Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm in love!!!( Roasted chicken with thyme)

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Yes, that's right! At most inconvenient of times I saw him and I just fell in love!!!
He is big, he is heavy and he is hot!
A Lodge Cast iron skillet!
I just love this thing and it was a love from first sight!If you want to read a very good articles about cast iron and the benefits from using it, check out these links:
I had to try it ASAP and at the same time I had to make sure no matter what it would be edible :-), so I chose a very easy and flavorful recipe:
"Roasted chicken with thyme"

4 chicken tights
3 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs redskin potatoes
8 oz bella mushrooms
1 cup chopped scallions
6 baby carrots
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
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1.Preheat your cast iron skillet gradually over low to medium heat. Wash and pat dry the chicken tights. Fry the chicken in the olive oil until golden on top.
Sprinkle the sea salt, black pepper and then add the scallions. Stir gradually and preheat the oven at 375 F.
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2. Add to the skillet the previously cut potatoes and sprinkle the paprika and fresh thyme on top. After the potatoes are golden at the edges, add the mushrooms and carrots.
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3. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil sheet and place it in the oven.
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Cook 20-25 minutes or until the instant thermometer reads at least 185F in the chicken thigh.
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Serve hot with a cold beer and a fresh cut thyme! :-)
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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Garfield's Lasagna

My son has the habit of wanting food he sees in movies. It's not the first time ( it won't be the last either)I made something by his request that I had no idea how to make.
We have the lentil soup of the 7 dwarfs, Kung Fu panda's noodles, Harry Potter's pea soup, Popeye the Sailor's spinach, Ichabod Crane's turkey, SnowWhite's( 7 dwarfs) lentil soup and so on and so forth...
It was Garfield's turn of course so I started to look for a nice Lasagna recipe. 

I have to admit I've never been a lasagna fen, so I was very reluctant in finding the time to make it. Imagine my surprise when I found this recipe and it turned out so delicious that now I completely understand what Garfield meant when he said Lasagna is not a dish, it's a state of mind. :-)

I've taken the original recipe from here :; However, I made couple of adjustments, so I am going to post it here with my corrections.

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


For the pasta dough
Fresh made lasagna noodles(I don't have a lasagna cutter, so I used 8 sheets with the pasta maker's width)
17 oz ( 500 gram) sifted flour
5 eggs
1/4 cup water, room temperature

For the ricotta blend
24 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For sprinkling on top
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a big pan stir fry sausage, add onion and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and season with sugar, basil, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. 
* Note: In the original recipe you have to simmer for 1 1/2 hours but I didn't have so much time, that's why I omit the water and tomato sauce, only the crushed tomatoes and paste so you don't need to simmer so long, I would say 30 min is enough, until you make the pasta dough. Stirring occasionally.
Now take a note, that I don't cook the lasagna pasta noodles beforehand!

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a large pan combine the ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, set aside.


3. For the pasta, mix the eggs, flour and add the water. If you feel the dough is too sticky- add flour, if it's too dry, add a little bit of water.Run trough pasta machine, sprinkle with flour and arrange in pan as in recipe.

4. To assemble, spread 1/3 of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange the noodles lengthwise so they would cover the tomato sauce.

5. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.


I updated this recipe with new pictures, since the previous time I shot the Lasagna I made, it was too hot when I cut it and it didn't look as good as these pictures!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a fork and "Garfield, the tale of two kitties" movie and dig in!

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