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    Entries in all rolled up (14)

    Tuesday
    Jul102012

    Meta Salad

    A salad made of salad.

    It's way too hot to cook, never mind eating hot things. I think July may end up being the month of salads. I've got a couple planned and Taneasha's loving having hers tossed. Hopefully we'll get to see more of that.

    Me, I was crazy enough to make chicken broth last week (pics later) and so I've got a bunch of packages of chicken meat in the freezer. We'll ignore the broth for now since soup is entirely out of the question. If you don't happen to have nicely packaged portions of already cooked chicken in your freezer, those rotisserie birds that most grocery stores have handy will work just fine.

    Chicken Salad in a Salad

    What you need:

    • about 2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken
    • a bit of onion
    • a couple carrots
    • 3 or 4 radishes
    • 1/4 c parsley
    • 2 tbsp dill
    • 1 tbsp capers
    • 1/2 tsp celery seed
    • 1/4 c mayo
    • a bit of lemon juice
    • large lettuce leaves
    • alphalpha sprouts
    • tasty tiny tomatos

    What you gotta do:

    Dice all the veggies into tiny chunks. If you like celery, it would probably work well in this. I don't like celery, so I opted for radishes. Nice crunch, a bit of bite, totally underutilized root. Adds a nice bit of colour too.

    Dump all the veggies and herbs and seeds and flowers (capers are flowers) into a bowl with the chicken. Squeeze on some lemon juice. Salt and pepper would work at this point too.

    Blob on some mayo. Real mayo.

    You should also select a few good sized lettuce leaves and rinse them off. You're going to use them whole, so a salad spinner may not be the right tool for the job. I just rolled mine up in a teatowel to dry them.

    Use the lettuce leaves like taco shells. Some alphalpha sprouts in the bottom, then the chicken salad, and a few slices of the tiny awesome tomatos to decorate the top.

    Oh yeah, and then sprinkle it with bacon. Everything is better with bacon sprinkles.

    I ate mine like tacos, but I suppose you could use a fork if you really wanted to.

    And yes, I admit it, I bought the tomatos because they were little and cute, but they really have a great bright sweetness that works well with the tangy mayo and lemon in the dressing.

    What have you bought because it was little and cute?

    Friday
    Jun222012

    Lasagna all Rolled Up

    I’m on a bit of a roll.  Last week’s mini meatloaves, and now these single serving lasagna rolls.  I don’t know that they really qualify as small, but it’s a fun spin on lasagna.  Everyone gets their own little spiral of deliciousness.  Plus it makes for easy freezing of single servings if you have extra. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    ½ lb ground beef
    1 cup diced tomatoes
    ½ cup diced onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ t. salt
    1 t. basil
    ½ t. oregano
    ½ t. thyme
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    ½ cup parmigiano reggiano
    ½ cup mozzarella
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 egg
    8 lasagna noodles
    1 pint marinara
    More grated cheese for the top

    We’ll start with the meat mixture so that it can be cooling.  In a pan over medium heat, put a tablespoon of oil followed by half of an onion, diced, and 2 minced cloves of garlic. 

    Sprinkle on ½ teaspoon of salt and add the ground beef. 

    Stir and chop that as it cooks, and when the meat is browned and cooked through, add a cup of diced tomatoes. 

    Sprinkle on the herbs.  I used dried, so if you’re using fresh ones you’ll want to adjust the amounts to your liking.  Usually fresh herbs require double or triple the amount of dried ones. 

    Stirring frequently, allow that to cook down until most of the liquid has evaporated.

    If you can watch them both at the same time, you can cook your lasagna noodles at the same time as the beef.  If not, set the finished beef aside and cook the noodles now. Drain them and rinse them with cold water and lay them out on an oiled piece of foil. 

    Now onto the cheese mixture.  Into a bowl go all the cheeses, a minced clove of garlic, and an egg. 

    Stir until you until everything is combined.  This is probably a good time to preheat your oven to 350°.  Also, pour a little marinara on the bottom of your baking dish.  (Imagine my excited surprise when packing for my move I realized one of my bottles of ‘salsa’ was actually marinara.  Woohoo!)

    Spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture onto a lasagna noodle leaving about an inch at each end naked. 

    Then do the same thing with some of the meat mixture. 

    Go easy on these things or you’re not going to be able to roll it up, which you’re going to do now.  Fold over one of the naked ends like this:

    And then carefully roll it all the way to the other end.  See how cool?

    Then place it, seam side down, into your prepared pan and repeat with the remaining 7 noodles.  You should be able to just squeeze all 8 of them into an 8x8 pan. 

    Pour the remaining marinara over the top, spreading it all the way to the edges. 

    Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. 

    Hmm… doesn’t look much different except for the steam.  Well, we’ll fix that.  Sprinkle some grated cheese over the top.  I used probably ½ cup or so of each. 

    Back into the oven, uncovered this time, for 15 minutes.  It should be nice and golden and bubbly on top. 

    Ahh… there’s the oven magic I was waiting for.  Just look at that crusty deliciousness. 

    Allow it to rest for 15 minutes or so before serving.  I just added a basic salad to the side, but garlic bread would be another nice addition. 

    What do you like to eat with your lasagna?

       

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