Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lasagna Bolognese

Meat Sauce
2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups finely chopped garlic
2 stalks chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
3 big tomatoes (freshly boiled, skinned, and chopped)
1 can big tomato sauce (or tomato paste)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil

Saute onions, garlic, celery, carrots on medium heat with the olive oil until cooked for about 3 to 5 minutes. Put in the food processor to blend for about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

Add the ground beef on the pot where you sautéed the vegetables and cook until no longer pink. Add the salt, pepper, sage, and rosemary and cook for a few more minutes.

 Add the pureed vegetable Bolognese sauce and the fresh tomato that you boiled and chopped earlier. Cook on medium heat for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Cooked Lasagna Ribbons - one 8 ounces package

Cheese and Fresh Basil Leaves (topping after the Meat Sauce)

½ cup Ricotta Cheese
2 cups part-skimmed Mozzarella Cheese
¼ cup Parmeggiano Reggiano (use only for last topping on top)
¼ cup chopped basil leaves

Bechamel Sauce

½ cup butter unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour 4 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Melt the butter on a sauce pan on medium-low heat.

Meantime, bring the 4 cups of milk into a boil. Add the salt, freshly ground pepper, and sage to the milk.

When butter is melted, add the flour and whisk quickly to mix until fully incorporated.

Add the milk slowly and quickly whisk together until blended with no lumps formed until you reach the consistency that you like. Set aside.

Layering your Lasagna

Layer your Lasagna on a rectangular baking pan 13 ¼” X 9 ¼” starting with the meat sauce as your first layer. Spread evenly. For the second layer, lay the ricotta, mozzarella, and the chopped basil.. The third layer is the Bechamel sauce. Again, layer evenly. Repeat the process. Last layer should be the meat sauce with the cheese toppings including the Parmegiano Reggiano.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Banana Nut Bread

6 bananas, very ripe
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped chopped nuts (almonds, cashew, walnuts, pecans, etc.)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch loaf pans by spraying lightly with cooking spray or rubbing with softened butter.

Place the bananas, lemon, sugar, eggs, and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth gradually on slow to fast speed.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Fold nuts in just until combined.

Divide batter evenly between the loaf pans. Gently tap the filled pans to burst any air bubbles. Bake until the bread springs back when pressed and a tester inserted near the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.

Cool the loaves in the pans for 3 minutes. Remove bread from pans and transfer to cooling racks. Cool completely before slicing. They can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 weeks.

*Makes two loaves

Tested and Tried at Chris' kitchen on 06/22/2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Naan Bread

Making this traditional Indian naan bread is easy.  I followed Anjum Anand's recipe  from Indian Food Made Easy of BBC online at . I flavored the naan with fresh coriander and it turned out so good.    Here's the recipe:


250g/9oz plain flour

2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
110-130ml/3½-4½fl oz milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing


nigella seeds, poppy seeds or sesame seeds, or chopped garlic and fresh coriander
1 tbsp butter, melted, to serve


.For the dough, sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl. In another bowl, mix together the milk and oil.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Slowly mix together the dough by working from the centre and incorporating the flour from the edges of the 'well', to make a smooth, soft dough. Knead well for 8-10 minutes, adding a little flour if the dough is too sticky.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for 10-15 minutes. Form the dough into five balls.

Preheat the grill to medium and place a heavy baking sheet on the upper shelf of the grill to heat.

Roll the dough balls out quite thinly, ideally in a teardrop shape, but really this is just aesthetic. Sprinkle over your chosen topping and press into the surface of the dough. Place the naans onto the hot baking sheet and grill for just 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Brush with butter and serve hot.

Tried and tested at Chris' kitchen on 06/17/2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Custard Pie 2

Here's the second custard pie I made with a little alteration on the ingredients.  I added more powdered milk and one more egg to see whether it would make the custard's consistency a little thicker than the light version I made earlier.  To me, this pie is better than the first pie I made.  The low temperature of 350 degrees F is just the right temperature to bake the pie for 45 minutes. The custard has more body, tastier, and the crust is golden brown,  just the way I want it. 


One 9" Pate Brisee pastry

2 1/2 cups non-fat milk
1 cup powdered milk (KLIM milkpowder)
5 eggs minus 1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar plus 1/3 cup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 freshly grated nutmeg


Roll the pastry thin enough to fit a 9" pie pan.  Fit the pastry inside the pie pan by pressing gently with your fingers up to the edges.  Cut whatever hangs over the edge of the pan.

Add powdered milk to the non-fat milk in a sauce pan and blend well.  Scald the milk until film forms on top. 

Put 6 eggs minus 2 egg whites in the food processor and blend quickly.  Add Vanilla, salt, nutmeg, sugar and blend well.

Strain the scalded milk through a sieve to another container or bowl. Pour the scalded milk slowly to the egg mixture at the same time blending the eggs in the mixer. 

Brush the pastry that you molded in the pie pan with egg whites. Pour the custard mixture. Bake in the preheated 350 F degrees oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before slicing. 

*  Serves 8

Tested and tried at Chris' kitchen on 06/13/2011

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