Pioneer Woman and Pastor Ryan call this dish Mexican Lasagna . And... I guess that's their prerogative since it is... their dish.
But, I don't like the idea of a "Mexican Lasagna." It seems an awkward move for both Mexicans and lasagnas. The term "Mexican Lasagna" only makes sense in the most bizarrely Taste of Home way.
You know what I'm talking about, right? Anything with corn or salsa becomes "Mexican", "Italian" usually always refers to the salad dressing, and every third recipe starts with rolling out canned biscuit dough? The only thing that even remotely resembles lasagna about this dish is the fact that ingredients are piled in by layers. The layers aren't even repeated like a traditional lasagna.
So, since I "adapted" this recipe by cutting it in half and nixing the cilantro, it clearly needed a new name.
My mom and I brainstormed this a bit and came up with a name that immediately felt right. We called this crowd-pleasing dish The Layered Luchador.
You probably won't find bigger fans of Jack Black's Nacho Libre than my dad and sister. So the luchadors (Mexican wrestlers) are a very respected group in our home. Whether you have or have not seen the movie, please enjoy this tiny clip that shows what a sassy, out-of-shape luchador looks like.
My sister can recite the film on command (and even when we are commanding her not to), so if you want a glowing review of the film, you'll have to ask her. I can only speak to the dish. The dish is really easy to pull together. Beyond the browned meat and rice/veg mixture, all other ingredients go into the luchador un-fooled around with. And... there really was nothing cuter than having my 20 year old brother come home from working all day ask if there was any leftover Layered Luchador.
In my opinion, the Layered Luchador was better the day it was made. There are tortillas baked into the thing and they really gave up the ghost when refrigerated and reheated. That said... my family absolutely loved the Layered Luchador leftover and they ate it for a couple of days until they put away that giant 9x13 monster.
And finally, when browsing my mom's memory card this morning, I found a picture that had to be the subconscious start of the Layered Luchador.
Here we are on Christmas morning last year. My brother was clearly chillaxin before my sister struck (wearing the Luchador mask I gave her) and I followed (wearing the hat she gave me and the tattoo sleeve that I don't even remember).
And there you have it. The edible Layered Luchador and the personification of the same that preceeded it by six and a half months.
Follow the link above to Pioneer Woman's site for the detailed instructions for Mexican Lasagna, but puhlease... call it by any other name. And be sure to let me know if you come up with something better.
Save me a piece of that corn for later!