Advertisements

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Wild Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna

Wid Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna (2)

Wid Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna (3)

Wild Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna (9)

Before I get into this post, a video at www.YouTube.com/LindaHamel is going to be posted on my  YouTube channel, for this recipe. There’s a couple of things I want to mention.
1). I take you through a shortened version of this recipe. No one wants to watch an entire video from start to finish on making a Lasagna. The video would run over an hour and a half long and with everyone having busy lives, I thought, that would be just a bad idea. to keep the video short and sweet, I decided to prepare all the components for the lasagna in advance. In the video, I generally go through the steps on how I made each one. The video really concentrates on the assembly and the cooking process.
2). Something else I decided not to mention is adding fresh and dried Thyme to my sautèed mushrooms.  I felt it’s an ingredient that’s a personal preference. Thyme has a slight lemony flavor that I think pairs really well with mushrooms. In my ingredient list below, I include both dried and fresh Thyme but made them optional.
3). It’s important that if you want to make this recipe the ingredients and directions are at the bottom of this post.

After coming out of the oven, lasagna needs to rest for at least 20 minutes before cutting. The reason for that is that lasagna needs time to set up.

The top picture is after it’s been done cooking and rested for 20 minutes. The picture below is after the entire casserole dish had been refrigerated overnight and then a piece was cut.  You can see a big difference in the presentation. Truth be told, I think lasagna is always better the second day.

Wid Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna (1)

My Wild Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna is loaded with flavor. I promise, you won’t miss the meat! Mushrooms are such a great substitute for meat. Their meaty texture and earthy flavor paired with spinach, fresh mozzarella, and creamy Béchamel sauce takes comfort food to a whole other level.

2018-06-08 13.03.02

Once the spinach has thawed completely, squeeze all the excess water from the spinach. You want the spinach to be as dry as possible.

2018-06-08 16.57.45

Wild Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna (10)

Wild Mushroom And Spinach Lasagna (9)

Ingredients:
2 boxes of dried oven ready lasagna noodles ( you may only need a little over 1 box)
2 sticks of unsalted butter, 1 stick for Bechamel sauce, 3 tablespoons for mushrooms, the remainder for greasing baking dish
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of freshly minced Thyme leaves (optional)
1 tablespoons of dried Thyme (optional)
4 cups whole milk
2 -10 ounce packages of thawed, drained spinach, squeeze out excess water
3/4 of 32 ounce container of Ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (for Ricotta mixture)
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (for Ricotta mixture)
3 large eggs
1 large package of fresh Mozzarella, slice into 14 rounds
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon for freshly ground nutmeg (store- bought ground is fine)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (for Bechamel sauce)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (for sautéed mushrooms)
2 pounds of sliced sautéed wild mushrooms
4 large cloves garlic minced
1 cup of grated Parmesan
8 ounces (1 cup) store-bought shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup of fresh and finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley for Ricotta mixture,
2 tablespoons dried parsley for top

Directions For Spinach:
Thaw both boxes of frozen spinach the day before. Once thawed, drain and squeeze dry any excess water. You want the spinach to be as free of any water as possible. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Directions For Cheeses:
Place store bought shredded Mozzarella cheese in a bowl and set aside. Chop up the Parmesan cheese into small chunks and place them into a food processor. Pulse a few times until you have the consistency of ground cheese. For the fresh Mozzarella, slice the Mozzarella into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place all prepped cheeses in the frig until needed.

Directions For Ricotta:
In a large bowl add Ricotta, 3 beaten large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon each of Kosher salt, and pepper, and finely chopped fresh flat leave Italian parsley. Mix together until well combined and set aside.

Directions For The Bechamel Sauce:
Bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick) in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, whisking constantly until flour has cooked out and becomes blonde in color. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once. Add 1 teaspoon each of Kosher salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg, and cook over med-low heat, whisking for 3-5 minutes, until thick. To double check on the thickness of the Bechamel sauce, dip a wooden spoon into the sauce. Take your finger and make a line down the back of the spoon, if the sauce stays separate and doesn’t run together, sauce is ready. Immediately transfer to a large bowl. Place plastic wrap directly over the sauce, preventing a skin from forming, and set aside.

Directions For Sautéed Mushrooms: click the link below for recipe

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms

YouTube Video for this recipe is at www.YouTube.com/LindaHamel

Assembling The Lasagna:
Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of the buttered 8 x 12 x 4 inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of oven-ready noodles on top, then ladle more Bechamel sauce. Sprinkle both grated Parmesan and shredded  Mozzarells cheeses. Next, add the half the spinach and mushrooms. To that, add the fresh Mozzarella slices.  Repeat this process once more. Next, add all of the Ricotta mixture and top with another layer of the noodles. Lightly press, with your hands, on the top to make sure all the ingredients are nice and level in the dish. Over that last layer of noodles top with the rest of the Bechamel sauce and a final sprinkle of both grated Parmesan and shredded Mozzarella cheeses. Add a sprinkle of dried parsley over the top for color.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F. for 45 minutes until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly and hot. Once out of the oven, let rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Directions For Reheating Refrigerated Lasagna:Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pour between 2 tablespoons or 1/4 cup of water over the lasagna (depending on its size). Spray the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place the sprayed side down over the lasagna and seal tight around the edges of the baking dish.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until lasagna is hot and bubbly.

