Archive for May, 2012

Lasagna Roll-ups

Author: admin

Lasagna Roll-ups

1 box Lasagna noodles
1 large jar Spaghetti sauce (or make your own)
1 container Ricotta
1 package Sausage
Parsley (dried or freshly chopped)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh tomatoes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While the noodles are cooking, take the sausage out of the casings (or buy bulk sausage) and cook in a skillet.  Season to taste.  Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the Ricotta, a handful of the Parmesan, a larger handful of the Mozarella, and some parsley.  At this point, you can add anything else to the mix that you want — some spinach for veggies (frozen and thawed), or some chopped hard-boiled egg, or some grilled eggplant strips…  get creative if you want.

Cook the noodles according to package directions.  Set aside in cold water so they don’t stick together before you get a chance to work with them.

Lay a noodle out flat.  Add spoonfuls of the cheese mixture and spread it out along the length of the noodle.  Sprinkle the cooked sausage on top.  Add thinly sliced tomatoes (you don’t have to do this, but I like the added freshness).

 

Carefully roll the noodle and filling, and put in a baking pan with the seam side down.  Continue with the rest of the rolls until the pan is full.  Wine is not on the ingredient list, but a few sips in between each of the roll-ups make it a lot easier to do.  Or, at least it seems to…  lol!

Cover with sauce, top with Mozarella, sprinkle some Parmesan, and sprinkle some more parsley on top.  Cover with tin foil.

Bake at 350 – 375 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes to brown the top.

Let cool a little, then you can scoop out servings a roll or two at a time.
If you don’t want to do roll-ups, you can lay the noodles flat in the pan and layer the cheese mixture with noodles and sauce and tomatoes and build it up like a regular lasagna.  Cook the same.

Beef Jerky

Author: admin

Beef Jerky

6 lbs. Top round steak
Soy sauce (low sodium if you want)
Light brown sugar
Chinese five spice
2 – 3 cloves garlic (optional)
1 – 2 Green onion (optional

My basic recipe uses just the top 4 ingredients. Sometimes I’ll mix things up a bit and add garlic and onions to the marinade, but lately, it’s been just the soy, brown sugar, and five spice. Use whatever marinade you like, but I do not recommend using store bought terriyaki bottles. They dry too salty.

In a large deep bowl, add about 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 cups water, 2 packed tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of five spice. Wisk to stir. Taste and adjust. Add more soy or more sugar according to what you want.

Slice the steak into 1/4-inch strips, against the grain. I use top round steak. I think it works better and comes out nice and “meaty.” I have tried other types of steak, but this one works best, I think.

Put the steak in the marinade. Make sure all of the pieces are coated and covered. Use some plastic wrap and cover the bowl. I usually put the wrap right on the surface of the meat and liquid to keep out any air. You could also put the meat and marinade in a plasic zip-lock bag. Put it in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

Note that the amount of steak I buy completely fills my dehydrator. I have it down to a science — 6 steaks fills my 9 trays. Buy what will fit your tray set up.

In the morning, drain the steak and lay the strips on the trays with room between each piece so you don’t stifle the air flow.

I dry it at about 135 degrees, and it takes anywhere from 8 – 12 hours or more, depending on how thick you cut the pieces. Rotate the trays every 2 hours or so in order for the pieces to dry evenly. Dry until the moisture is gone and they are firm and a little brittle. If you keep a lot of moisture in the pieces, put them in the fridge, and eat them right away. You have to dry them completely for long storage — no moisture! Moisture will breed bacteria and mold.

I don’t have any pics of the finished product. I was charging my camera battery and forgot to take pics after. You know what good jerky looks like, though… LOL!

 

Otherwise known as Steamers…

2.5 – 3 lbs. Clams
1/2 Small onion
1 Beer (optional)

Put the clams in the sink and soak them to help get rid of any sand and grit.  Rinse and change the water a couple of times.  Some people use a sprinkle of corn meal to help, but I found that’s not necessary.  Just soak and rinse well, wash and repeat, wash and repeat… drain.

Slice the 1/2 onion into thin pieces.  Put them at the bottom of a large pot.  Add the clean clams.  Add the beer if you want, otherwise, add enough cold water to cover the clams. Yes, COLD water.  Cover the pot.  Turn the heat on high, and bring the pot up to boiling.  The clams will open.  Give them a good stir and let them cook for 1 – 2 minutes when they are open.  They should be cooked through, but not translucent.  1 or 2 minutes only.  If you overcook them, you will get hard, chewy clams.

Turn the heat off, take the clams out with a slotted spoon or spider or hand strainer.  Reserve the liquid broth to swish the clams in or use for a chowder.   Discard any clams that did not open.

This couldn’t be easier!

Pepper Steak Stirfry

Author: admin

Pepper Steak Stirfry

This is a really simple stirfry. The most time-consuming part of this is slicing all of the veggies.

Ingredients:

Shaved steak
Onions
Bell peppers
Snow peas
Hoisan sauce

I am not giving any specific amounts of anything. The ratio of veggies to meat is totally up to you. If you want more peppers than onions, go for it. You can also add water chestnuts or bean sprouts or any other veggies you want.

This time, I used Hoisan sauce. Hoisan is an Asian BBQ sauce. Our American BBQ sauces start with a ketchup and brown sugar base. Asian Hoisan is soy sauce and molasses. Each brand of Hoisan is different in taste. Some are sweeter, some are not. This one is sweet. I couldn’t find my usual one at the store, so I tried a new one. Not bad, but little sweeter than I normally like it. If you can find the brand Sun Luck in your store, that is one of the ones that I prefer.

You can use other prepared sauces. I like the Asian black bean and garlic sauce, too.

So, here are my ingredients.

 

Slice them all up and separate them.

Add a little oil to your wok (or skillet) and cook the meat until it’s barely no longer pink. When you cook the meat, it will release juices and fat. You don’t want that in your final stirfry. Take the meat out of the pan and put it in a separate bowl to the side. We will be adding that back in again later.

Rinse the pan and add a little more oil. Cook the onions to how you like them. I like mine soft and turning a slightly golden color. I don’t like raw onions, so I cook mine a little more. If you like a firmer texture to your onions, you can cook them less.

Add the peppers and cook them until warmed through, but still a little firm (don’t want soggy peppers…). Add the snow peas. Cook a little more. Add the meat. Stir to combine well. Add the sauce. I used almost the whole jar, but this is for at least 12 servings. If you are making a single-serving stirfry, I recommend adding the sauce a spoonful at a time to your liking.

This is the final dish.

You can put this over rice or noodles, you can eat it by itself, or you can put it in a roll or a wrap and eat it as a sammich. It’s very easy and very versatile.

Enjoy!