When I went to the supermarket yesterday, I noticed a young man doing a cooking demonstration. The aroma emanating from the oven was heavenly. As it turns out he was also giving out samples of the dish. I had to try it, and confirmed that it was really good. So of course I asked for the recipe. Too bad he was out of the recipe cards, but he told me what items I needed to get and a general idea of how the dish went together. The problem is I didn't remember to ask for the name of the recipe. Basically it's a layered lasagna, only it uses chili instead of Italian tomato sauce. Part of the promotion of the cooking demo included the sale of a gourmet chili product as well as a gourmet pasta. The chili jar was about a 32 oz glass jar, but it cost a whopping $8.64! Well, to my tastebuds, it tasted like regular old chili from a can. And the lasagna tasted like regular pasta you buy from a box. So off I went in search of some Wolf chili and plain lasagna pasta.
Today's meal consisted of said demo recipe, with a couple of minor additions. If you know anything about me, it's that I always tweak a recipe, just because I love to add more layers of flavor. That's why I first chopped up some onions and celery and sauteed in just a very little bit of olive oil (this was not in his recipe).
To which I added some of my fiery homemade hot salsa. Then I added the rest of the ingredients: chili, hot if you please, a can of black beans, Mexican queso fresco, Velveeta cheese, and cilantro. I also decided a can of black olives would be nice. So I chopped them up a bit and added as well. Everything was simmered until the velveeta cheese melted into the chili. The mixture is then layered over the pasta. The assembled pan:
After a short stay in the oven, about 30 minutes at 400F, my chili lasagna came out looking and smelling quite edible! Which around here is usually all that's required.
I'll have to go back and thank the young chef for sharing his culinary demo. I am also glad I found a new source of cooking inspiration!