Category Archives: Main Courses

Veggie Lasagna, Take 1

4 23oz. CorningWare oval dishes
4 c. (16 oz?) shredded mozzarella cheese
12 Lasagna noodles

Mushroom Layer
¾ lb white mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp. butter
3 – 5 cloves garlic, grated
¼ c. marsala wine
¼ c. white sherry

Squash Layer
3 Crookneck squash, sliced
3 Zucchini, sliced
3 – 4 tbsp. butter
3 – 5 cloves garlic, grated

Red Sauce
15 oz. tomato sauce
¼ c. grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano flakes

Ricotta Layer
32 oz. ricotta cheese
6 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes

Thickly slice mushrooms first, and place in pan with grated garlic and butter. Cook until butter is evenly coating mushrooms and mushrooms are beginning to lose their water. Add the wines and cook down until no moisture remains. Allowing the mushrooms to get a little crispy will likely add to the flavor. Expect the flavor to be sweet, but complex, as the marsala is wine that has already been salted and peppered (so cooks of old wouldn’t drink it).

While cooking down the mushrooms slice the squashes and start the pot of water for the noodles. Aim for as much consistency as possible in size. Add to pan with butter and garlic and cook to al dente. Try not to cook these for too long, as you will end up with mush in your lasagna if you do.

Cook lasagna noodles based on instructions on package, then drain.

In separate bowls mix red sauce ingredients and ricotta cheese mix.

The layers of the lasagna should go like this: layer of noodles (one noodle cut in half and laid side by side), layer of squash smothered in red sauce, layer of noodles, layer of mushrooms, layer of ricotta cheese mix, layer of noodles, layer of cheese.

Wrap and freeze.

Theories on cooking to consume: let thaw completely and then cook at 400°F starting with 20 minutes. This is not an entire casserole, so it is not expected to take the hour plus. Dish is ready once cheese is suitably crispy and desirable.

Preliminary notes from preparation:
• There was not enough squash for 6 dishes, only 4
• The oval dishes and their awkward size compared to the noodle made the noodle layers a joke.
• The oval dishes are not nearly deep enough for this kind of dish, and a more suitable dish should be found.
• The amount of mushrooms should be at least doubled for 4 dishes, and tripled or more for 6 dishes.
• There may have been too much garlic in the squash layer.
• Shredded parmesan cheese was added to the ricotta cheese because it is too bland on its own. Here’s hoping it helps without detracting from it.
• The sauce recipe is the same recipe used for pizzas, and will likely need tweaking, first thought is with beef bouillon, which will require a cooking of the sauce.

Notes after cooking and consumption:
Had my first one on 10-08-13. Removed from the freezer in the early am and let defrost on the counter all day. Put in fridge before running errands because I wasn’t going to have a chance to eat it beforehand.

Cooked at 400* for 30 minutes. Browning around the edges and making the house smell great.

Thoughts on it, after consumption:
Around the edges the ricotta mixture is disgustingly grainy. but not inedible. (texture junkie alert). Otherwise the flavor is actually really pretty good.

Some residual juiciness from the veggies, but really not bad at all.

Not nearly enough mushrooms, and some of their flavor gets lost becuase of that.

The squashes might do better just sautéed in butter, as the garlic was overpowering and did not let the squash flavors shine through at all. Also, freezing may have given the garlic a chemical flavor, which was not pleasant.

Was only able to consume half of this in one sitting, leaving the other half for tomorrow. This could be attributed to several factors, but I’m going to stick with “It’s best to just make this two meals”.

Maybe it is the flat flavor of this cheese, but I felt that I needed way more cheese then I actually got.

I may have more thoughts when I eat the leftovers tomorrow, but I needed to make sure I wrote these down for alteration of the recipe later.

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Lemon Chicken – In Progress

Lemon Chicken – In Progress

This recipe goes best with fried rice, though plain white rice and vegetables on the side is also acceptable. Broccoli would make a good side vegetable for this dish.

Chicken

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 c. Bisquick pancake mix, in zip top bag
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp. butter, melted

Sauce

1 c. granulated white sugar
2 c. water
½ tsp. “Better Then Bouillon” chicken base
1 clove garlic, diced
9 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tsp. lemon zest (peel)
3 tbsp. corn starch
4 tsp. cold water

Preparing the Chicken

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cut breasts in half length-wise and batter in egg.
Place chicken in ziptop bag, half at a time, and shake bag to coat.
Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and Pam.
Arrange on baking sheet and drizzle melted butter on top.
Cook 6 min, then flip chicken pieces to cook another 6 min. Change to “broil” and cook additional two minutes, then remove and let rest. Chicken should no longer be pink inside, but juice is acceptable.

Preparing the Sauce

Boil water in sauce pot, then add sugar. Do not add anything else until sugar is dissolved.
Add chicken base, garlic, lemon juice and zest in order, one at a time and within a few minutes of each other
Let cook while preparing corn starch and water slurry (to avoid lumps in sauce)
With sauce on high heat add slurry and mix until sauce thickens or 30 seconds, whichever is longer.
Serve chicken with sauce drizzled on top.