Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Ain't Yo Mama's Lasagna!

I went through a Lasagna phase a while back and we checked out a bunch of varied Lasagna recipes. This was hands down the family favorite. Sarah sent me a plethora of recipes and the only info that I have is that this was submitted by Saidanddun. So whoever you are, thanks a lot. We love this recipe!

Readers, I give you....

Cajun Chicken Lasagna


1 16. oz pkg lasagna noodles
1 lb. andouille uncooked sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced (See cooks note)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves, cut into chunks
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 t. dried sage
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped red pepper
1 T. finely chopped garlic
2 (10 oz) containers Alfredo sauce, divided
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine sausage, chicken, cajun seasoning and sage. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear, about 8 minutes. Remove meat from skillet with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Saute onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic until tender. Remove from heat, and stir in cooked meat and one container Alfredo sauce.

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Cover bottom with about 1/4 c. of Alfredo sauce. Layer 4 lasagna noodles. Spread with 1/2 of the meat mixture. Repeat layers and cover with a layer of noodes. Spread remaining Alfredo sauce over top. Top with mozarella cheese and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Cooks notes: Andouille sausage is a spicy sausage. I have only found it at a few stores. It can be found at Target. Smiths/Kroeger has a precooked Andouille sausage and it does not work in this lasagna.

Also, I leave out the onion, celery, and red pepper because of my fussy eaters, but the Lasagna is still very good without it. Since I don't use the onion, etc., I add the garlic at the end of cooking the chicken.

I layer the mozzarella cheese throughout the layers, as well as putting it on top. I didn't think it worked to put it all on top. All of the cheese came off when we tried to serve it.

Finally, I usually use bottled Alfredo sauce. By container, it's possible that they mean the refrigerated kind, but bottled is cheaper. It turns out very nice with the bottled.

Also pictured is a new recipe that we tried just this Sunday. It was quite easy and would make a nice addition to many different kind of meals.

Triple-Cheese Flatbread


2 c. Original Bisquick
1/2 c. hot water
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. Italian seasoning, if desired


Heat oven to 450 degrees. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix and water until stiff dough forms. Let stand 10 minutes. Place dough on surface sprinkled with Bisquick mix; gently roll in Bisquick mix to coat. Shape into a ball; knead 60 times.

On ungreased cookie sheet, pat or roll dough into 12" square. Brush butter over dough. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over dough.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Serve warm.

16 servings

Variation: For additional color, mix 2 teaspoon parsley flakes with the cheese mixture.

Substitution: Instead of Parmesan cheese, use the shredded three cheese blend of Parmesan, Roman and Asiago cheeses. (I used mozzarella instead of Monterey Jack)

Success Hint: To make dough easier to pat onto the cookie sheet, dip fingers into Bisquick mix.

This recipe came from http://www.bettycrocker.com/

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It Wasn't Charlie Tuna, I Promise

Don't let the picture scare you. We did not eat Charlie Tuna! We were fishsitting for Anthony and I had the bright idea that it would spiff up the pictures to have the goldfish bowl add a little life to the photo. I promise you I did not make the connection between Anthony's fish and these wonderful tuna melts (recipe courtesy of Emeril from http://www.delish.com/). The tomato soup is found elsewhere in the blog. I made it last summer with our garden tomatoes and froze a bunch of batches. The meal was as scrumptious as it was easy!

Emeril's Kicked-Up Tuna Melts


4 cans (5 oz.) solid white tuna packed in water (drained)
1/3 c. mayonnaise (I used light)
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
4 teaspoons capers (rinsed and drained)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (crumbled between your fingers)
4 slices crusty bread
8 slices thin tomato
4 slices provolone (or any milk melting cheese, like cheddar or Monterey Jack)


Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, onion, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oragano and stir until thoroughly combined.

Arrange bread on a baking sheet and spread a little mayonnaise on each slice. Divide tuna salad evenly among slices, then top each with 2 slices tomato and 1 slice cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.

Notes: I think this would easily make 6 sandwiches, as it was piled on pretty heavy. Also, I would slice the bread more thinly than I did as it was a little too bready. I think it would work to use cheaper tuna, but the white albacore did have a great flavor.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Irish Sides, St. Patrick's Day Part II

The babies really got us off schedule this year. We didn't celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17th because I had the opportunity to go to Ohio to see Grandbaby #4 and Grandbaby #5 wasn't ready to go out in public yet. And when we cook with all the family attending, that's pretty public!

I did have the chance to cook corned beef for the Ohio Foodies while I was out there. I ran across one idea for a green salad to honor St. Patty. You just took every green vegetable that appealed to you: green lettuce, avocado, cucumber, snap peas, green pepper, etc. It was actually really yummy and the total green color suited the holiday just fine. When I made it in Utah, we topped it with Green Goddess dressing to complete the picture.

When I cooked in Utah, I needed a change from the usual parsley potatoes. I found this fun website that had some great sides. It was littleshamrocks.com. It also sold Irish clothes and other fun things. I think you'd enjoy checking it out.

So here are some of the sides that we tried. They all turned out very well.

Roasted Mustard Potatoes


1/2 c. Lakeshore Strong Irish Mustard or other spicy mustard
1/2 c. olive oil
3 lbs. new pototoes or red skinned potatoes
2 medium onions, sliced for garnish (about 1 1/2 c.)
Chopped parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub the potatoes leaving skins on. Cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes. In a small bowl, combine mustard and oil. In a large bowl, comine potatoes, onion and mustard mixture, tossing to coat well. Spread evenly on baking sheet.

Bake at 400F for 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and crispy. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. Yield: 6 servings

These were really tasty, but I didn't cook them long enough. You might want to leave a little more time to make sure the potatoes get done. I might try adding another 10 to 15 minutes next time. It could be because I doubled it and the volumn didn't cook as quickly.

Irish Cabbage


1 small cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
1 stick butter
6 T. water
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp. flour
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Melt half the butter in a heavy pot; then add the cabbage and toss until coverd with the butter. Add water, cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes. By this time, the liquid should be nearly absorbed, and the cabbage cooked. Add the nutmeg, the flor, and stir well; then add the rest of the butter and toss until melted into the cabbage. Add pepper if desired.

This was really good and a nice change from the normal steamed cabbage we serve with corned beef. It was quite good, but then a stick of butter makes everything better.

Orange Glazed Carrots


1 c. orange juice
4 T. granulated sugar
5 T. butter
1 pinch red pepper
15 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise with stalks still attached


Preheat oven to 350F. Place the sugar, juice, butter and red pepper in a saucepan and simmer until butter and sugar have melted to make a glaze. Place carrots into an oven proof dish and pour over the glaze. Bake until the carrots are tender. Yield 8 servings.

These were really pretty, but I only cooked them about 15 minutes and they definitely needed 5 - 10 minutes longer. It was a nice touch of color and looked really pretty.