Blue Cheese Burgers

Danish Blue Cheese

Danish Blue Cheese

When I was a little girl, my mother would make blue cheese dressing, and she would give me a little piece of cheese. It was never enough. When I grew up, and I looked at the price of blue cheese, I could see why. Then, I moved to Glendale, where blue cheese is sold off the wheel, and is a lot less expensive. Finally, I can have as much blue cheese as I want!

When I first met my friend Chef John Farion, he took his ex-wife, his sister Katherine, and me to a nice restaurant on Melrose. His friend was chef there, and I had a lovely steak with blue cheese sauce. It was heavenly, and I have adapted it to my own kitchen. I’ll be posting it next time I make it.

So, last night, I really wanted to come up with that same taste when I was making blue cheese burgers. I realized it would have to be the sauce that did it, and it was a hit!

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Lasagna alla casa di Boswell

Recipes in this PostLasagna alla casa di Boswell - ricotta spinach sausage

A few days ago, I found a box of no-cook lasagna noodles in the sale section of the store. I had never tried no-cook lasagna noodles, so I bought them with the intent of making my own version of Lasagna.

I have been making this lasagna for many years, and it seems to get better every time.  Yes, it is time consuming, but the rewards for the taste buds are worth the time and effort.

I do not make a standard red sauce, although there are tomatoes in the sauce.  There is a lot of meat – a little over three pounds all together.  Mushrooms sautéed with shallots in butter and sherry. Italian sausage cooked and sliced on the bias.

I don’t like ricotta cheese, I never have.  A lot of people who don’t like it use cottage cheese instead, but although I don’t like the texture of ricotta, I do like the flavor, so to compensate for the texture, I add spinach, nutmeg and Parmesan to the ricotta.  It gives nice flavor with more nutrients as well.

This is a great lasagna. Don’t let the complexity of this dish put you off. Once the sauce is done, you are home free.

Recipe: Lasagna alla casa di Boswell

Ingredients

Sauce
  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 1 pound Ground pork
  • 2 Garlic chopped
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 2 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Green pepper chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 1 can Whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Ricotta Layer –
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1 package Frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
– Mushroom Layer –
  • 10 Mushroom sliced
  • 1 Shallot chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dry sherry
– Other Layers –
  • 1 pound Italian sausage sliced
  • 2 cups Mozzarella sliced
  • 1 package Lasagna Noodles cooked (or uncooked in this case)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Make the sauce
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl it around so the whole pan is covered.
  • Sauté the vegetables until they are translucent.
  • Add the meat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, then add some of the milk.
  • Turn the heat down.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until you cannot see the milk. Then add more milk. Do this until all the milk has been incorporated.
  • When all the milk has combined, add the wine and the tomatoes, then cook down on low heat until the sauce is thick. Set aside.
  • Make the Ricotta layer

    1. Defrost and remove all the water from the spinach. You can do this by putting the spinach in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then add the ricotta, Parmesan and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
    Make the Mushroom layer
    1. In a sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and let them cook until they are translucent, then add the mushrooms. Add the sherry. Sauté the mushrooms until they brown with the shallots in butter and sherry. Set aside.
    Make the sausage layer
    1. Pan fry the sausages on medium heat. Turn to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan, cool slightly, then slice them on the diagonal.
    Make the pasta layer:
    1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta just until it’s done, then drain and leave in cold water while assembling the lasagna.
    Assembly:
    1. Spread some of the sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan.
    2. Put a layer of pasta.
    3. Put the some of the sauce on the pasta, then put the mushrooms.
    4. Put a layer of pasta.
    5. Put a layer of sauce and mozzarella.
    6. Put a layer of pasta.
    7. Put the ricotta layer.
    8. Put a layer of pasta.
    9. Put some of the sauce and then the sausages.
    10. Put a layer of pasta.
    11. Put the rest of the sauce.
    12. Put the last layer of mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan.
    13. Bake in a slow oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheeses are brown and bubbling.
    14. Remove from the oven and let sit at least 10 minutes so the lasagna can settle.

    Quick notes

    If you have sauce left over, freeze it for another dish.

    Variations

    If you don’t like spinach, you can omit it. If you don’t want to use pork sausage, you could use turkey sausage instead.

    Preparation time: 3 hour(s)

    Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 8

    Culinary tradition: Italian

    My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 22 review(s)

    Copyright © The Good Plate.
    Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
    Microformatting by hRecipe.

    Risotto Corned Beef Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Cream Sauce and Colcannon

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    I remember as a child I really loved stuffed peppers, and my mother would buy a can of corned beef hash and stuff the peppers with that.  They were always so wonderful, real comfort food.  I have to admit, the first time I tried to make them, the peppers styed hard, and they just were not good.  I had given up on them, but I really had a taste for them recently.

    Now here is the perfect opportunity to have corned beef and cabbage, St. Patrick’s Day. Since there are only three of us, and our refrigerator is very small, I could not see any reason to buy a corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, but I still wanted a traditional meal.  A can of corned beef was just the ticket.

    The cabbage part was not hard at all – Colcannon is great any time.  Cabbage is really good for you, and so are potatoes, put them together – it’s a super food!

    I decided to use Arborio rice since it is more glutinous, and absorbs other flavorings readily.

    I served the stuffed peppers with a  little tomato cream sauce on the plate and the colcannon.  Everyone loved it!
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    Friday Food on a Saturday? Salmon in a foil pouch

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    642_Salmon En PapierI haven’t been sticking to my Friday night fish routine lately, but on Thursday, I really had a craving for fish. Friday night, Amber and I walked over to the local supermarket and I looked for some interesting fish.

    I won’t eat the farm raised salmon.  The first time I saw that it had dye in it, I asked the butcher why it had dye in it, and he shrugged his shoulders.  Of course, that meant I had to do some research and what I found out turned me against farm raised salmon forever.  The following caught my eye:

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    Armenian Delights!

    Koobideh Kabob picture courtesy WikiPedia

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    I asked my six year old what he wanted for dinner, and he said “Armenian”. That sounded good to me, because it always means the freshest ingredients. I had forgotten that it was Cinco De Mayo, but this sounded so good, we are shelving that for another day.

    We like Lula Kabob Burgers, also called Koobideh Kabob, yogurt salad, and herb rice. The yogurt salad always seems like a lot, but it goes very quickly.

    You can get Lula Kebob, otherwise known as ground meat kebob at Middle Eastern or Armenian butcher stores. There are also spice packets available at those stores, and recipes on the Internet. I have found that my butcher has a very good recipe, so I just buy his ground spiced meat. Form the meat into patties, and cook as you would a regular hamburger. You can serve them with Lavash and Secret Garlic Sauce.

    When you go to get the ingredients for the yogurt salad, it is advisable to go to the market early in the morning to get the freshest vegetables and herbs. This is a very easy to make salad.
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    Pizza Fried Chicken

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    Even if a child does not like spicy food, presented with the prospect of pepperoni pizza (or pep-e-on-i as the toddler set says), a child happily stuff his or her face with it.

    I like pizza, too, but some time ago, I decided that I did not like meat on pizza anymore.  Margarita pizza is the one for me.  I like to make my own, with a little help from Trader Joe’s (more on this later).

    So, I wanted pizza, and I also wanted chicken, but I don’t want meat on my pizza.  What to do, what to do?  I know!  Create Pizza Chicken!

    This is basically  fried chicken fingers with sauce, but I must say, it really fulfilled my desire for pizza.

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