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Culinary SOS

Return of the Mexican Lasagna

April 15, 1998|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: Please repeat the recipe for Mexican Lasagna printed some years ago.

BETTY

DEAR BETTY: Here's the recipe we think you want.

MEXICAN LASAGNA

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (1-pound) can tomatoes

1 (10-ounce) can red chile sauce

1 (4-ounce) can chopped black olives plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup oil

8 corn tortillas

1/2 pound ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/2 pound Jack cheese, thinly sliced

Tortilla chips

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cherry tomatoes

Black olives

Brown meat, onion and garlic in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in tomatoes, chile sauce, chopped olives, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat oil in small skillet. Quickly add tortillas, 1 at a time, to soften. Drain on paper towels. Cut in half.

Mix ricotta with egg. Spread 1/3 of meat mixture in 13x9-inch shallow baking dish. Top with half of Jack cheese, then half of ricotta mixture. Top with half of tortillas.

Repeat layers, ending with remaining 1/3 meat mixture. Top with layer of tortilla chips and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and whole or chopped black olives.

6 servings. Each serving:

574 calories; 1,099 mg sodium; 152 mg cholesterol; 38 grams fat; 24 grams carbohydrates; 32 grams protein; 0.51 gram fiber.

Getty Burger Art

DEAR SOS: My husband really flipped over the black bean burgers at the Getty Museum cafeteria. Do you think the chef would be willing to give out the recipe?

SHIRLEY

DEAR SHIRLEY: Executive chef Gwen Kvavli Gulliksen of the Bon Appetit Management Co., which operates the Getty Center cafeteria, sent this recipe. There was a lot of flipping in our Test Kitchen, as well.

GETTY CENTER MEXICAN BLACK BEAN BURGERS (VEGETARIAN)

3 (1-pound) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 egg

1 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 hamburger rolls

Salsa, optional

Guacamole, optional

Process beans, onion, bell pepper, cayenne, egg, bread crumbs and cilantro in food processor, adding more bread crumbs as needed to make mixture dry enough to form patties. Shape into 8 patties. Patties may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated to allow them to set well.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 patties and fry 2 minutes per side, turning once. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and fry remaining 4 patties.

Place each patty in hamburger roll and serve with salsa and guacamole, if desired.

8 burgers. Each burger, without salsa or guacamole:

314 calories; 980 mg sodium; 50 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 56 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 0.16 gram fiber.

A German Accent

DEAR SOS: I'm trying to find a recipe for German Chocolate Pie that was on the Baker's German Chocolate package in the early 1970s. It's similar to pecan pie but it has chocolate and coconut.

JEAN

DEAR JEAN: Perhaps this version will satisfy the craving.

GERMAN SWEET CHOCOLATE PIE

1/4 pound package sweet chocolate

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 unbaked (9- or 10-inch) pie shell

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Gradually blend in milk.

Combine sugar, salt and cornstarch. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in chocolate mixture. Pour into pie shell. Combine coconut and pecans and sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 375 degrees until puffed, 45 to 50 minutes. If top browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Filling will be soft but will set when cool. Chill at least 4 hours before cutting.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings:

604 calories; 247 mg sodium; 82 mg cholesterol; 34 grams fat; 70 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 0.32 gram fiber.

* Izabellum silver plate and charger in burger photo from Blackjack, West Hollywood.

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