Tags: chicken lasagne, Dinner, Food, lasagne, recipes
Here’s what we like about this:
- It’s a pasta and ooey-gooey cheese combination.
- The sweet and fresh picked home-grown tomatoes turn this dish into a star.
- With ground chicken breast and a cream sauce, you’ve got a great summer version of lasagna.
- The ground garlic cheese croutons added a crunchy little au gratin topping goodness to the whole thing.
- One teaspoon of cayenne pepper brightens the tomato sauce and brings this dish to an unexpected level of excitement.
What we didn’t like:
- This is one of these dishes where will power and common sense becomes nonexistent. Somewhere during your third helping, you realize you can’t stop eating it.
I only make this dish each summer when fresh tomatoes from my garden are rolling around on my kitchen counter. That beautiful fresh tomato flavor truly shines when paired with the three mild cheeses and the ground chicken. Creamy in flavor, and served simply with a tossed salad it’s a wonderful meal. Let’s take a look.
Three Cheese Chicken Lasagna:
- 1 package lasagna noodles
- 1 t. salt
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 t. cayenne pepper
- 3 pounds fresh garden tomatoes, chopped
- 2 T. fresh basil
- 2 C. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 C. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 C. milk
- 1/4 C. chicken broth
- Handful garlic cheese croutons, ground in a mini-chopper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until almost tender, according to package directions. Drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oil a lasagna baking dish.
In a frying pan heat oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Add the onion and red pepper and saute until softened, about two minutes. Stir in the garlic and cayenne pepper and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, adding the milk and chicken broth to maintain a thick soupy consistency. The amount will depend on how juicy the tomatoes are. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
In a bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan and egg and mix well. Stir in the parsley.
Line the bottom of the baking dish with about 1/4 of the lasagna noodles. Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella, and then spoon on 1/4 of the sauce. Repeat the layering two more times, using up all the ricotta mixture and the mozzarella. Top with the remaining noodles and finally the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with ground up croutons.
Cover and bake until heated through and the sauce is bubbling. About 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and cut into squares to serve.
Three Cheese Chicken Lasagna…It’s What’s For Dinner
- One Year Ago: Crab Cake Crouquettes with Creamed Corn
- Two Years Ago: Ina’s Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette and Cincinnati Chili
Tags: chicken salad, Food, Macaroni Salad, Recipe
Last Saturday was our monthly Front Range Food Blogger Meetup over at Barb’s house. Barb writes Vino Luci Style, lives in a central Denver location and generously opens her doors to host our group of local food bloggers. I so look forward to our gatherings. Not only is it the ultimate potluck event, but we also get down to business and spend time with discussions to better our blogs. Last month we had photography demonstrations and last week we focused on SEO optimization. So far there’s been about a dozen of us attend, and I’m personally loving every minute of it.
Barb suggested that we blog about and post recipes for the dishes we bring so she can link to them on our Meetup page. I’m all for that since I spend half the social hour begging for recipes. Here’s my latest contribution to our meeting.
My Favorite Chicken Macaroni Salad. Although I’ve had this recipe for about 30 years, it’s not one I make often because I simply can’t be trusted around it. I’ll stand over the kitchen island and eat half the bowl in minutes. So while the “servings” portion of the recipe indicates eight, if I’m around it’s actually six for me and two for you…two if you’re lucky.
Well it seems I have a macaroni salad soul mate named Abbie. Here’s how the whole thing came down (so to speak). The meeting was winding down. We had all but packed up our leftovers. We had divvied up and Saran wrapped portions of cookies, pastries and assorted goodies to take home and were in the living room finishing conversations when we heard a big crash.
Kirsten over at My Kitchen in the Rockies promptly went to investigate and found Abbie, Barb’s adorable Cocker Spaniel (who although she doesn’t write a food blog is most certainly an important member of our group) with her head buried in my bowl of macaroni salad which she had wrestled to the floor, stripped off the foil covering and was taking those big gasping doggie bites…you know the ones…where they can hardly breath because they’re trying to inhale as much as possible before being caught.
To protect the innocent Kirsten quickly picked up the evidence but once the story leaked, we all had a good laugh. Of course, Barb was unnecessarily horrified, and commented on my blog: “Abbie and I are both sorry she showed little manners. I guess I need a sign, “As cute as she may look, she is a dog who takes advantage of any situation where food is involved”
Abbie, you’re a girl after my own heart!
