Poblano lasagne

It is pepper season; the vegetable gardens are bursting with all kinds of peppers, hatch peppers, green peppers, poblanos, chilis etc. This is a spinach lasagne layered with a poblano/chicken broth/cream sauce; interspersed with chicken and mushroom bits and sprinkled with shredded cheese.

Since this is a project, it is easy to split it up into three major steps: Making the pasta (or using ready-made), making the sauce, assembling the dish.

NOTE: This dish can easily be made with boxed pasta, like penne or fusilli.

MAKING THE STUFFING FOR THE LASAGNE:

  • 2 cups of button mushrooms
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken drumsticks and wings
  • salt, pepper, a dash of cumin and a dash of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of mashed garlic
  • Butter or olive oil, as needed
  • 1 16-ounce bag of shredded Italian cheeses

METHOD:

  1. Sprinkle spices on the drumsticks and wings and fry in oil or butter until golden-brown; add several cups of water and one onion, quartered and let the chicken pieces cook gently for 45 minutes or until tender. Strain the sauce and use for making the poblano sauce. Shred the chicken pieces and set aside in a bowl, covered.
  2. Chop the other onion and fry in butter; clean the mushrooms and quarter them, remove the stem and chop it. Brown the mushrooms until soft and fragrant and add the garlic at the end, mixing well to combine. Add the mushrooms to the chicken pieces and combine. Set aside.

MAKING THE SAUCE:

  • 3 large poblano peppers (can substitute any green peppers of your choice)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon of mashed garlic (mixed with salt in a mortar)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of cream (can substitute milk)
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg,  to taste
  • olive oil or butter, as needed

METHOD:

  1. To roast the peppers: Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet under the broiler and let them blister on all sides, turning them every few minutes. Transfer them to a plastic bag (pour one tablespoon of water in the bag) and close the bag tightly; let them sit in the bag for 10 minutes, then open the bag and peel and seed them.
  2. Chop the onion and fry in half a stick of butter (or replace with 1/4 cup oil) till golden; add the flour and stir till the flour is well mixed and cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir (it will lump up at first, not to worry); add the milk then the cream and stir. The sauce will thicken; add the peppers and garlic  and cook in the sauce for a few minutes, adding pepper and nutmeg if desired.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a food processor and puree. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside or refrigerate till much later or the next day.

MAKING THE PASTA:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour (all-purpose and cake flour 50/50, or all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup  of chopped spinach, cooked and squeezed dry (can use any other greens)

METHOD:

  1. Place the spinach, salt, olive oil and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Mix until pureed; add the flour, one cup at a time, processing each time, until a ball forms; be careful not to add too much flour at once, add it gradually so as to keep the dough moist (not sticky) and pliable; remove into a work surface and knead a bit to make sure it is not too sticky and is firm and smooth. If too sticky, add a bit of flour at a time. Wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for one hour or longer.
  2. When ready to roll out, use a pasta machine or cutting one small piece at a time, roll with a pin until each piece is very thin, almost like paper. Keep the remaining dough in plastic to prevent drying it.
  3. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and spread on paper towels.

ASSEMBLY:

  1. Grease a large serving dish (or several) and pour a bit of sauce at the bottom; place a few lasagne sheets (cut them to fit with a pizza cutter) and pour 4 ounces of poblano sauce, sprinkle some chicken pieces with the mushrooms and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Continue this operation, ladling sauce, then chicken and mushroom, then cheese. Spread cheese on the top layer.
  2. Bake in a 325F oven for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the dish is hot; run under the broiler for 30 seconds if desired. Serve.

TIP: To “puff up” the top layer, sprinkle with shredded cheese and gently pour a few tablespoons of whipping cream over the cheese; run under the broiler for 30 seconds.

When making pasta, it is easier to make it by hand on the counter; if using the food processor or a mixer, add the flour one cup at a time, adding more as the eggs absorb it completely and the dough is still very tacky.

