Low Country Lasagne

This recipe is by Chef Eric Bartholomew of CSM Cost Solutions from the Great Bakes Recipe Contest.

2 cups course ground cornmeal
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tbsp lard
1 cup butter (2 sticks, melted)
1 tsp fresh sage (minced)
1 tsp fresh thyme (minced)
3 tbsp fresh rosemary (removed from stem)
1 medium onion (finely minced)
3 tbsp garlic
3/4 cup butter
6 tbsp flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup milk
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried chili flakes
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh course ground black pepper
1 cup grated Grana Padano Cheese
3 lbs collard greens (stem removed and rinsed)
1 large yellow onion (julienned)
2 tbsp lard
3 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp coarse black pepper
2 pounds crawfish tails
1/3 cup Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Seafood magic
12 oz prosciutto (sliced thin)

Herbed Cornbread Pangrattato Layer:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix cornmeal, kosher salt, baking powder, and baking soda in medium mixing bowl. In separate mixing bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and melted butter. Using stand mixer, mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Once mixed, add sage and thyme, then turn mixer on briefly to incorporate herbs.
  2. Heat a medium cast-iron pan on stove over medium-high heat and add lard. Once lard has melted, remove pan from heat and add your cornbread mixture.
  3. Sprinkle rosemary leaves over cornbread mixture.
  4. Bake cornbread for approximately 18 minutes, until top is golden brown, and center is firm.
  5. Let cornbread cool. Then remove from cast iron. Using your hand break cornbread apart and place on baking sheet uncovered on counter overnight. You will want to have the cornbread dry out.
  6. Melt remaining ½ cup butter. Place stale cornbread in a medium mixing bowl. Using your hands, break cornbread apart to resemble breadcrumbs. Add ½ cup melted butter and mix thoroughly.

Charred Tomato Bechamel:

  1. On baking sheet place cherry tomatoes under broiler until 50% charred. Remove from broiler and let cool.  Then place in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. In medium saucepan add butter and cook onions and garlic briefly until softened. Sprinkle flour into pan and mix with wooden spoon. Makes sure to scrape bottom of pan, so you do not scorch your roux. Cook for about 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add heavy cream and milk and whisk thoroughly until sauce is smooth. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until sauce has thickened and smooth. Add blended charred tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and chili flakes. Remove from heat and add grated Grana Padano and mix thoroughly until smooth and cheese has melted.

Collard Green Layer:

  1. In medium sauce pot, add 2 TBSP of lard and cook onions until just soft. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add collard greens and mix until have softened and wilted. Add apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Place lid on pot and cook for 20-30 minutes until soft.
  2. Let greens cool to room temperature and then drain liquor off. Place cooked collard greens in cheesecloth, and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. Place in container and store in refrigerator until ready to assemble lasagna.

Crawfish & Prosciutto Layer:

  1. Drain crawfish tails using colander. In small bowl, toss drained crawfish tails with blackened seasoning.

Lasagne Assembly:

  1. Using a half pan, rub a small amount of olive oil around bottom and sides of pan, so lasagna does not stick.
  2. Place a small amount of bechamel on bottom of pan and spread to cover bottom.
  3. Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Place one sheet of Barilla Lasagna Pasta sheet.
  5. Place 1/3 of collard green mix spread evenly across pasta sheet. Then top with layer of bechamel sauce.
  6. Place another sheet of pasta on top. Press firmly and then add a 1/3 of the blackened crawfish mixture and 3-4 slices of prosciutto and tear lengthwise to cover crawfish.
  7. Repeat this process two more times with each of the layers to have a total of 6 layers of filling. Finally top with another layer of pasta and press firmly on top of lasagna to make sure layers are pressed together. Finish with a layer of bechamel and grate about ¼ cup of Grana Padano on top.
  8. Sprinkle herbed corn bread Pangratatto on top and press to make sure topping is even across top of lasagna.
  9. Cover with foil and poke a few holes in foil to vent. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until top is golden brown.
  10. To Serve: Place a spoon of charred tomato bechamel on a plate or bowl. Then place a portion of lasagna on top and garnish with fresh minced parsley.