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  1. #31

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    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry for the delay Paul, it was a crazy week, and so far, a semi-crazy weekend

    I'll post it here maybe tomorrow...like I say, nothing fancy, jar sauce and other canned goods, with the no-boil noodles

    Looking forward to your results, and recipe as well!
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  2. #32

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    1 Not allowed!
    Here's my fresh new version of a lasagna recipe - I've baked lasagna for many years from numerous recipes, but this is only the second time I've baked this recipe which I really love - it seems to have even better flavor than the first time I made it.

    It's not revolutionary, but it is tweaked quite a bit from the norm, and contains some ingredients which some of you might not have used before, and may find to be a bit odd - but I can tell you - it's the tastiest lasagna I've ever done. Here it is:



    PAUL'S LASAGNA:

    This lasagna is basically for 2 persons with enough leftovers for a second meal, and freezes well of course. It's made in an ovenproof corning ware dish of approx. 11 " X 7 " X 4" or so high, deep enough to provide for 4 or 5 layers of lasagna pasta noodles.

    Please forgive what may seem like the extra, unnecessary length of this recipe - I've purposely elaborated more than needed to help out those who may have little or no experience making lasagna.

    And yes, it does take quite a bit of prepping time & work, with a variety of ingredients, so you might consider it to be 'fussy', but I feel the time and effort involved is worth it, to produce this very flavorful, quality lasagna.

    - Main Ingredient:

    - You'll need a box of dried lasagna noodles - 15 of these should do to make 5 layers in a dish of this size - you'll know the kind I mean- they're approx. 10 inches long X about 2" wide & are ribbed along the length of each noodle on both sides. This type of dish could be rectangular or with slightly rounded corners. No matter, once parboiled the noodles can easily be cut to shape to fit flat within the corners - 3 noodles to a layer.

    The box of noodles may say they're 'oven ready', but they're not really, as they're hard dried, so can't be cut to shape as is without breaking apart. So you need to pre- parboil them for approx. 4 minutes to soften them up some, make them easy to cut & shape to your dish size, once cooled, and will permit the pasta to cook properly when baking without developing any hardened, curly edges which may burn.

    Alternatively, if available, you can use fresh lasagna sheets bought in a vacuum pack of 6 or 8 sheets I believe, which are of a size which will fit well in the above-sized dish with some minor scissor trimming.

    Prepping:

    - After partial 4 minute boiling & cooling of the softened pasta noodles, here's my listing of what's needed to prepare for putting together a 4 or 5 tier of lasagna noodles. These specific ingredients are the ones I like and use for this recipe.

    Reminder: Once boiled & cooled, and before use, ensure the noodles are free of any moisture - wipe them with paper towelling to ensure they're fully dry. Moist/wet noodles may tend to soften up the lasagna once cooked, so that the lasagna may lose firmness when cutting. Doesn't affect the taste, but the lasagna may not keep it's shape as it should.

    - The all-important tomato meat sauce layer - ingredients:

    - Approx. 3/4 to 1 lb. of regular lean ground beef;

    - 1 large fresh pork sausage, skin casing removed;

    - 1 fresh mild italian sausage, skin casing removed;

    (Alternate possibility: 1 medium or spicy italian sausage if you prefer a bit more heat, or a fresh chorizo sausage, skin casing removed)

    - 2 rashers of bacon, separately fried to your liking & broken up into fingernail sized pieces. I prefer mine crispy. Alternatively you could also use 2 - 1/4" slices of lightly fried pancetta - diced after frying;

    - 1/2 to 3/4 cup of finely diced onions;

    - 1/2 cup finely diced celery;

    - 3-6 finely diced cloves of garlic;

    - 1 680 ml. can of tomato sauce ( approx. 20 oz.);

    - 1 Tbspn. of tomato paste;

    - 1 level tspn. of sugar;

    - 1/2 tspn. red pepper flakes;

    - 1/2 tspn. oregano;

    - 1/2 tspn. thyme;

    - 1 tspn basil;

    - 1/2 cup red wine;

    - Veggie option - 2 or 3 sliced & diced mushrooms of your choice, if you like mushrooms;

    - 1 large bay leaf;

    - Salt & Pepper to taste - careful with the salt - you'll be adding a lot of salty cheeses in the layering.

