The Best Thing I Ever Made is one of my favorite Food Network TV shows. I am always curious to see what these professional chefs consider to be their best recipes. Every show has a theme, so it could be the best sandwich they ever made, or the best dessert they every made, etc. I think the episode that featured this recipe was the vegetarian episode courtesy of Marcela Valladolid, the host of Mexican Made Easy. I have never heard of a Mexican lasagna, but this looked so good, I could almost smell it through my TV! I imagined how all of the different summer flavors would combine to a delicious end, and boy, was I right! This is the second time in 2 weeks I have made this because it was such a hit the first time–even with the grandkids. If you are looking for a delicious way to get your kids to eat their vegetables, here it is. The second time, I also shared some with my neighbors and again, it was a hit!
The traditional lasagna sauce is replaced by a creamy corn sauce. It is the star of the dish. This is one area where I adapted Marcela’s recipe, because I wanted more of that corn flavor the second time I made it. The layers are made up of lasagna noodles, roasted poblano chilies and zucchini. If roasting your own chilies seems daunting to you, never fear. Once you have done it, you will wonder why you were ever hesitant. Or you can always use whole canned Ortega chilies. That works, too. I also substituted Jack cheese for the Oaxaca cheese. Oaxaca cheese is known for it’s melting qualities, but it tastes like string cheese–not much flavor in my opinion. I liked it best with Jack cheese. Just look at that delicious toasty melted cheese. Yum!
What a delicious way to use that corn and zucchini in your garden. Add a salad and come and get it!
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
- 3 cups kernels from fresh corn or frozen
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1 large zucchini, thinkly sliced lengthwise
- 4 poblano chiles, charred, peeled, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1 inch striips
- 12 no-boil lasagne sheets
- 2 cups shredded Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add ⅔ of the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Mix in the corn and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and thyme. 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 puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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 zucchini and poblano strips and cook for 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
- Spread about ¼ of the corn mixture over the bottom of an 11 by 8-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of 3 lasagna sheets. Spread ¼ of the poblano mixture and ¼ of the cheese over the pasta. Repeat the layering 3 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.