My first Pastelón ("Latin Lasagna")

I don't often cook from recipes unless I'm doing something I've never tried before.  Partly because I seem to be pretty good at remembering how to cook something that i've made before, and partly because when I make something a second time, I often like to change it up.

This is a case of me cooking something for the first time, so I'm not going to spend the time listing all the ingredients or going through the directions because I just used Ingrid Hoffman's recipe for this.

Ingrid Hoffman hosts a show on the Food Network called "Simply Delicioso" and also has a cookbook out by the same name. This is hands down my favorite cookbook because her cooking style is right up my alley. It's all latin food, but not a specific type... all sorts of south american stuff, cuban, mexican...

Anyway, when I'm in the mood for something different and am having trouble coming up with something on my own, this cookbook is usually where I turn. While paging through the other day I ran into this recipe and instantly transferred all the ingredients to my grocery list.

Here is the recipe from Ingrid's site.

Basically I just followed this recipe as well as I could, and only made a few small changes: I ended up using ground chicken instead of turkey, so mine might have ended up a bit less lean (read: more tasty); Instead of pepper jack, I used a cheese I got at the mexican market which was very similar.

I was secretly fearing that i spent nearly 2 hours making something that i wasn't going to like. But, the meat blended really well together, the sauce was incredibly good, and the whole thing ended up tasting very very good.  Not nearly as sweet as i was expecting, but still sweet, and very very savory, with just a touch of spice.

I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone (and i guess that's what I'm doing by writing this).


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