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Posts Tagged ‘noodles’


After the hurricane when we came down with colds, I had an impulse to make chicken soup. But being congested, I really wanted something I could taste. I always love Asian soups, and a little spice sounded like a great idea. And it was. But next time, I won’t wait to be sick to make this soup.

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup

5 cups chicken stock

1 package rice noodles

2 tablespoons thai red curry paste

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice and zest of 2 limes

3 tablespoons cilantro (or basil or parsley), chopped

2 tablespoons mint, chopped

1-2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken breast

1 tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil

Saute the curry paste in the oil for a few seconds to infuse the oil. Add the stock, fish sauce, coconut milk, sugar, lime zest and half the juice, and let it come to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the chicken and allow to warm through. Off the heat, add the herbs and the remaining lime juice and serve.

 

Easy Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass with leftover bones

1 onion, cut into quarters

2 garlic cloves

2 carrots, cut in half

a couple sprigs of any herb in the fridge, such as sage, thyme, parsley, etc

salt and pepper

water

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and fill with water to almost full. Allow to simmer for 45-60 minutes and then allow to cool on the stove. Strain out the solids, and either use immediately or freeze for later.

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I love making lasagna when I’m going to have people over because I can hang out with people instead of standing over the stove the whole night. It’s also just great comfort food, and it makes me feel better whenever I’m a little down (almost as much as a delicious grilled cheese, especially when it’s made for me….). I’ve made roasted carrot and butternut squash lasagna and regular meat lasagna but mushroom lasagna is the most likely to make everyone happy. And it’s just so delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Who doesn’t love a good make-ahead pasta?!

Mushroom Lasagna

2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup Marsala wine (you can substitute Sherry or any other wine, but Marsala is best)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

2 cups milk

1 cup chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

2 cups grated Italian fontina

1 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella

1 cup basil leaves

1 package lasagna noodles

1 tablespoon truffle butter (optional)

Butter a lasagna pan and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted, boiling water about half the time specified on the package. They should be pliable but not cooked through. Remove to a sheet tray with some olive oil so they don’t stick.

Saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a frying pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Once everything has softened, deglaze the pan with the Marsala. You can leave a little liquid and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, combine the butter and flour in a sauce pan and allow to brown. It will start to look like sand. Add the milk and whisk together. Add the chicken stock and allow to thicken. You want it slightly thick but not so much that you can’t pour it. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add half the parmesan and stir to combine and melt.

Start to layer the lasagna with a layer of noodles, then a layer of the mushrooms and then a layer of the bechamel sauce. These should be thin layers. Add a sprinkle of the fontina cheese and a couple basil leaves.

Continue with the layers until you use everything up and make sure to finish with a layer of pasta. I like to reserve a little bechamel to pour on top so that the top layer stays nice and soft. Sprinkle with the remaining fontina, parmesan, basil and the mozzarella. If you would like, you can add some pieces of truffle butter to the top to help it brown and enhance the mushroom flavor.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until it starts to brown on top and get bubbly. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before eating so that they layers can cool a little and set up.

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I can’t decide what kind of lasagna I like best. I love the traditional meat one as well as my favorite mushroom lasagna. I also make one with veggies that’s pretty delicious. This one is definitely up there. It’s a little sweet, a little salty. Perfect for the first real week of fall. We’re starting to see root veggies in the green market and it’s always exciting to see the changing seasonal produce. I’m not a huge fan of ricotta generally (there are some exceptions….), so I generally don’t use it in lasagna, but you could add some to the cheese mixture if you want to. Just a note on mine here, I used whole wheat flour and whole wheat lasagna noodles, but you certainly don’t have to.

Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 butternut squash, chopped into 1″ dice

1 bunch carrots, chopped into 1″ dice

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour, AP or whole wheat

2 cups whole milk

12 sage leaves, chopped

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 amaretti cookies

1 1/2 cup grated Italian fontina or sharp, aged pecorino

1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1 package lasagna noodles, regular or whole wheat

18 basil leaves

Combine the squash, carrots, half the olive oil, brown sugar, half the nutmeg, maple syrup, half the salt and pepper on a sheet tray. Roast at 450 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.

Meanwhile, make the bechamel by combining the flour and butter in a pan for a couple minutes. Add the milk and the remainder of the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

Combine the roasted vegetables with the remainder of the olive oil, amaretti, and sage leaves in a blender. Blend into a thick puree. You can thin it out with the stock until it’s the right consistency, but don’t make it too watery.

Put a thin layer of the vegetable puree on the bottom of a buttered lasagna pan. Put a layer of noodles and then a layer of puree and a layer of bechemel sauce. Sprinkle some of each grated cheese on top and spread out some basil leaves. Continue to layer in the same order until you have finished the puree and bechemel. Sprinkle more cheese over the top and drizzle some additional olive oil over the top.

Bake covered with aluminum foil for 40 minutes at 450 degrees. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes until serving.

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