One of the best things about being back home is the home meals my mom prepares. My mom has always been an inspiration to my cooking. When my parents had their restaurant, ever since I remember, they were always looking for new ways to present classic Mexican dishes and create new ones using seasonal ingredients. Now that they are semi-retired, my mom has explored the culinary world even more. And this amazing white chicken lasagna is only one of the many new dishes she’s learned to prepare.
I had just come back home, my cousin from Chihuahua was visiting with his family, my sister, also from out of town, came to visit and my mom decided she wanted to impress us with a dish she learned from a friend of hers that is also a foodie (although that term here doesn’t exist, we need to come out with a word for foodie in Spanish, any suggestions?). It features pumpkin blossoms, poblano peppers, zucchini and corn.
The dish is not difficult to make, but it’s time consuming. It uses a lot of ingredients that are currently in season and gives the classic Italian dish a very Mexican kick. I will list the ingredients that my mom used and an idea of how she made it, but I warn you, it is not 100% accurate. Some ingredients might not be available in the States or the part of the world where you are, so feel free to substitute them with some other vegetable.
- •1 lb (1/2 kg) chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- •1 lb (1/2 kg) poblano peppers, roasted, skinned, seeded and cut in strips
- •1 lb (1/2 kg) pumpkin blossoms, fresh (or you might find them canned at a Mexican store)
- •2 lbs (1 kg) zucchini, cut in small cubes
- •1 lb (1/2 kg) mushrooms
- •2 cups fresh corn kernels
- •2 lbs (1 kg) onion, chopped
- •1 package lasagna, cooked
- •1 lb (1/2 kg) sour cream
- •1 lb (1/2 kg) melting cheese, shredded (there's a cheese in Mexico called Manchego, but it's not the Spanish Manchego cheese and I don't think it can be found outside of Mexico, I recommend mozzarella)
- •some epazote leaves
- •salt and pepper to taste
- •olive oil
- In an skillet on medium high heat pour some olive oil and warm up until it thins. Sautee ¼ of the chopped onions. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Put apart.
- Pour more olive oil on the skillet and sautee another ¼ of the onions. Add corn and zucchini, cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add poblano peppers and season to taste. Set apart.
- Pour more olive oil and sautee another ¼ of the onions. Add mushrooms, epazote leaves and cook for about 5 minutes. Season to taste.
- Repeat the same process with the pumpkin blossoms, but this time cook only about 3 minutes. They are very delicate and cook very fast.
- Grease a baking dish and place a layer of lasagna. Place a layer of chicken some of the sour cream on top and sprinkle some of the cheese.
- Place another layer of pasta, followed by some of the poblano dish with cream and cheese. Repeat with the mushrooms and pumpkin blossoms.
- Keep placing layers of ingredients until you run out. Finish with a layer of pasta topped with cheese and sour cream.
- Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Let it cool down for about 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!