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For Christmas my wife gave Tyler Florence’s new book “Dinner at MY Place” and there is a recipe for Lasagna Bolognese that I’m going to try today.  I’ll take some photos and let you know how it went.

Chianti

Chianti

Time

Time

Some of my cookbooks

Some of my cookbooks

Here is Tyler doing his version of Ultimate Lasagna =  – http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/ultimate-lasagna/32112.html

And my photos of the procedure:

Large Onion, two carrots, three stalks of celery, 4 cloves of garlic into the food processor

Large Onion, two carrots, three stalks of celery, 4 cloves of garlic into the food processor

Process until all ingredients are smooth - and consistent

Process until all ingredients are smooth - and consistent

Coat bottom of large pot with olive oil; add 1 lb of ground veal, 1 lb of ground beef, and get some good dark color on the meat

Coat bottom of large pot with olive oil; add 1 lb of ground veal, 1 lb of ground beef, and get some good dark color on the meat

Add one bottle (750ml) of dry red wine - I used Chianti

Add one bottle (750ml) of dry red wine - I used Chianti

Let this simmer on low for 1 and 1/2 hours - stirring occasionaly so that it doesn't burn on the bottom

Let this simmer on low for 1 and 1/2 hours - stirring occasionaly so that it doesn't burn on the bottom

Next:

You can use ricotta cheese (1qt with one beaten egg), a little salt, black pepper and fresh chopped Italian parsley – you will use this between the layers of lasagna pasta.

OR

You can make a Bechamel Sauce with the following recipe link:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe/index.html

and use this in place of the ricotta cheese filling.

Get two rounds of fresh mozzarella cheese and slice into 1/4 in slices

Prepare 1 pound of lasagna pasta per the package direction and drain in a pasta strainer.

In a large baking dish assemble the lasagna in the follow manner:

A thin layer of bechamel sauce or some of the bolognese sauce if you are using ricotta (note: do not put the ricotta cheese on the bottom of the baking dish – it will burn).

Then put a layer of pasta laying it without any gaps

A layer of bechamel or ricotta next

Then a layer of bolognese sauce

Then a layer of mozzarella cheese

Repeat this until all ingredients are used up and you end with mozzarella cheese on the top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes - then cover with aluminum foil - then bake an additional 30 minutes until bubbling around the edges

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes - then cover with aluminum foil - then bake an additional 30 minutes until bubbling around the edges

What’s Up lately ??

The Christmas and New Years holidays were busy. Managed to get some time off of work and do a little cooking, but it was mostly the traditional stuff. Of course made a turkey (actually two) – roasted one 10 lb bird out on the grill for two hours – it was great and I sure had the neighbors wondering what I was up to.

We did some running around on Sunday after church and somehow got the bug that I had to have a Polish dinner. We stopped at Polina in Casselberry to pick up some Bobak’s kielbasa.

bobaks-kielbasa

Well, since I had the kielbasa I thought I might as well make some potato pancakes

dsc_0001

Potato Pancakes
Gourmet|December, 2000


1 pound potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil


Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander.

Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 potato pancakes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn potato pancakes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed. Keep potato pancakes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven

I had some left over stuffed cabbage (golumpki) from Christmas Eve. So this made for a pretty nice dish with some nice pumpernickel bread.

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So there must have been something in the air — (now be good!) because yesterday there was a package sitting at the front door from my sister in New Haven – two bottles of Jezynowka – blackberry flavored brandy. YUM! Thanks Karen.

jezynowka

My son shared two packages of New England Hot Dog buns with me.  He got them from his friends in Boston – When you grill the sides – it sure makes a difference in the taste.  Nothing like it.

Dog with New England Hot Dog bun

Dog with New England Hot Dog bun

They are impossible to get here in Florida.  I froze a bag and a half and we ate the rest.  I need to save them as long as I can without making them taste bad from freezing.  You’ll probably see more posts about this because this bun is important.

Chicken Stock for stuffing

I use home made chicken stock for stuffing now and I took some hints from Ina Garten on this.

Take the carcass of one roasted chicken (your own or from the store) and simmer it slowly in a large stock pot with

4 quarts of water (I used spring water)

1 medium onion cut in quarters

2 carrots – large chop

2 stalks of celery – large chop with leafy tops

2 bay leaves

tablespoon of whole black pepper corns

tablespoon of kosher salt

handful of italian parsley

handful of thyme

small sprig of rosemary

Simmer this very slowly until the liquid is medium-to-dark.

Strain through a sieve into another pot that you can keep in the refrigerator (or outside frig if you have one).

Then use this when you make your favorite stuffing recipe.

Making Chicken Stock

Making Chicken Stock

Ok, I had two boneless chicken breast out on the counter to defrost.  My wife gave me strict instructions NOT to make chicken Parmesan (which we both love but we are tired of saucy stuff).  So I decided to look up some chicken chili recipes – and basically ended up making my regular chili but with ground chicken instead of ground beef.

It tasted crappy.  It was probably healthy, and maybe someone might think it was good.  But not us.  We need the BEEF.  We need the beef fat.  We can’t take shortcuts and make chili from stuff that chili isn’t supposed to made from.  Its foul 😉

Lesson Learned ===>> Don’t make chicken chili – ever – again!

Chili Pups

Last week I was traveling to San Francisco and I had a 50 minute stop-over in Cincinnati.  I knew that I’d have a chance to get some Cincinnati Chili at the Airport.  I was lucky to find Gold Star.

Ahhhh the chili pups were great — yummm

Chili Pups

Chili Pups

 

Gold Star Chili at Cincinnati Airport

Gold Star Chili at Cincinnati Airport

Lunch in Chinatown

In San Francisco this week and we stopped in at this Chinese restaurant (more like a cafeteria).  I got the sweet and sour chicken ( I think).

Lunch ?

Lunch ?