 large carrot, grated
2/3 tin of baked beans
500g hot salsa (about 2.5 cups)
Natural yogurt/milk kefir
Into the slow cooker I put some salsa to cover the bottom, then a tortilla, pressing it down and letting it bend up the sides. Followed by the chopped green pepper and some cheese, another tortilla, this time I ripped off the extra bits so none up the sides. Followed by the grated carrot and salsa, another tortilla, the butternut squash and cheese, a tortilla, the beans etc, you get my point. One layer of tortilla was entirely the ripped-off pieces so I think I had 5 layers in total. I topped it all with the last of the cheese mixed with the kefir to give a creamy topping. I've put it on high and checked after 3.5 hours. It puffed up a huge amount, touching the inside of the lid, I removed the lid and continued cooking for another 45 mins or so. The first portions we ate were slightly wet in the layers, but it continued to firm up for the rest of the day. I reheated portions in the oven the next day and it tasted even better, so I'd suggest making this a day earlier than you'll need it. I'll definitely be making this again.
The only thing I made sure to do was to put the vegetables needing cooking in the bottom layers, as they will get more heat. The rest is up to you. I'd use any combinations of vegetables, and your own tomato sauce if you like, proper beans - not tinned, or corn tortillas instead. I would have loved this with black beans and chopped chilli but I know my kids wouldn't touch that, so I'm pleasing the masses today. This will refreeze in portions for reheating, should you not scoff the lot in the first day or two.
Plans for the rest of the day: Crochet, watch a movie or two, clean down the kitchen countertops, unload and reload the dishwasher, em, not much else. Dose my kids with more homeopathy and get lots of water into them. Rest. How about you?