Wish Upon A Dish: Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Lasagna

September 27, 2012

Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Lasagna

Before I get into the nitty gritty of this post, I just have to say.....


I have made a lot of lasagna's in my cooking life and most of them have been traditional with either a bechamel/ricotta filling or a tomato based sauce. I have done the primavera, the artichoke and spinach, the bolognese, the seafood versions and even a polenta lasagna (way too over the top, and I love polenta).

The flavors in this dish are so unique that I have to say it has changed the way I view lasagna. A whole new world has opened up with all sorts of possibilities.

How about a Bah Mi lasagna? Even better yet....braised pork belly. Oh my!!

I really wanted to try this corn lasagna while I could still get very fresh New Jersey corn but I know this could be done with frozen.
I went to Whole Foods for my vegetables this week and I have to say the corn was spectacular.

I did make a few adjustments and I have some suggestions, but overall, make this lasagna, please.
Poblanos are not hard to find anymore, even I can get them here where I have no access to many ingredients.

You can make most of this dish ahead of time and if you are planning on using the grill prior to making this, grill the poblanos, the corn and the zucchini all at the same time and store them in the fridge until the night you are planning on making this.
The recipe does not call for grilling the corn or zucchini but I found it added an extra level of flavor and made it easier in the long run. I will post the recipe as written but insert the changes I made and you can decide in which direction you want to go.

Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Lasagna
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid
6 to 8 servings

* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears), or frozen and thawed
* 2 cups heavy cream (2 cans evaporated fat-free milk + 1 tablespoon flour)
* 1 ear corn kernels, separated

* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
* 4 poblano chiles, charred, peeled, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch strips
* 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise (seasoned with SW spice blend and grilled)
* 1/2 cup Locatelli cheese, grated

* Twelve 7-by-3-inch no-boil lasagna sheets
* 2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese, or mozzarella


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add two-thirds of the garlic and the corn and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and season with the thyme and some salt and pepper, and puree until smooth.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the poblano strips and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.

Spread about one-quarter of the corn mixture over the bottom of an 11-by-8-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of 3 lasagna sheets. Spread one-quarter of the poblano mixture and one-quarter of the cheese over the pasta. Repeat the layering three more times. Cover with foil.

Bake until the pasta is cooked and tender, about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and turn up the oven temperature to broil. Broil until golden brown and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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