How do I feel about the whole thing? High
five paw Abbie. A compliment that you loved my macaroni salad, but sorry Sistah…I can’t be trusted around the stuff either…but I bet I could have had that bowl emptied before Kirsten got there. 🙂 I mean c’mon there was still half of it left. My Abbie’s Favorite Chicken Macaroni Salad:
4 cups large shell macaroni — cooked
10 oz chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces. (I’ve used rotisserie, canned and breasts cooked and cubed – it all works)
8 oz frozen peas
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbs sugar
As with my potato salad, I like to have all the ingredients in a large bowl and then add my hot drained starch on top, letting everything sit for a couple of minutes to steam the vegetables and seasonings before I mix together. After stirring, adjust flavors to suit your palate. I usually start with 1 Tsp dried dill and also tweak salt, sugar and vinegar to get it just right for me. As always this is better if it sits overnight in the fridge.
Abbie’s Favorite Chicken Macaroni Salad Recipe…It’s What’s for Dinner.
One Year Ago: Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches
Tags: interesting ravioli recipe, pumpkin pie, Ravioli
Last week when making pumpkin pies I had about a cup of the pie filling left that wouldn’t fit in the pie shells. Showing the cup to the Hub I said “I might as well throw it out, what am I going to do with it?” He quickly replied, “Put it in ravioli”. Genius, I say…he’s a genius!
Only one problem, I’m doughaphobic. I’ve had my fair share of bread making disasters so pretty much all recipes that have anything to do with flour and water are pushed to the side burner.
So, with all that said, let’s pretend we’re on the show Fear Factor and get started.
I bought this little ravioli press over a year ago and this is the first time I’ve used it. Worked like a charm. Look at those perfect little ravioli squares.
And big enough to easily manage a dollop of the pumpkin pie filling. I used my mom’s homemade noodle recipe. I rolled it out as thin as I could get it with a rolling pin… however, I would have liked it a little thinner. Dear Santa: pasta rolling machine, please.
My pumpkin pie filling is a custard style recipe. So before filling the raviolis, I baked it so it would thicken, adding about 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper to the mixture.
Look at these beautiful little pockets. A very proud moment in the Mangoes Chili and Z kitchen.
I boiled them in salted water until they were all floating. Drizzled on some browned butter sauce with sage, a couple twists from the pepper mill and served with side dishes of slow roasted tomatoes (thank you Vickie and Karen for this recipe) and Brussel sprouts sautéed in bacon drippings and onions. This was a pretty darn good little meal. Hub raved, unimpressed mom said “tastes like pumpkin pie,” and I didn’t care how it tasted…I was just so happy that I successfully made ravioli.
This recipe is a definitely a work in progress. Changing a few things up, it could make a fabulous and devilishly clever dessert course. I could add a dab of marscapone cheese to each ravioli to add more of a sweet/salty factor…maybe incorporate some pears and blue cheese? But for now I give this an A for its think outside the box factor.
Pumpkin Pie Ravioli…It’s What’s For Dinner…or dessert?
Tags: Dinner, Pasta, poached egg
Why am I such a poached egg freak-o? Just something about that creamy yolk running down the side of…oozing through the middle of..or swimming in the broth of any dish makes me swoon.
This is just a quick post and an easy weeknight fix. Well, the clean-up crew thought there were too many pans involved…but I didn’t hear him complain during dinner. 🙂
First of all, I want you to take a look at those tomatoes at the top of the photo. That’s right folks, it’s August 3 when this photo was taken, and you’re looking at the first sliced tomatoes of the season from my garden. It’s been a long time coming. So everyone share in my joy and in Mormon Tabernacle Choir fashion sing a big “HALLALUJIA”.
Next to those tomatoes is a slice of the first Rocky Ford Cantaloupe of the season. The Colorado Rocky Ford Melon phenomena is a whole other topic for another post, so stay tuned.
Now we’re talkin’! I do believe that little chunk of bacon swam right out of the pasta just to bathe in that runny yolk. For this dish, I simply cut two slices of bacon into bite-sized chunks and crisped it in a fry pan with some sweet onion. Meanwhile, I cooked some whole-grain spaghetti according to package directions. Tossed it with the bacon, onion and some red pepper flakes. Plated on my favorite pasta bowls, I topped with the poached eggs. Kind of a no-brainer.
Poached Egg Over Pasta…
It’s What’s For Dinner.
Tags: Pasta, shrimp, summer pasta recipe
I swear, I should never be allowed to go to any grocery story, farmer’s market or specialty market unsupervised. You might as well throw in convenience stores. I’m sure I could find some gourmet fake orange cheese product that I couldn’t live without.
Still trying to work out of the pantry to use up some of my “stock-pile” here’s what I came up with.
Love the combination of flavors here. The salty citrus combined with the cilantro and the sweet shrimp work well here. And the addition of red pepper flakes really BAM it up. Take a look:
Noodles with sautéed Shrimp and Cilantro:
- 1/2 pound noodles of your choice, (I used flat egg noodles)
- 1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 T. tamari soy sauce
- 3 T. teriyaki Sauce
- 1 T. agave syrup (or honey)
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 t. lime zest plus the juice from one lime
- A sprinkle of crushed red pepper
- Lime wedges for serving
Cook the noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile in a large bowl combine 2 T. of the oil with the soy, teriaki and agave syrup. When noodles are cooked and drained, toss them in the sauce, cover and let marinate while you:
Heat 1 T. of the oil in a skillet. Add shallots and cook over moderate heat stirring until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes Transfer shallots to a paper towel and in same oil add the garlic and cook over low heat until fragrant and just turning gold (about 2 minutes). Transfer garlic to the paper towel.
Meanwhile combine the lime juice with zest and remaining oil and toss with the de-tailed, de-veined shrimp. Season with a little salt and then saute the shrimp in the same oil until done.
Arrange noodles in large pasta bowls. Sprinkle with the scallions, garlic, cilantro and some crushed red pepper to taste. Arrange the shrimp on top, lime wedges along side.
Good to the last drop.
Noodles with sautéed Shrimp and Cilantro…
It’s What’s for Dinner.
Tags: Dinner, Muir Glen, Pasta, ziti
I mean who doesn’t love a baked cheesy one pot pasta dish??? I found this recipe over at the Muir Glen Website and I’m sure glad I gave it a try.
Before Christmas I received an offer from Muir Glen to purchase a pack of their special reserve harvest tomatoes. It was only 7 bucks so I said “what the heck”. Plus, the shipment included a nice little cookbook.
To my surprise, not only did I receive the tomatoes but look how cleverly they were packaged. Good job Muir Glen Marketing Department!
Wanting to try the Fire Roasted Tomatoes first, I saw this recipe, it sounded delicious. And it was. I even made a special trip to Whole Foods for some good quality ziti. I have a pantry full of whole grain pastas just to stay on the healthier side, but for the first try of this recipe wanted the whole devilishly sinful effect.
I was a little leery that this might taste too tomatoey because it had one can of tomatoes plus one full can of tomato sauce. I was wrong. This recipe is delicious and the mild. The sweet flavor of those fire roasted tomatoes mixed in with all that mozzarella cheese, ground beef and zucchini makes this a scrumptious pasta dish. Just serve with your favorite green salad and you’ve got a wonderful meal that you could even serve to guests at a dinner party.
I made absolutely no changes to this recipe, except for using my Dutch oven on the stove top, so I could easily transfer the meal to the oven. So, without any further ado, I present to you Baked Ziti with Fire Roasted Tomatoes.
Muir Glen Baked Ziti With Fire Roasted Tomatoes:
2 1/2 cups uncooked ziti pasta (8 oz)
1/2 lb extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef
1 large sweet onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 can (15 oz) Muir Glen® organic tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cook and drain pasta as directed on box.
2. Meanwhile, spray 12×8-inch (2 quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked.
3. Stir zucchini into beef mixture; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Add drained pasta; toss to coat. Spread in baking dish.
4. Cover dish tightly with foil; bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered about 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase covered bake time to 30 minutes.
If you like, use ground turkey or chicken in place of the ground beef.
Thanks to Muir Glen for such great products and for this wonderful and easy recipe. They’ve got a great web site, take a look at www.muirglen.com
Tags: Denver Pappardelle's Pasta, Pappardelle Pasta, Pasta, Sweet Potato Pasta
Isn’t this pasta just screaming for a sprinkle of green chives?
One of the pleasant surprises of blogging is that when your food photos appear on your computer screen…they talk. And I’m glad they talk, because they teach me.
Sometimes a photo of a plated meal will chatter pleasantly amongst itself. And other times its fighting like cats and dogs. One time I opened a photo to find an angry skinless chicken breast in a white cream sauce demanding that the dollop of mashed potatoes be removed immediately and replaced with its more colorful friend, asparagus.
Then there was the braised chicken leg who said “Back off, you’re too close and this really isn’t flattering to my complexion.”
The greasy limp wrong-bread beef panini that simply asked “What the hell were you thinking?”
A pork roast that asked “Does this glaze make my butt look fat?”
The lentil soup who that pitifully gurgled “I’m boring.”
The big dark steak wearing a dark cloak of brown gravy jumped onto the screen yelling BOO. Scared me to death.
You know what I’m saying, you’ve all heard it.
I could have so much fun and go on and on with these, but I’d like to hear what your pictures have said to you. Please share it in your comments.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to learn to make my own pasta, and then learn to make some clever flavored pastas. But until then, and as I’ve mentioned before we have a wonderful company right here in Denver that does exactly that and includes recipes on their website.
Just listen to that beautiful Sweet Potato flavored pappardelle whispering in your ear. Aren’t you in love?
This recipe comes from Pappardelle’s web site. It’s easy.. easy..easy.. and very tasty. I do believe that this cream cheese sauce would match well with any pasta. After the recipe I’ll post a link to their website so you can browse.
Sweet Potato Pappardelle con Salsa di Noci
1 lb. Pappardelle’s Sweet Potato Pappardelle Pasta
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz. shelled walnuts, finely chopped I used pecans because that’s what I had on hand
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
7 oz. marscapone or cream cheese I used cream cheese
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Melt butter in skillet and sauté garlic until it is golden brown. Add walnuts, stir for 3 minutes and remove entire contents from heat.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).
3. While pasta is cooking, add the marscapone or cream cheese to the walnut mixture and heat gently throughout.
4. Drain the pasta (do not rinse), toss in the grated Parmesan and transfer to a heated serving dish. Stir in the sauce and serve at once.
Tags: Orange Shrimp, Pappardelle's Pasta, Pasta
I’ve been meaning to post this for days now, but it appears I’ve become slammed! Not sure how it happened so quickly; slammed with work, slammed with entertaining my mom while she’s here; slammed with preparing for the holidays; throw in a few parties and my poor little blog has been swept into the corner. I think there’s a lot of you out there that must be a lot more organized than me. Everyone is baking truck loads of cookies, gallons of Holiday beverages, already testing recipes for Christmas Day, taking pictures of beautifully decorated homes, leisurely photographing pets…I mean c’mon people!
This is a continuation of a post from last Monday. It seems that everything from my kitchen that day had an orange theme.
If I were to answer my own “Just Grilled” questionnaire I would answer the question “Favorite Local Product” with Pappardelle’s Pasta. Pappardelle’s is a pasta company started right here in Denver specializing in flavored pastas. I love, love, love their products and their website full of delicious and unique recipes. Take a look at www.pappardellespasta.com. So many interesting ideas for sauces for each of their pasta creations.
There is a store front location near the Cherry Creek shopping area where you can purchase Pappardelle’s year-round. But, since I seem to be perfectly happy in my little burbs bubble, (I mean we have a Target, a Whole Foods, a liquor store, a pizza place AND NORDSTROM within just a few miles – what else does one need???) I don’t drive into the city as much as I should. Instead, I wait until the very last day of our Highlands Ranch farmers market, and buy a trunk full of their pastas to have over the winter. It’s so much fun to pull out a package and go to their website for the recipe. Always delicious and pretty easy.
My last adventure with Pappardelle’s was Orange Shrimp with Basil Tangerine Pasta. ohmygosh YUM! This dish is straight from their website. I made no changes, I can’t take credit for any tweaking or ruining improving the recipe at all. With all that said, I don’t want to be in trouble with my favorite Denver food vendor, so will just direct you to the website to take a look at the recipe. Enjoy and while you’re there take a look around. http://www.pappardellespasta.com/recipes/recipe_basil_tangerine.php
Tags: Dinner, injury, Pasta, Rockies Game, sundried tomatoes
This post finds me propped up in bed on a fluffy pillow and pain medication. This past Friday we went to the Rockies/Cardinals game. It was fan appreciation night with fireworks to take place after the game. I love fireworks. I ended up in Denver General Hospital in the 5th inning. Here’s the Reader’s Digest Version: I was sitting in an aisle seat one minute enjoying the game, chatting with friends and the next minute I felt as if a car had hit me in the back. It seems a man was running with food, down the stairs, lost his footing, became airborne and slammed into my back before landing three or four more steps further down. I was rushed to the emergency room, x-rays showed no broken bones, probably torn ligaments. I’ve been in bed since. I’m slowly getting better every day, but can barely walk. So there ya have it.
Of course this means no cooking. And yes, I’m being a cry baby about it.
And let me digress. “Rushed” to the emergency room is an exaggeration, as the ambulance broke down in route. I was stuck for about 15 minutes until a replacement ambulance arrived with this poor 25-year-old old paramedic trying to make small talk to take the edge off of a very difficult situation. “So where do you live? Any children? What are your hobbies? Do you work? Any pets?” Bless his little well meaning heart.
Denver General Hospital is quite the place. They really do a fabulous job. I was given the choice of Denver General, or one of our South end swanky “resort” hospitals. I wanted the latter and my husband quickly pointed out “Do you want to go somewhere that’s experienced with trauma (Denver General) or somewhere that can give you advice on plastic surgery (south end resort hospital)”. I “got it” and agreed on Denver General. While waiting on x-rays and watching the third shackled prisoner pass down the hall accompanied by an armed police officer, I turned to Bob and said “We should come downtown more often”. Big mistake, as I learned very quickly that it hurt very bad to laugh.
OK, well you got more than the Reader’s Digest Version after all. I am really missing cooking so tonight I hobbled down the stairs, crippled around the kitchen enough to get this to the table. Oh…Oh…Oh… I almost forgot the foodie part of this whole mess. As I was being wheel-chaired through the bowels of Coors Stadium to the first aid area, holding my head, looking down, I briefly opened my eyes and all I could see was a hot dog bun smashed and stuck to my leg. Can you believe it? A missed photo opportunity.
Look at these beautiful vibrant fresh ingredients ready for preparation.
Some bright red sun-dried tomatoes.
Double Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese
1 lb. Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
2 lbs. broccoli, chopped into small florets
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup coarsely chopped sun- dried tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1. Add broccoli flowerets to a large saucepan of enough boiling salted water to cover generously. Cook, uncovered, over high heat for about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water. Chop broccoli florets coarsely.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
3. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add broccoli, salt and pepper. Sauté about 2 minutes or until heated through.
4. Add broccoli mixture to pasta bowl and toss. Add sun-dried tomatoes, basil, grate Parmesan Cheese on top. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Adapted from Pappardelle’s Pasta.
Tags: Dinner, Pasta, Spinach, spinach pasta
Dinner last night was another great pasta dish compliments of Pappardelle’s brand pasta. We even hit the wine pairing smack dab on the head. The Babich 2006 Sauvignon Blanc was a delicious crisp compliment. Even if you can’t find a spinach flavored pasta (in case you’re Karen in Wichita) I’m sure this sauce would be wonderful on plain pasta. And yes, I even used the anchovies called for in the recipe. 🙂 If you’re hesitant about the anchovies, relax! While they’re integral to the dish, they don’t make it taste “fishy.”
Wilted Spinach and Garlic with Spinach Pasta
1 lb. Spinach Pasta
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
12 cloves garlic, minced
12 canned anchovy fillets, chopped
¼ cup capers, drained but not rinsed
Splash of dry white wine or water
3 bunches fresh spinach, stems removed
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat olive oil in large kettle or wok over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden. Immediately add anchovies. Using wooden spoon, simultaneously stir and mash them until they “dissolve” into the garlic and oil.
2. Add capers and cook one minute longer, stirring constantly.
3. Immediately add spinach, tossing continuously until it wilts. If necessary, add a little wine or water to prevent sticking
Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, Cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 6 minutes for angel hair and 8-10 minutes for fettuccine). Drain and add directly to spinach mixture. Toss gently to thoroughly coat the spinach with the pasta. Serve straight from the pan, sprinkling Parmesan at table.
Serves 4 – 6
NOTE: This is not very good the next day. I had some of the leftovers for lunch the next day and the pasta really intensifies over night with a salty strong flavor from the anchovies.