I skipped over photographing the sauce-making, but you'll see the end result later. These first few steps were mostly inspired by this recipe with my own alterations. I started by browning a pound of ground beef and sauteing diced onions. No measurement on the onions. I added a packet of taco seasoning and followed the directions there (Pastor Ryan makes his own taco seasoning, but McCormick works for me). I put that aside and started on the sauce . . . only to suddenly realize that I had neglected to buy enchilada sauce. I made my grocery list from three different recipes, and I wrote down enchilada sauce even though I don't really like it. When I was at Kroger, I thought I remembered how it was used in the recipes and decided I didn't need it, completely overlooking the fact that it was a key ingredient in the sauce I did plan to make. So I sauteed more onions and added some minced garlic and a can of black beans--which I drained but couldn't be bothered to rinse. To this I added a can of Rotel (the recipe called for a 15 oz can, but I've never seen Rotel in anything but a 10 oz) and since I was without enchilada sauce, I added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of green chiles (I would have just used more Rotel, but I didn't have that either). I supposed the sauce was both chunkier and runnier than it should have been, so I let it cook down more than I might have otherwise. When I removed it from heat, I added the sour cream as instructed, and then I was ready to assemble:
After the sauce, I did another layer of torn tortillas, and a bit more salsa verde. Then I started over with the remaining half of meat/corn, another layer of cheese, and the last of the tomato/bean sauce. Finally I did a third torn tortilla layer, slapped on the remainder of the salsa verde and topped the whole thing with cheese (final count: 3 thin layers of salsa verde [one small can], 3 layers of torn tortillas [probably about five or six of the giant ones I was using], 3 layers of shredded Mexican blend cheese [it was a four cup package, and the cheese layers were pretty substantial], 2 layers of the taco mean/corn mixture, and 2 layers of the tomato/black bean/sour cream sauce.
In all its unbaked glory
A terribly unhelpful look at the layers.
I didn't bake mine until the next day so it spent the night in the fridge. It was supposed to bake for 15 or 20 minutes at 350, but since mine was coming from a refrigerated state rather than the mostly warm state in which it was assembled and since I had a staff meeting in the hour leading up to serving time, I heated it (covered with foil) at a low temp for about 40 minutes and then kicked it up to 350 for the last 20 minutes or so. Frankly if I hadn't had the starving masses waiting on me, I would have let it go another few minutes to get bubblier. Let me also warn you that I have no idea how accurate or inaccurate the temperature settings are for the oven in our staff lounge, so cooking times could vary quite a bit from that. If you were assembling, baking, and serving this all in one day, I think the fifteen minutes would be just dandy, as everything but the cheese is already cooked and warm. Mine was certainly not too runny--in fact, I think I could have let the sauce be saucier with excellent results. It cut into squares beautifully and kept its shape like lasagna should.
I forgot the after picture until after we'd started to dig in, but this shows the layers off better anyway.
It's everything I love about Mexican food in a big, jumbled, layery mess. Yum.
During the creating process I got a little concerned that it might be too spicy, but it definitely isn't. In fact, I could definitely stand to heat it up more, but not if I were making it for tiny babies or my moma.
If I were a real food blogger, I'd have worked harder at making a useful, easy-to-follow recipe for you, dear imaginary readers, but I'm not. I really don't think it needs a recipe. Just gather up your favorite Mexican ingredients and get to layering with the variations that most appeal to you. You could switch up your beans, go for corn tortillas, use that enchilada sauce that I didn't, add in your favorite salsa, nix the corn, substitute chicken for beef or go vegetarian, try it with rice, chop up fresh jalepenos, garnish with some guacamole. The possibilities are endless, and as long as you have enough of everything to make a layer or two, you're good to go. Several of the recipes I read called for actual lasagna noodles instead of tortillas, but that seemed weird to me--and I think tortillas are a thousand times better than noodles anyway. So you could make that substitution, but I'd judge you for it.
But I'm a judging judger like that.