    In a large saucepan on medium heat, add a bit of olive oil & lightly saute the diced onions, celery and garlic until soft - 2-3 minutes. Then add all of the meat ingredients - the ground beef, the pork and italian sausage meat, and the bacon slivers, and cook over medium to hottish heat until all the meat is fully cooked - about 7-10 minutes - mashing the mixture with a potato masher to evenly mix & break up all the ground meats and bacon.

    Add the tomato sauce, the tomato paste, and the red wine, and mix well.
    Add all the herbs & spices & sugar, & mix well;

    The resulting sauce should be fairly thick, not runny & loose. Simmer the sauce for 20 - 30 minutes over low heat, then allow to cool. If it seems somewhat runny, simmer it longer to thicken it up. A thick sauce, like drying the pasta noodles, helps to ensure the lasagna is not overly moisture-laden, so that it holds it's shape well when cut up to serve.

    It's then ready for the layering.

    The cheeses & bechamel sauce layering components:

    You will need:

    a) -For the bechamel sauce:

    -For approx. 1/2 cup of finished bechamel sauce - on medium heat melt a large pat of butter - approx. 1 oz. in a smallish saucepan, add 1 tbspn. of flour, whisk & add 1/4 tspn. of nutmeg, then whisk up with sufficient milk, added a bit at a time, to make & maintain a thin, fairly runny sauce, after adding & whisking in 1/2 cup or so of finely grated parmesan or pecorino cheese;.

    Within each layer of the cheese portions, drizzle a bit of this runny bechamel sauce, in well- separated very thin strips, over the 2 - 3 grated cheese mixture, see below.

    Ration enough of this sauce so as have a sufficient amount remaining to drizzle over the final topping, as later described below.

    b) - for the mozzarella cheese portion of the cheese layering;

    To me, this part of the cheese layering, though small in quantity, adds more flavor and creaminess to the lasagna.

    I prefer to use fresh soft mozzarella or boconcini, cut into approx. 20 thinly sliced pieces about the size of the front section of your thumb to the first knuckle- 1" X 1/2", is my best way to describe it.

    Alternatively, you may use the brick type of harder mozzarella, sliced/cut up into roughly the same size pieces - it will melt just about as well as the soft version.

    I use 4-5 of these pieces interspersed among (on top of) the 2-3 cheese mixture layers, and also place the remaining pieces, interspersed, at the very top of the last layer of the lasagna.

    c) - The other cheeses portion:

    - Here's where you can get somewhat creative, using 2, 3, or 4 of your favorite cheeses - pretty much any melting cheeses will do - examples are:

    - cheddars, white or colored, or marbled; provolone; monterey jack; gruyere; swiss, emmenthal; havarti; parmesan or romano pecorino - whatever. I've even used a jack cheese with jalapeno for a little extra kick.

    I usually prefer marbled cheddar, pecorino, havarti, and gruyere, mixed well together after regular grating (not finely grated).

    You'll need 1 & 1/2 cups approx. of the 2 or 3 different grated cheeses mixed together, perhaps more.

    Finally, the layering directions:

    - Start with a good thickness layer of the meat sauce to fully cover the entire bottom of the baking dish; ( no dish greasing needed).

    - Add 3 of the soft pre- parboiled lasagna noodles to cover the meat sauce, trimmed to properly fit within the shape of the dish (makes 3 rows of these noodles, or use 1 of the store-bought, appropriately-sized fresh lasagna sheets.)

    - This next layer of course calls for the cheeses - add a fairly generous portion of the 2 or 3 grated cheeses, topped with 4-5 pieces of the thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, evenly interspersed though the layer, and then lightly drizzled in very thin strips with some of the bechamel sauce over that, as mentioned earlier.

    - Repeat this duo of layers once more to use up the remaining lasagna noodles, which would constitute 5 tiers of pasta noodles (i.e. using all 15 of the pasta noodles). The last layer is to be a meat layer, so the final topping above the 5th tier of pasta should be just a thin layer of the meat sauce, with a good amount of the 2-3 grated cheeses over that, then finally topped with the remaining pieces of the mozzarella, spaced out fairly evenly, then drizzled over some remaining bechamel sauce. (Drizzle the sauce between the mozzarella pieces , not over them).

    Then sprinkle some finely grated parmesan or pecorino over top as a final finishing touch.