Directions For Freezing Fully Cooked Lasagna:
Make sure the lasagna has cooled completely, at least an hour and a half. Wrap the entire baking dish in freezer safe plastic wrap. This ensures there are no gaps in the wrap where air can get in and cause freezer burn. Then place foil over the top. Can keep up to three months.

Directions For Cooking Frozen Lasagna:
Transfer the frozen lasagna to refrigerator 24 hours in advance. Before going into the oven, remove the foil and plastic wrap from the baking dish and replace it with new foil that’s been sprayed with some non-stick cooking spray, on the dull side of the foil.  Add  2 tablespoons or 1/4 cup (depending on the size of the lasagna) of water over the top of the lasagna. Place the sprayed side down over the top, seal the edges tight. This will prevent any cheese from sticking to foil. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Advertisements
1 Comment »

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, And Basil Over Pappardelle

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, And Basil Over Pappardelle (2)

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, and Basil Over Pappardelle

Great quality ingredients are what make this pasta dish so delicious. A good white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and the pasta cooking liquid are what pull the sauce together for this dish. It’s really just about keeping it simple.

Equipment: small saute pan with lid, indoor grill pan, 12 inch frying pan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage grilled and sliced
1 package Pappardelle pasta
8 ounces of fresh Mozzarella cubed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 leek cleaned and thinly sliced, about 1 cup
1/2 cup of finely diced red onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup each of red, yellow, and orange bell pepper finely diced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup white wine, Pino Grigio
1-1/2 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Directions:
Prep all the vegetables first. Clean and slice the leeks, dice the other vegetables, mince the garlic cloves, and prep the herbs. Dice the fresh Mozzarella cheese.  Set all the veggies on a plate to the side.

To prepare the sausage, prick each of the links with a fork on each side. Place the links in a small saute pan , preheated to medium-high heat. Add half a cup of unsalted chicken stock and cover. Let the sausage links steam in the broth for about 10 minutes or until links are completely cooked, 150 degrees internal temperature. Remove from the pan and set on an indoor grill pan that’s been preheated to med- high heat. Let the links 2-1/2 minutes, per side, allowing for grilled markings Carefully remove the hot grill pan from the stove top. Finally, slice the links on a bias.

Have a large pot of boiling salted water ready to drop the pasta, on the back burner.

In a large frying pan, preheated to medium heat, add in the olive oil, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper flakes.  Add the sliced leeks to the pan. Stir the leeks around sauteing them until soft, about a minute or so. Next, add in the diced red onion and diced bell peppers. To the veggies, sprinkle in the Kosher salt and black pepper.Continue sauteing for around 3-5 minutes until all the veggies have softened. Finally, add in the minced garlic and stir through.

Add the white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and sliced cooked sausage back into the pan. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. This will allow the flavors from the liquids to marry with all the other ingredients.  While the pan is simmering, drop the pasta. Cook the pasta, to al dente, following the instructions on the package, usually about 10 minutes.

Once the pasta is just al dente, add the pasta to the pan with the sausage and vegetables. Toss the pasta through. The pasta may absorb most of the liquid. If this is the case, add in a ladle or two of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to the pan. Turn the heat off, and transfer to a large serving platter. Add the diced fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and finely chopped parsley.

Serve immediately.

1 Comment »

Tomato Caprese Burgers

Image

The most important tip I can give about making the perfect burgers, I learned from the master. The master being Bobby Flay. Don’t misunderstand me, he didn’t personally teach me, all though that would’ve been awesome. I just watched a show he did on grilling burgers. If there is anyone on this planet that can make and grill the perfect burger it’s him.

Place all the ingredients (or flavorings) you want, to add to the ground meat, into a large bowl, and mix. Next, add the ground meat to the bowl, mix gently with a fork incorporating all the ingredients throughout the meat. This allows for the meat not to be over mixed or compacted by overmixing it your hands. Use a large ice cream scoop to ensure the burgers will be the same size.

Patty them gently, with your finger press the center of the patty making an indention, like a dimple. This will stop the burger from shrinking will cook evenly throughout. Crazy right? Believe me when I tell you this works every time.

Image

Yields: 6 patties, about 2 inches thick
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9-10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground meat, choice of pork, chicken, turkey, or beef
2 cloves freshly grated garlic
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons good ketchup
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, 6 slices, 1 inch thick
6 slices fresh Mozzarella, 1 inch thick
2 cups Arugula leaves
6 Brioche Buns, toasted
balsamic glaze, optional

Directions:
Place all the ingredients (flavorings) you want, to add to the ground meat, into a large bowl, and mix. Next, add the ground meat to the bowl, mix gently with a fork incorporating all the ingredients throughout the meat. This ensures this meat is not over mixed or compacted, by using your hands. Use a large ice cream scoop to scoop the meat from the bowl. This will ensure the patties are the same size.

Patty the meat gently,  then with your finger press the center of the patty making an indention, a dimple. This will stop the burger from shrinking will cook evenly throughout. Crazy right? Believe me, when I tell you, this works every time.

Optional: Season both sides of your patties with Kosher salt and black pepper after you’ve brushed them with Canola oil, then place on the hot grill.

Whether you’re using an inside or outside grill, first, make sure the surface is nice and hot. Lightly brush each side of your burger patties with Canola oil and place it on the hot grill. Do not touch them no matter how bad you want to. You should only flip the burger once.

Cook the burgers on the first side for 5 minutes before flipping. I grilled the patties on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. After that, I transferred them to a large plate, covered them with foil, and let them rest for 10 minutes.

While the burger patties are resting, butter the Brioche buns, place them on the grill.

To assemble the burgers. Toast the buns. Lay the bottom toasted bun on the plate. Add the burger patty,  fresh Mozzarella, slice of tomato, drizzle of balsamic glaze (optional) a few leaves of fresh arugula, and finally the top bun.

Serve hot.

Follow this method every time and you’ll have the perfect burgers. Thanks, Bobby Flay!

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Grilled Chicken Caprese Tarts

Grilled Chicken Caprese Tarts

 

Puff Pastry.jpg

My Grilled Chicken Caprese Tarts were inspired by remembering my grandmother’s Caprese salad. She used tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and a little balsamic vinegar. I thought I’m going to take that idea a step further.

I’ve found the grocery store offers a lot of great products that make life in the kitchen easy and fun. Puff Pastry is definitely one of those items that’s a staple in my house. Puff Pastry is available in the frozen section of the grocery store. If you plan on using Puff Pastry for any recipe, transfer the box to the refrigerator the night before. The dough needs to stay cold until your ready to use it. All you need to do after that is to follow the directions on the box.

Grilled Chicken Caprese Tarts

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Equipment: 6-inch plate, rolling pin, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, indoor grill pan

Ingredients:
1 package (using 1 sheet) of Puff Pastry, cut into 4 6-inch circles, 1/4-inch thick
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, *butterflied (Yields 4 chicken breast cutlets)
3 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons of your favorite store-bought fresh-made basil pesto (usually found in the refrigerated section)
1 8-ounce package of fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
8 tablespoons of good olive oil
2 tablespoons of kosher salt, to season the tarts
2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, to season the tarts
a good balsamic vinegar, to drizzle before serving (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven 400-degrees F.

Directions For Chicken:
Preheat an indoor grill pan on high heat for 2-3 minutes.
To start, *butterfly the two chicken breasts. Lay the 4 chicken breasts out onto a plastic cutting board.

Pat with a paper towel all four chicken breast cutlets completely dry. drizzle both sides with olive oil and season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.  Reduce the heat to medium-high heat. Place the chicken on the indoor grill pan in a single layer and spaced out (depending on the number of chicken breasts you’re cooking), depending on the surface area of your grill pan.

Grill 4 minutes per side. Test if the chicken breasts are done using an instant-read thermometer. Internal temperature needs to read 165-degrees F. Transfer the chicken to a clean serving plate, cover with foil to stay warm.

Line 2 rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper.
While your chicken is grilling, dust a flat surface with all-purpose flour. Roll out one sheet of Puff Pastry to a 1/4-inch thick. Using a 6-inch plate and a paring knife, cut out 4 circles.  Place two circles of pastry on each sheet pan.

Using the paring knife again, score a margin a 1/4-inch from the outside of each circle. This will allow the outside of the circles to puff up slightly and give a tart-like look to the pastry. Take a fork and prick the inside of the circles. This will allow steam to escape and the center of the pastry circles will lay flat.

Arrange the tomatoes, sliced red onion, and mozzarella slices in the center of each tart. Sprinkle Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper over each tart. Drizzle each tart with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Brush the outer rims with *egg wash.

Follow the cooking instructions on the Puff Pastry box. Usually bakes for 15 minutes. While tarts are baking, slice the chicken on the bias. Transfer the sliced chicken to a mixing bowl. Add the basil pesto and toss to combine.

Once the tarts come out of the oven, add the pesto marinated sliced chicken evenly divided over the top of each tart. The heat of the tarts will warm up the basil and it will smell so good.  Finally, a few freshly torn basil leaves over the top.

This recipe could easily be a vegetarian dish.
Serve hot.

*Egg Wash: 1 beaten egg whisked together with one tablespoon of water or milk.

*Butterfly Chicken Breasts. Place the chicken breast on a plastic cutting board and, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the breast, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Open out the breast so it resembles a butterfly. Where the breast meets at the center, (open book-like piece of chicken), slice down the center giving you two equal breast pieces, 1/2-inch thick.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: