Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blanca Lasagna: A little slice of heaven.

So I was at the grocery store for a good hour today, checking out all the different things in the store.  It's fun when you go to a new city and check out the variety in the supermarket.  Well I got home an hour later and what did I discover upon my arrival?  That I'd been walking around the supermarket with a neon pink Post-It on my butt.  Just thought I'd share.
On to the recipe for today.  I made this lasagna last night with rave reviews from Greg and one of his fellow lineman.  It's been "lineman approved."
I saw a similar recipe on epicurious and instantly bookmarked it.  It sounded amaaaazing, cheesy white sauce with chicken, mushrooms and white wine.  Can you say, "wow?"  Well it definitely had a wow-factor.  This would be a perfect recipe to impress company with, or make it ahead and pop it in the oven on a weeknight.  Lots of versatility here folks!
So here's what you need:  (I forgot the flour, salt and pepper in the picture!)

Mozzarella, parmesan, oven ready lasagna noodles, dry white wine, milk (I used 1%), onion, mushrooms, cooked chicken, butter, olive oil, garlic, flour, salt and pepper.

 Chop that fragrant onion into small pieces and add to heated olive oil.  Simmer until translucent

Add sliced mushroom, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms soften, about 3 minutes.

 While mushrooms are sauteing, peel 5 cloves of garlic.  Here's the best way I've found to do this.
 Chop each end of the garlic off.  Boom.
 Boom.  And the skin comes right off. They are ready for the garlic press.

 You could also finely chop the garlic, but I think mincing it through the garlic press releases the flavors and juices better.

Add to those beautiful mushrooms.
And here comes the fun part......

Open a bottle of dry white wine and take a swig straight out of the bottle.  You've got to make sure it's ok before you pour it in, right?!  OK, now add your wine and allow to simmer and reduce for 2-3 minutes.  
Now, I'm really sensitive to the taste of wine in foods.  Sometimes I think the wine is too bitter and over-powers the dish, but in this case, it meshed perfectly.  In case you are wondering which wine to use, I use a Snoqualmie Chardonnay and it was superb both in the dish and drinking it alongside.

 After the wine has reduced, pour all that goodness into a large bowl, add your chopped chicken.....and breathe in those tantalizing aromas!  OK, now focus!  Here's the next step.

Heat 3 cups of milk over medium heat until really warm.  Be careful not to scald the milk.  You don't want it to boil.
*If someone skips this step and it works beautifully, please let me know.  I'm always down to use one less dish!

In large saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter.  Slowly sprinkle in the flour, constantly stirring to prevent lumps.

Continue to stir quickly, working out any lumps that form.  This, my friends, is a roux.  You're welcome.

Stir constantly for 3 minutes.  It should be nice and smooth.

Now add warm milk, stirring constantly.  There will be some lumps, these should works themselves out as it comes to a boil.  Simmer 5-6 minutes, until thickened.

Reserve 1 cup of the roux.  You'll need this later.  Refrain from drinking it like cereal milk!

Now add grated parmesan and stir until smooth.

Add to your mushroom mixture and combine to make pure bliss.  Ahhhhh.

Now take a little of that reserved sauce and spread on the bottom of a 2 quart rectangle dish (smaller than a 9x13).  I know my pictures look like a 9x13, but I promise you, it is not and it will not fill up this big of a pan.  You could also use an 8x8, but you'd have to break the noodles :(

Now place 3 noodles over the sauce.  Oh the joy of no boil, oven ready noodles.  They are the absolute best.  They make my life so much easier.  Glory to the highest!

 Ah -hem.  Ok, I'm back.  Now spread your luscious filling on top

 Sprinkle with grated Mozz. Repeat (noodles, filling, cheese).

And for the top layer.  Place one last shelf of noodles and top with your reserved sauce.  Sprinkle generously with Mozz and Parm (two of my favorite Italian friends!)
Cover with foil, tenting the middle to prevent the cheese from sticking.  Slide into a 400* oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for additional 15 minutes, or until the middle is good and bubbly and the the top is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  This step is really important!!!!!  It helps the dish set up, so it's not runny.  Don't skip it or I will magically appear at your dinner table and strictly enforce this rule myself!!!  Seriously.

Slice and dish, baby.  Enjoy this naughty, adulterous recipe with the rest of your bottle of white wine.

This is now up there with one of my favorite recipes.  

Heavenly White (Blanca) Lasagna
    •    1 (10-ounce) package cremini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced
    *    1 small white onion, chopped
    •    5 garlic cloves, minced
    •    1 tablespoon olive oil
    •    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    •    1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Snoqualmie Chardonnay)
    •    1 1/2-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded/chopped (can use left over, rotisserie, or make some new!)
    •    3 cups lowfat milk
    •    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    •    2 teaspoons thyme leaves
    •    3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    •    9 no-boil (oven ready) lasagna noodles 
    •    1 1/2-2 cups grated mozzarella 

Preheat oven to 400*.

Heat oil over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent.  
Add sliced mushroom, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms soften, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer briskly 2-3 minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl and stir in chicken. (Set aside saucepan.)

Bring milk to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook roux, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Add hot milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Simmer milk, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve 1 cup sauce. Stir parmesan into sauce remaining in pan, then stir into mushroom filling.
Pour half of reserved plain sauce into baking pan, spreading evenly to coat bottom. Add 3 lasagne sheets, and half of mushroom filling, spreading evenly, then sprinkle mozzarella over top. Repeat. Top with remaining 3 lasagne sheets and remaining plain sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  (**At this point, you could refrigerate or freeze this meal and cook it at a later time.  You would have to increase your bake time.)

Cover with foil, tenting slightly to prevent foil from touching top of lasagna, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

You're welcome!
Peace and Love.


  1. Well Dana D that sound like a good thing to make with my 80 pounds of chicken.

  2. You could always double the recipe to make a 9x13 pan and use even more chicken!

  3. Tried it!!! My whole family loved it!! Gonna do it again