Friday, 26 December 2014

Seafood Lasagna. * gluten free version adaption below

This recipe is a little like the chicken Lasagna I posted last year, but it is made with luscious seafood in place of the chicken. We had this for dinner tonight, and it was a hit with everyone at the table, as well as the four legged one under the table - he was hoping in vain that someone would drop some to him. I had to send him out of the room, so we could eat in peace.

What you need: 10 lasagna noodles -( these can be cooked or the oven ready kind, your choice); one package each of frozen scallops, frozen shrimp, and frozen or fresh crab meat - about 400-600 grams each; 1 and 1/2 cups milk; 1 small carton half and half cream -250 ml; 1 onion, chopped fairly fine; 2 garlic cloves, minced, or a Tbs dried minced or jarred garlic, 250gr of cream cheese, or a small carton of softened cream cheese; 1 can of cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup -(I only use celery, since I am allergic to mushrooms, but you can choose); 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese; 2 cups of grated Mozzarella cheese; 1 leek, sliced very thinly; 4 Tbs butter or margarine; salt and pepper; and 3-4 Tbs flour for the sauce.

What you need:  10 lasagna noodles-( I use the oven ready kind, but you can choose the kind you prefer); 2 Tbs butter or margarine; 1 onion, chopped fine; 2 cloves garlic, minced; salt and pepper to taste; 1 package each of frozen scallops, shrimp, and crab meat - about 400-600 gr. each;  1 small tub of softened cream cheese; 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese; 1 can of cream soup - (I use celery, but you can use mushroom); 1 leek sliced into very thin slices; 2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese.
For the sauce: 2 Tbs butter or margarine, 1 and 1/2 cups milk; 3-4 Tbs flour; 1 small carton of half and half cream.

What you do:  preheat the oven to 350* F.  Cook lasagna noodles until al dente, if using that kind. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbs of  the butter or margarine in a frying pan, and add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook over medium low heat until the onion is just transparent. While it is cooking, chop the seafood into small pieces.  Add to the frying pan and increase heat slightly. Cook just long enough for the shrimp to all turn pink,  add salt and pepper to taste. Add the soup and the cream cheese, reduce heat, and stir until well mixed. Add the leeks, and stir again.
Make the sauce:  melt 2 Tbs of butter or margarine in a 1 l microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, in the microwave on high heat for  20 seconds. Add the flour, and stir. Add milk and cream. Cook on high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute for 4 minutes, then every 20 seconds, until the sauce is thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the Parmesan cheese. Stir well. Add 1 cup of water to thin the sauce a little if using the oven ready style of noodles.

Put about one cup of sauce into a lasagna pan, and spread evenly over the bottom. Place 5 noodles over the sauce. Pour all the seafood mixture onto the noodles and spread out evenly. Add second layer of noodles. Pour remaining sauce on top. Cover pan with foil and place into the oven for 40 minutes. Remove pan from oven and increase heat to 425*F.  Add all the mozzarella cheese on top of casserole. Place the pan back into the oven for 20 minutes. (If you want to make garlic bread to have with your lasagna, you can put it into the oven to heat at this time. )

Serve with salad or a veggie platter.

* if you prefer to have a gluten free version - substitute the noodles for gluten free noodles, and follow package direction to cook. Make your sauce with corn starch or other gluten free flour to thicken it. Everything else should be ok.

As always - enjoy.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Chicken Spinach Casserole

A very delicious casserole, made with a variety of cheeses, cooked chicken and pasta. This was a quick fix dinner made with chicken bought already cooked from the grocery store, packaged grated cheese, and pasta sauce mix.

What you need: 2 cups of Tortiglioni pasta - or any pasta of your choice,  2 cups diced cooked chicken,  2 handfuls of fresh spinach, 1 package of creamy garlic sauce mix, 2 cups of shredded cheese - mixture of Edam, Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Provolone, and Fontina. (I actually bought a blend of the last 4 cheeses, already grated.)

What you do: bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook pasta. Meanwhile, cook pasta sauce according to directions. (I love sauces cooked in the microwave, but today did to on a burner, since my microwave has not yet moved to my new home.) If you like, replace 1/2 cup of milk with dry white wine. Add half of the cheese to the sauce to melt. While the sauce is simmering, dice the chicken, and add to the pasta sauce. Add cooked drained pasta to the sauce blend. Stir in the spinach.
Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.

Serve with a glass of white wine.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Asian Pesto Shrimp dinner

This came from a recipe which I found I one of those supermarket cookbooks at the checkout counter. I tweaked it some what to make it a complete meal, rather than just an appetizer.

What you need: a package of raw frozen shrimp, 400 gr the 51-68 size; one box of bow ties pasta, 340 gr; Marinade ingredients-  1/3 cup olive oil, 3 TB s each of dried mint leaves, basil leaves, and cilantro -(but you can use parsley if you do not like the flavour of cilantro); 2 tbs of minced garlic; 1/4 cup of lime juice;  other ingredients - ground pepper to taste; half a package of small golden tomatoes; 2 mini sweet red peppers; grated Parmesan cheese.

What you do. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place shrimp in a water bath to thaw. In a large skillet, heat the marinade ingredients and add the shrimp. Cook until just turned pink, add pepper, halved tomatoes, and sliced sweet peppers. Cook until vegetables are just tender. Drain cooked pasta and add to the skillet. (I added a 1/2 cup of dry white wine.) Stir well. Serve hot with grated cheese.

Serves 4 unless Luc comes, then it serves 3.  Enjoy with a glass of dry white wine.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bacon herb cheese biscuits

So delicious, but so simple to make.  Preheat oven to 425*F

What you need: 2 cups flour; 4 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp salt; 1 Tbs garlic powder; 1 tbs onion powder; 2 tbs parsley flakes; 1 tbs dried chives; 1/2 cup shortening; 5 - 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled; 1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese; 1 cup milk.

What you do: mix flour, salt, baking powder, and seasonings in a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is like coarse meal. Add crumbled bacon and cheese. Stir with your hands until well blended. Use a spoon to stir in the milk just until all the dry ingredients are picked up. Knead a few times. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, and pat into circles about 3-4 inches across. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 425*F.

Serve with butter, and enjoy. You can eat this with a meal like stew, or pasta. Goes with almost anything.

Easy Fruit-misu Desserts

Here is a simple way to make an elegant looking dessert, using some pantry basics. You need canned frozen or fresh fruit, with a gelatine dessert in the same flavour. Add a little whipped cream and mascarpone, and you have a wonderful dessert which is not too sweet.

What you need: either 2 cups of fresh or frozen, or 1 (28 oz)can* of fruit; 1 box of gelatine to match the fruit; 1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese, or cream cheese; 6 oz of whipping cream, whipped. A can of whipped cream topping.

What you do: if using canned fruit, drain the liquid into a small microwave proof bowl, then divide the fruit into two equal portions. Place half of the fruit into a blender or purée machine, and blend to a smooth purée. Heat the liquid from the can or 1/2 cup water until almost boiling. Add half the gelatine powder and whisk until the powder is dissolved. Add the fruit purée and cool. Add the mascarpone or cream cheese and whisk well. Whip the 6 oz of cream, and fold into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl, or divide into small dessert dishes, filling them about 2/3 full. Chill for about 2 hours. When chilled, begin the top layer. Heat 1/2 cup water to boiling point, and whisk in the remaining gelatine powder. Allow to dissolve completely.   Cool until it just begins to set. Layer the remaining fruit on top of the cream base. Pour the cooled gelatine on top of fruit, and chill to set completely. Top with whipped cream topping just before serving.

I used a 28 oz can of peaches.