Cazuela de Chorizo y Queso

or Mexican Lasagna

…or Lowering the Bar

This time of year, I usually have to make a concerted effort to pull shit out of the freezer ahead of time so we have some dinner options. Once in awhile, though, I get too ambitious (really, just once in awhile), and pull 5 meals’ worth of meat out of the freezer and then just, oh forget about it for a week. Then it’s a harried scramble of profanity to cook it all in time. These are the times when I either have stroke of utter genius, or completely phone it in with this Hamburger Helper-esque abortion. This meal was the latter.

This time we had a venison backstrap, some ground turkey, and about 18 inches of Mexican chorizo in the mix. Whoa, turns out the carnicería near our house has really fucking good chorizo! Unfortunately, this was discovered after I already turned it all into a red-headed stepchild of Bolognese, using some leftover green and yellow bell peppers, some roasted jalapeños (from the freezer) and some onions. Diced it all up, fried it in the delicious orange chorizo grease. Added some Mexican oregano and a bit of cumin. One more run through the fridge – oh, here’s a little container of sliced black olives, a half a can of black beans and one more sad kohlrabi (peeled and diced). In they go. I threw in a can of El Pato Mexican tomato sauce, and to cut the heat, I added some regular ol’ stewed tomatoes.

I had a package of Trader Joe’s no-boil lasagna noodles, a package of shredded cheddar/jack, and a hunk of cotija that had about ten minutes left on it. I had a tub of expired (but not-yet-sour!) cottage cheese, which I blended with some cilantro scavenged from the garden, and it was a reasonable facsimile for ricotta.

Gah, even the photos came out bad!

Oh god, what an embarrassing mess this was. A fucking mess! But oh, hey I almost forgot? Greasy, spicy sausage, sheets of pasta and gooey cheese all fresh from the oven ALWAYS TASTES GOOD. I win. Take that, Creepy Anthropomorphic Talking Glove!