When assembling the lasagne, it is best to add a small amount of sauce rather than too much; the idea here is to showcase the fine pasta, which should be very light and silky; the sauce is an accent and should not smother the pasta.

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21 Comments

  1. Vickie H.
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    OMG – I’ll be making this!! Thanks!!

  2. Posted August 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    This INCREDIBLE! I was blown away by the flavors with the wodnerful fersh roasted poblano peppers and then come to find out you even made your own spinach lasagne sheets! That is just too much goodness :)

    Throughly impressed Joumana – what a keeper and I am coming back for your recipe once I am back from vacation.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. Posted August 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never made pasta…this sounds awesome!

  4. Posted August 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    What a scrumptious dish! Those unique lasagne look and sound irresistible.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. Posted August 22, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    In Turkiye we have similar things for breakfast besides different kinds of cheese and of course butter and jam- honey. We also drink tea and milk during the breakfast.
    Thank you for sharing us your traditions.

  6. Posted August 22, 2011 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    I’m very sorry.I wanted to write a comment for breakfast.:))

  7. Shreela
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Wow this post forced me out of lurkdom LOL. The green pasta sheets look so yummy and awesome, and IMO makes it different enough from “traditional” lasagna that DH would probably enjoy one of his favorite dishes being changed.

    I often use poblanos in place of green peppers for stuffing, and for eggs. But one time with stuffed poblanos we burnt blisters on our tongues! Neither of us could believe how hot those poblanos were – much hotter than regular jalapenos. Luckily we haven’t found anymore super-hot poblanos, but DH often takes a tiny bite first, just in case LOL

  8. Posted August 22, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Beautiful dish! What a great way to use peppers. I love how you made your own lasagne sheets – they look wonderful.

  9. Posted August 22, 2011 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Hi Joumana! What a wonderful dish.

    I’ve been searching your site for an email address of yours but I can’t find it. I wanted to let you know that on the Dutch Delicious magazine, in the September issue, they mention your blog in a segment they call “delicious goes blogging”. It’s an issue with arabic/Middle Eastern recipes. I was very excited when I saw it and couldn’t wait to tell you!
    Magda

  10. Posted August 22, 2011 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    That is one gorgeous and fresh pasta!

  11. Posted August 22, 2011 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    masha`allah i love all the ideas with the sauce and pasta …it is something different

  12. Posted August 22, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    That looks delicious — and I found your tip about whipping cream very interesting.

  13. Posted August 22, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    This is a grand summer lasagne (and I thought there was no such thing). That rich poblano sauce can have many uses. Clever and delicious.

  14. Posted August 22, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    What a great riff on the usual lasagna. The green hue is gorgeous and those chiles make my mouth water. ;)

  15. Posted August 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    ta version de lasagne est superbe à noter sans faute
    ça doit être un plat délicieux
    bonne soirée

  16. Posted August 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful idea for a lasagna, Joumana! It reminds me a bit of a chilies rellenos casserole I once had, which I loved!

  17. Posted August 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    This sounds absolutely fabulous, I love poblanos and think all the flavors you have working here are terrific. – S

  18. Posted August 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    To me poblano is the most flavorful in the kingdom of peppers and don’t get me wrong I love all kinds of peppers. It is just poblano its flavor is right at the border of spicy and sweet once you get rid of the seeds and ribs. So rich and intense… and it marries so well with cheese! Perfect recipe :)
    Do you get poblanos easily in Lebanon? They are not very popular in Brazil.
    Heguiberto

  19. Posted August 23, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    oh wow yum, yum, yum. You had me at the title … and then I see the homemade green noodles. I think I need some time alone ;-)

  20. Joumana
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    @Heguiberto: No, poblanos are unknown in Lebanon, as far as I know, and I plan to remedy this! I love them like you above all others!

  21. Posted August 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The farmers’ market was brimming with peppers when I visited last week. This sounds like a wonderful dish and one with a delicious ‘attitude’!

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