Lasagna

Lasagna

I’ve done lasagna a handful of times now and everytime I do things a little bit differently. I’ve tried it with my homemade dough, traditional dried pasta as well as the oven ready (no boil) noodles. Overall I think I still like the traditional pasta that you boil first. This time I decided to jazz up the recipe a bit with some sauteed mushrooms along with italian sausage and I have enjoyed this one the best.

Ingredients for sauce

  • 28 ounce Cento San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Dried oregano / Dried Basil
  • Rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil

Directions for sauce

  1. Sauté dieced garlic in the olive oil in a pot
  2. Add in the tomatoes (crush whole tomatoes with hands), tomato paste, oregano, basil, rind of parmigiano, bay leaf, salt.
  3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours.

Ingredients for lasagna

  • Sauce from above
  • 1 box of traditional dried lasagna noodles
  • Whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (put in a food processor to make into crumbles for spreading – easier than trying to grate or slice).
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Mild italian sausage (can also use ground beef, pork, chicken, etc)

Directions for lasagna

  1. Sauté slice mushrooms until soft and tender, add salt for flavoring
  2. Cook sausage (remove from casing and crumble) in some olive oil
  3. Cook pasta (follow directions) and then lay out on a oiled cookie pan to prevent from sticking to one another
  4. Add a layer of sauce to bottom of casserole dish to help prevent sticking
  5. Add layer of pasta
  6. Can create layers as desired – I did mushrooms with sauce and cheese (mozz/parmigiano/ricotta as dollops), then another layer of noodle, then a layer with sausage and sauce/cheese.
  7. Repeat a few more times (depends on amount of pasta and sauce you have)
  8. Top layer: Add sauce and then cheese layer
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes, then uncover and bake additional 15 minutes.
  10. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and eating.

-StewsCat


Enchilada sauce and enchiladas!

Enchilada sauce and enchiladas!

I’m terrible about posting. I realized that I do need to be more diligent about it because I use this as my reference for how to make stuff. I decided to make some enchiladas again. I couldn’t remember how I did it the last time because it had been so long ago. I like making the sauce because then I control the amount of sodium in it. I have used some of the store bought sauces and they are typically salt bombs. The sauce is actually quite easy to make. I’ve got both the sauce recipe as well as the actual enchilada recipe below. We like flour tortillas (I know traditionally it is corn) so for this one I made flour tortillas to go into it.

Enchilada sauce

  • ~ 1 lb tomatillos
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 anaheim pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • Cumin (~1 Tbsp)
  • Mexican oregano (~2 tsp)
  • Salt (~ 1 tsp)
  • Black pepper (~ 1 tsp)
  • Handful of cilantro (I forgot this when I made it)

Directions:

  1. Peel and wash the tomatillos and cut the onion into quarters and simmered in water for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Toasted the anaheim pepper on stove flame
  3. Add tomatillos, onion, and ~3/4 cup of water to blender
  4. Add remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until desired thickness/consistency
  5. Simmer sauce in pot for 10-15 minutes
Ingredients – 2 jalapenos gave the sauce a little more kick
Boiled for 10-15 minutes

Enchilada recipe

  • 2 cups enchilada sauce (see above)
  • Shredded chicken breast
  • Cheese (monterey jack, mexican blend, cheddar, mozzarella) – whatever your heart desires
  • Tortillas (corn or flour) – I ended up making my flour tortillas because we enjoy them better than corn overall

Directions

  1. In a casserole dish, add some sauce to line the bottom of dish
  2. Dip and cover both sides of tortilla in sauce, add ingredients (in this case it was a mixture of the chicken and cheese)
  3. Roll tortilla and place into casserole dish.
  4. Repeat process until casserole dish filled with rolled tortillas
  5. Cover in sauce and then cheese
  6. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes covered, then uncover and bake additional 5-10 minutes.

-StewsCat

Flour Tortillas

Flour Tortillas

This is an oldie but a goodie.  I can’t believe I haven’t made a post about this before.  Quite a many years ago I decided to try my hand at making flour tortillas.  I had heard they were more difficult than corn.  It took me a couple of tries before I became more comfortable with it.  I then took a few years off where I didn’t make them so had to re-teach myself.  I figured I should actually document it so I have something to reference.  I made some easy fajita/tacos tonight using these tortillas.  I generally will re-heat the tortilla on an open flame of my oven for ~15 seconds on each side.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups AP flour (you can also incorporate a % of wheat flour to make it “healthier”)
  • 1 cup hot water (almost boiling)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/3 c oil (instead of lard)

Most original recipes call for the use of lard.  I have never had lard in the house and read about using oil as a substitute so that’s what I’ve been using (either canola or vegetable oil).  For the pictures below I actually made a smaller batch (2 cups flour, 2/3 c water, etc).

  1.  Mix up the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Add in the oil and incorporate it with the dry mixture.  Heat water til near boiling.  Add water and mix/knead for about 3 minutes.  Exact water may depend on environmental conditions – dough should come together into smooth ball without being too dry.
  2. Cover in a damp towel/cloth for about 20 minutes.
  3. Separate dough ball into individual smaller balls and roll into slightly than larger golf ball size balls
  4. Cover again with damp towel/cloth and let sit for 30-50 minutes.
  5. Take each ball and flatten into disk/hockey puck shape.  Place small amount of flour on each side of puck.  On a well floured counter using a rolling pin to roll out doughball into tortilla shape.  Can roll out into 1/8″-1/16″ thickness depending on preference.  Rolling can be tricky.  I’ve found that I’ll roll it out North to South, then pick it up and turn it 45 degrees and continue to attempt to make it round.  It’s okay if it isn’t fully round.  Still tastes great!
  6. In a hot cast iron pan (or comal if you have one), place tortilla down and let sit for 40-50 seconds (depending on temperature of pan).  Using flat spatula, flip and cook another 30-45 seconds.  Can look for small brown spots to give an indication of doneness.

Continue reading “Flour Tortillas”

Tri Tip

Decided to make a tri-tip.  I had previously done this once or twice but forgot to actually document it and therefore each time I’ve had to make it, I have to google various recipes and try to figure out what I had done previously.  I think one time I wrapped it in aluminum foil and another time I put it on a raised platform in a pan.  This time I remembered to write down how I made it so I had it for future reference.  I guess tri tip is more of a west coast cut of beef that isn’t typically  made it other parts of the US (though with the passage of time I’m sure it is more common now all over the US).  It was Labor Day and so we were trying to come up with something to make – I didn’t want to use the grill because it has been insanely hot here all the time.  I purchased an untrimmed Tri Tip from the store that was about 2.7 lbs or so.

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Hot dog (hamburger) buns

Hot dog (hamburger) buns

For the 4th of July, we decided to do the ultra-traditional hamburgers and hot dogs.  I decided I’d like to try  my hand at making hot dog buns.  I had previously made some burger buns from a random recipe I found online.  I didn’t realize that you can use the same formula for both hot dog and hamburger buns.  This time I found another recipe on a random blog.  For the most part I followed the recipe that was laid out (since this was my first time making it).  I amended it due to the fact that I don’t have a stand mixer and therefore have to do all my mixing/kneading by hand.  The recipe called for letting the dough rest in the fridge for up to 24 hours so I made up the dough the night before July 4th.

Ingredients:

  • 500g All purpose flour
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter (can use butter as well)
  • extra oil to oil the bowl
  • 1 egg for the egg-wash

First I mixed up the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Continue reading “Hot dog (hamburger) buns”