All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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As you most likely know, yesterday, my home town of Boston was the victim of a double bombing. The bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon at about the 4 hour mark & killed three people (including an 8 year old) and there are reports of over 170 injuries. The bulk of the serious injuries are traumatic leg amputations, because the bombs were (according to reports) hidden in trash cans & loaded with shrapnel. Lower extremities took the brunt of the impact.
It was a disgusting act of cowardice and it was impossible to have the TV on & not be deluged with images of the violence & theorizing by news people. Still, I couldn’t tear myself away from the TV and focus on anything else so, I decided to just cook all day. Cooking is a very zen way for me to occupy myself. The result was this recipe. My guesstimates on the quantities required to make a single lasagna were a tad over – so I used the extra stuff to make a second little tart-like thing. You can either use a larger baking pan (mine was about 9x2x13) or be prepared to make a second dish from the remnants, as I did. Here are the two final dishes – fresh out of the oven:
I used roasted cauliflower, grilled corn & blanched kale in addition to the layered potatoes. Any of these ingredients could easily be 86-ed without a negative impact on the final result. There is no pasta in this lasagna so it is safe for those who are intolerant of gluten. It could be made vegan by just using vegan cheese. There are a lot of steps in this recipe but none are difficult. Pacing is no issue as the assembly can wait as long as it takes for each element to be prepared. If roasting cauliflower or grilling corn sounds like a pain in the ass, boil the cauliflower until soft & use raw corn. This is a very forgiving recipe. One thing though, you should make it (and bake it) several hours (or the day) ahead & let it rest & settle. Then reheat it at 375 for about 20 minutes. Please read through the entire recipe once before you begin.
Gluten-Free Chipotle Potato Lasagna with Cauliflower, Kale & Corn
3 Russet potatoes
1 head cauliflower
2 ears corn
2 large onions – sliced very thin
1 head kale
1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)
6 garlic cloves – chopped
6 chipotle peppers & 2 TBS adobo sauce – minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dry oregano
2 TBS fresh oregano – chopped
2 28oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 scallions – chopped (both white & green parts)
1 each red, yellow & orange bell peppers (or three of whatever color are available)
S&P to taste
Fresh cilantro – chopped – for sauce & for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 375.
Remove the leaves & core of the cauliflower & slice into 1/2 inch steaks. Rub with some olive oil & a bit of salt & roast at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the steaks are tender & being to brown. Remove from heat & set aside.
Boil water & place the potatoes, whole & unpeeled, in it. Boil for about 20 minutes. They should be tender on the outside but not all the way through. They will cook further in the oven. Drain & cool the potatoes – reserving the hot potato water. Once cool enough to touch, you can either try to slip the skins of with your hands or just use a peeler. Set aside.
Cut the thick vein out of each kale leaf. Bring the potato water to a boil again & blanch the kale for about 5 minutes. Drain & immerse in cold water. Squeeze the excess water out & set aside.
Roast your peppers over a high flame on your stove top. Turn them frequently but let them completely blacken. Place them in a Tupperware container of some sort of in a bowl & cover with plastic wrap. Let them sweat for about 15 minutes & until they are cool enough to touch. Under running water, the blackened skins should slip right off. Remove the seeds & then slice the peppers very thin. Set aside.
I grilled my corn because I have a stove-top grill. If you have no easy way to grill your corn (grilled in the husks for about 20 minutes) – blow that off & just use raw corn cut from the cob.
Open the tomatoes & put in a bowl. Crush them with your hands. This is an oddly satisfying task. Set aside.
Heat 2-3 TBS of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onion & chopped garlic to the oil. Saute until the onions begin to brown – maybe ten minutes.
Add the dry & fresh oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle peppers & adobo & stir to blend. Add the tomatoes you crushed, stir & heat until bubbly. Reduce heat & simmer for about 20 minutes. Add a handful of chopped cilantro, chopped scallions and season with S&P to taste.
Grate your cheeses.
Slice the potatoes into 1/8 inch slices.
Grease your baking pan(s).
Create a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of your pan. The rest of the layering is really up to you. I think I layered potato then more sauce then some peppers, the all the cauliflower, all the corn & all the kale. Then some cheese, more potatoes & peppers & sauce. Then more cheese & I sprinkled some diced jalapeno on top. With the leftovers from this process, a made a second, shallow tart in a greased spring form pan.
Bake the lasagna at 375 for about 45 minutes or until the edges are bubbling & the cheese in browning.
Allow to settle for two hours & either serve at room temperature (as this will vastly improve the lasagna’s resiliency during cutting) or reheat it at 375 for 20 minutes.
This can be made a day ahead, refrigerated overnight & reheated the next day, too.
Here is how the round tart turned out: