Lasaña Santa Fe

Lasagna with chiles, mushrooms, and collard greens, that’s what this is. I got the idea for making it when my brother Bill sent me his neighbor’s recipe for “Mexican Lasagna,” which really wasn’t Mexican at all, but a Tex-Mex adaptation of Italian lasagna with refried beans. It did appear to be appetizing, though, but needed “kicking up a notch,” toward a more Southwestern style of cooking, I thought.

I had shiitake mushrooms and collard greens in my refrigerator at the time. I asked myself, “What would a Santa Fe chef do to turn a Tex-Mex idea into a memorable dish using Japanese mushrooms and Southern greens?” Since I have never known a Santa Fe chef personally, I scanned my Santa Fe School of Cooking references to put me into a Southwest mood and mind set, and then set forth in the kitchen with my ingredients at hand. I think the result turned out rather well. But then, I have a tendency toward modesty and understatement.

One thing I rediscovered in the process was that you can’t make lasagna for two. It just doesn’t work out that way. So wait until you have a crowd to prepare this dish for, or resign yourself to a few lunches and dinners of leftovers.

  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 1.25 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 big jalapeño chile, chopped, seeds and all
  • 1 big Poblano chile, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ tsp (or more) cayenne chile
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tsp no-salt chicken bouillon powder
  • 4 large shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can RO*TEL® tomatoes and green chile
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large bunch collard greens, center vein removed and chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup nonfat sour cream
  • ½ cup unsalted tomato sauce
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped
  • 8 oz Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 sheets lower G. I. lasagna

In a large Dutch sauté pan, brown the turkey in the olive oil. Add chiles, cumin, coriander, oregano, bouillon, mushrooms, RO*TEL®, and water and stir until ingredients are mixed. Add the collards, cover, and cook until collards are tender, about 15 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine egg, sour cream, tomato sauce, onions, and half the cheese and mix well.

Lay down a layer of lasagna noodles in a greased 9”×13” glass cooking pan, spoon over a layer of the meat-vegetable mixture, cover with a layer of cheese. Lay down another layer of noodles, then meat and vegetables, and this time cover with the egg-sour cream-onion-tomato sauce slurry.

Cook uncovered in a 350°F oven for about one hour, or until the pasta is al dente. Do not overcook for best results. Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

makes about 8 servings.