Saturday, November 21, 2009

casserole queen

I love casseroles. No - really love them. I love the idea of one dish serving and making. And I know that usually a casserole involves many pots besides the casserole dish. But still. I love them. So this week it was casserole week at our house.

Sunday night I made Mushroom Spinach Lasagna - a recipe I've been tweaking for ages trying to eliminate the oily film that I had the past couple of times. And I think this version worked really well.

Fresh lasagna sheets (I made mine using a breadmaker pasta recipe and my pasta machine)

Ricotta spinach mixture (adapted from a Delia Smith recipe in Basic of Cooking One)
1 tub of ricotta
1 bag of spinach, cooked with a bit of butter until wilted, drained, chopped
70 g gorgonzola cheese
70 g mozarella grated
grating of nutmeg
2-3 tbsp milk
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.

Mushroom mixture
Half a medium onion, chopped, sauted
1 leek, green part only, sliced and rinsed well, sauted
1 c. sliced mushrooms (I used cremini and button), sauted
1 tub of Safeway Gourmet mushroom soup
2 tbsp flour
Saute the vegetables until soft, add the soup and flour and mix well. Heat through for 5-10 minutes.

In a greased 9x13 pan, spoon 1/3 of the mushroom mix and spread over the bottom. Fit one layer of noodles over the mix. Pour over 1/3 of the ricotta mix, and 1/3 of the mushroom mix and spread over and cover the noodles. Create another layer of noodles. Sprinkle some grated mozarella over the noodles and follow with 1/3 of the ricotta mix, spread and then 1/3 of the mushroom mix. Add the final layer of noodles, cover with the last of the ricotta mix. Top with a layer of grated mozarella and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 deg for about an hour.

Monday night I made another casserole - broccoli, cauliflower and rice with ham from Delia Smith's book Basics of Cooking One:
1 1/2 c brown rice
1 small onion sliced
3 c. vegetable or chicken stock
Saute the onion in ~ 1 tsp oil until soft. Add the rice and turn. Add the stock and cover, bring to a boil and then simmer for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile steam 1 head of cauliflower and 1 crown of broccoli florets.

Make the blue cheese sauce:
1 1/2 oz butter
1 1/2 oz flour
500 ml milk
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 c chopped ham
120 g blue cheese, crumbled
In a saucepan, add the milk, butter and flour. Whisk together and cook for 5 minutes. Add mustard, ham and blue cheese.

Once the rice is done, spread it into a greased 9x13 pan. Layer the cauliflower and broccoli florets over the rice. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, covering them as much as possible. Combine one handful of bread crumbs and some grated parmesan cheese in a small bowl and mix. Sprinkle over the dish and put into a 350 deg oven for 20 minutes, then put under the broiler for a couple of minutes until browned and bubbly.

I went away for a couple of days (to the spa for some relaxation) with my pal. I had a wonderful time despite the crazy, stormy, windy, wet weather and the guys had lots of leftovers to eat in my absence!

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