La la la Lasagna

June 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


So, lasagna was on my list of “things I would like to learn how to make from scratch”.

I am pretty darn sure that I can cross it off now!

I had to look up the cheese filling ratio – glad I did, I didn’t know I needed an egg! The rest is based off of what I remember from the last time I made lasagna – from a children’s cookbook that I cannot locate, in I think middle school. ^^.; Go me, this came out REALLY tasty!

You will need: enough lasagna noodles to cover your pan 3 times. For me, this was 12 noodles. (Your pan may vary depending on size.) This was 4 across, with a little wiggle room at the edges of the pan. I decided that I was OK with that, and wasn’t going to OCD-fill EVERY POSSIBLE SPOT with pasta. Seriously. That was difficult for me!!!!

Sauce Ingredients:
1/3lb mild italian sausage (de-cased. For me, this was one sausage at the meat counter. If you dislike sausage, you may consider substituting an 80/20 ground beef. Personally, I enjoyed the sausage!).
3/4lb lean ground beef (the leanest I could get was sirloin. Mmmmm).
1/4 onion, diced.
1/5 green pepper, minced.
4 white mushrooms (these were on the large side), diced.
3lg cloves of garlic, minced.
1/6 whole carrot, minced.
1 can of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a splash of Cranberry-Pomegranate juice
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt
Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
Ground Sage
Ground Ginger
Basil
Paprika
Oregano
(spices are to taste. Seriously, I can make this sauce by smell, although I do taste after it’s all together and simmered happily. Sorry.)

Cheese Filling Ingredients:
3/4c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4c grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
16oz cottage cheese (I just don’t like ricotta)
1 tsp parsley (which means “Katie grabbed a hefty pinch and chucked it on top”)

Cheese Topping:
shredded mozzarella cheese
grated parmesan cheese

Alrighty. So, I boiled a pot of water, laid my lasagna noodles in the baking dish to see how many I’d need, then realized “oh…hey…oops…my pot isn’t tall enough for this”… so I boiled the water and just poured it over the noodles in the baking dish. (I’d seen this while looking up cheese filling! Yay internets!) I think I left them there about 20 minutes while I made the sauce. I wasn’t timing, just poking them with tongs to check, they weren’t fully cooked or anything when I took them from the water, but cooked enough to go limp if I picked them up. I’ll just say 20 minutes. =\

So, onto the sauce. First, I did all of my veggie chopping and dicing and mincing, putting them all into the glass bowl that I seem to use for veggie corralling while I do knifework. (I LOVE MY SHUN KNIVES!!!!!!!!!!) Then, while I heated the pan with a little olive oil in it, I de-cased the sausage.  Was fun, yet kinda gross. I wound up slicing the ends of the casing and squeezing from the middle out both ends. Next time, I’ll be smarter and cut a line down it and just peeling it…

Since the pan was nice and warm, I added the veggies and some kosher salt, got them started, then added the sausage and ground sirloin. Once those were starting to brown as I broke them all up with my utensil, I added the cranberry-pomegranate juice (I use this to replace red wines. It works really well!!).

At this point, I also added the spices.

After the meat was all happily browned up and the veggies cooked, I added the tomato sauce, mixed it in. Then, I added the tomato paste and mixed that in.

After it simmered for a bit, I wound up adding more basic, garlic powder, garlic salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, paprika, and oregano. I always seem to add more of those lol. But I’d rather be safe than sorry! 😀

While the sauce simmered, I mixed up the ingredients for the cheese filling.

Once everything was done – noodles, sauce, cheese mixed, I took the noodles out of the pan, dumped out the water, dried the pan.

Then in this order:
Sauce
first layer of noodles
half of the cheese filling
sauce
second layer of noodles
half of the cheese filling
sauce
third layer of noodles
sauce
Then I added mozzarella cheese (No, I didn’t measure, sorry. Just made it so it would melt nicely everywhere lol), and grated parmesan over it. Again, no measuring lol.

Then I baked it at 350F for what was set for 50 minutes, but turned out to be 40.

Remove from oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes.

Then serve and enjoy! (This was really tasty! I am quite pleased!!!!!)

Permalink Leave a Comment

Chicken Parm

November 17, 2010 at 12:54 am (cooking) (, , , , , , )


Tonight was a great night for dinner!!

I made chicken parm with spaghetti & marinara sauce, and broccoli. :)

Broccoli was merely cooked, then tossed with margarine and garlic salt, very quick and easy, as I used the steam-in-bag microwave variety. :)

Chicken Ingredients:
chicken breasts – i kept them about the same thickness, these were pretty thin
italian bread crumbs
provolone cheese

I started up a pan with some oil and set the oven to 350. After tossing the chicken breasts in the bread crumbs, I cooked them in oil until they were done. Then, due to waiting on my sister arrive, they sat for about 10 minutes on paper towels (I blotted off extra oil gently), then I covered them with provolone cheese before baking them for another 10 minutes (to melt the cheese and warm through again). They were juicy and delicious!!!

Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
olive oil
a splash of cranberry-pomegranate juice
1 can tomato sauce
1 can petite diced tomatoes
8 medium white mushrooms, chopped
a small handful of baby carrots, minced
1/4 large onion, choppped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
garlic powder
kosher salt
black pepper
garlic & herb mrs. dash
sage
oregano
parsley

After preparing all of my veggies, I put some oil in the bottom of a pot (needed my skillet for the chicken!). When it was warm, I tossed in all of my veggies, along with two healthy pinches of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. (3 or 4, wasn’t really counting, sorry, it’s how I cook!)

When the onions just started to become translucent, I added a splash of the cranberry-pomegranate juice. It’s my substitute for wine lol. It has the nice sweetness and a good crisp bite to it as well.

Once that cooked down, I added the cans of tomato-y goodness, and added spices to taste.(Usually ends up being three doses of G&H mrs. dash and oregano, one of parsley, two of sage and garlic powder… by “dose” I mean “sprinkled happily on top of the bubbling red stuff”).

Then I let it simmer while I cooked the chicken, broccoli, and spaghetti. :)

It was so delicious, and my sister has leftovers for two days! Yaaaaaay!!! 😀

Permalink Leave a Comment