Latin Lasagna

I saw this Lasagna being made on the Cooking Channel last weekend. I got so excited I ran from the TV room to the Office where Susan was working on the computer to say “I just saw the most amazing dish on Cooking. I got to make it!”

And I did. On Sunday March 4, 2012. Kind of a early birthday celebration with Susan, my daughter and her husband–and their dog, Bella. (My birthday is March 7.)

Here I am getting started (Notice Sock Monkey the Chef in the background; He just refused to face the camera!):


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used homemade.)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded pepper-jack cheese, divided
  • 6 ounces raw Mexican chorizo, casing removed removed, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 to 6 ripe black-skinned plantains, peeled, halved horizontally and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Paprika to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Here I am whisking the Pepper-Jack White Sauce (I heard Susan in the other room say, “Sounds like you are taking alot of self-portraits!”):


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9-inchkaing dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the flour and cumin and cook for 1 minute to remove the raw starchy taste of the flour. Gradually add the broth, stirring to prevent lumps. Once all of the broth is added, stir in the milk. Continue to stir constantly until the sauce thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add half of the grated cheese and stir the sauce until the cheese has melted. Turn off the heat and transfer the sauce to a bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chorizo. Cook and stir until it starts to brown, about 4 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break up any large pieces while it cooks. Add the turkey and continue to cook until both meats are browned 8 to 10 minutes. Drain out excess oil from the pan, if needed. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, oregano; season with salt and pepper.

Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 1 layer of plantains (about 1/3 of the plantain slices), making sure that they don’t overlap. Top the plantains with half of the meat mixture, spreading it out into an even layer so it covers the plantains. Top with half of the cheese sauce, spreading evenly with a spatula. Add another single layer of plantain slices side by side and cover with the remaining meat mixture and the remaining sauce. Add the final layer of plantains and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and a dusting of paprika over the top. Bake until the sauce is bubbly, about 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Here is a photo of the Latin Lasagna cooling on our kitchen counter:

 And about 10 minutes later, we’re about to eat, but first I have to take one more photograph!

 “Good God. Good Food. Good Gosh. Let’s eat!”

Each of us (Except Bella!) had seconds. I highly recommend making this Latin Lasagna. We served it with a fruit salad, which Susan made:

~Recipe courtesy of Ingrid Hoffman.

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