    Your baking dish may not be quite deep enough to comfortably accommodate 5 tiers of pasta, so you have the option instead, of finishing with just 4 tiers of the pasta (12 noodles,) with the last layer being a cheese layer, in which case your topping above the last tier of pasta should be heavier on the meat sauce, with a lesser amount of the grated cheeses, topped similarly as above with the interspersed pieces of mozzarella, the remaining bechamel sauce drizzled between the mozzarella pieces, followed by the sprinkling of finely grated parmesan or pecorino.

    The finished lasagna may be refrigerated and baked the next day. Bake @ 350 for 40-45 minutes until all the cheeses are nicely melted, bubbly, and beginning to brown up a bit.

    Cover the lasagna with foil for the first 20 minutes of baking, then uncover for the final 25 or so minutes.

    Enjoy.
    Last edited by discuspaul; 09-09-2018 at 10:23 PM.

  3. #33

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    1 Not allowed!
    Here's a pic of Paul's finished product...looks quite tasty!

    Paul's lasagna.jpg
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  4. #34

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thank a bunch for posting the pic of my dish, Slap

  5. #35

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    1 Not allowed!
    If any of you folks are interested in seeing more recipes, here's a few that I make quite often.

    Let me know which one(s) you might like & want to see, and I'll post it or them.

    And I promise they will be far less wordy and lengthy than my lasagna recipe above ! LOL



    - Pork cutlets with Spanish sauce

    - Chili sauce for Chili burgers

    - Skillet Roasted lemon chicken

    - Spicy Roasted chicken thighs

    - Osso Buco (braised veal shanks)

    - Braised beef short ribs

    - Cannelloni




    -

  6. #36

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
    Thank a bunch for posting the pic of my dish, Slap
    No problem, Paul
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  7. #37

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by mbkemp View Post
    Here is one I make. It is a hit around here

    Debone a rotisserie chicken and chop

    Chop about three nice cloves of garlic, three Serrano peppers, three poblano peppers and the juice from two fresh limes. Let that set overnight refrigerated.

    I use a green enchilada sauce and corn tortillas. Cover with cheddar and bake. GSM!
    Upon re-reading this thread, I'm intrigued by this recipe - sounds like it's right up my alley:

    Could you please elaborate a bit, so I can do this right e.g.:

    -How do you prepare the 2 kinds of peppers for the marinating overnight - Do you slice them open & remove the seeds & ribs, or what ?

    - Then after overnight marinating, I assume you simply remove only the chicken pieces to be placed inside the corn tortillas, or do you include any portion of the peppers ( & garlic ?) - to incorporate into the filling for the tortillas ?

    - Do you use a store bought green enchilada sauce ?
    (I make good green sauce from scratch using tomatillos.)

  8. #38

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    0 Not allowed!
    I always chop the Serrano. I leave the seeds. Sometimes I will chop the poblano, sometimes I roast them to a light char and then slice and use a slice per tortilla. If I do that some cheese inside with the pepper is nice

    I leave all ingredients in the tortilla.

    I have made tomatillos sauce but generally I am lazy.

    If you like chicken and lime with some pepper these are not bad

  9. #39

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by mbkemp View Post
    I always chop the Serrano. I leave the seeds. Sometimes I will chop the poblano, sometimes I roast them to a light char and then slice and use a slice per tortilla. If I do that some cheese inside with the pepper is nice

    I leave all ingredients in the tortilla.

    I have made tomatillos sauce but generally I am lazy.

    If you like chicken and lime with some pepper these are not bad
    Sounds real good - I'll give it a try, for sure.

  10. #40

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    0 Not allowed!
    I made a pretty awesome and easy stirfry tonight if anyone is interested in vegetarian.

    I took half a block of extra firm tofu...squeezed the water out cut into pieces which were around 1" and .5" thick...I put that on a sheet pan and froze for about 2hrs. Freezing tofu just simply makes it better end of story. I took it out of the freezer sprayed with olive oil spray and baked until it was crispy on 425*F. I also seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of ginger.

    Stir fried some onions and bell peppers with fresh garlic, bit of lime juice until almost ready...then added the tofu and sauced with some prepared sweet and sour sauce from the asian grocer. Served with steamed jasmine rice and it was pretty awesome...my non-vegetarian/carnivorous dinner guest did not complain.

    Typically I don't like prepared sauces...but on a weeknight shortcuts are allowed.
    3x75 gallons|1x55 gallon|2x40 gallons


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