Lasagna


IF IF

Lasagna

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 1 box Lasagna noodle
  • 18 oz cottage cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • dash of salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp concentrated tomato paste or 1  6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 8 oz bag of mozzarella cheese
 
METHOD
  1. Bring a pot of 4 quart water to a boil.  Soak lasagna noodle in hot water for 20 minutes or softened.
  2. Drain and carefully remove the noodle, and lay out on a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle noodle with olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking.  Cover with wet paper towel and set aside.
  3. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add ground beef, and quickly saute beef till meat is cooked.  Drain the beef, removing excess liquid.  Set aside.
  4. Heat a clean pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add onion and garlic, and saute till onions are translucent.
  5. Add all vegetables, and stir fry for another 1 minute.
  6. Add cooked ground beef, and stir fry till combined.
  7. Add stewed tomato, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, parsley, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, and stir till mixture thickened.
  8. Lower the heat, and let the meat mixture simmer for 1 hour under low heat.
  9. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, then mix in cottage cheese, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  10. Using 9 x 13 baking dish, spray olive oil over the sides and bottom of the dish.  Spread a little of the meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Lay half the noodles in the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping by 1/2-inch.
  11. Spread half the egg and cottage cheese mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle half the mozzarella evenly over the cottage cheese mixture. Pour half the meat sauce on top. Repeat layering in same order. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Bake in center of oven under 375 F for 30 to 35 minutes until sauce is bubbling around the edges.
  12. Switch to high broil setting, and broil the cheese till golden brown for 5 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
 
 

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Pot Stickers (Pan Fried Dumplings) 锅贴


IF

Potstickers (Pan Fried Dumplings)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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INGREDIENTS

Filling

  • 1 lb ground pork or beef
  • 1 cup chopped green onion (white and green parts) or Chinese Chives
  • 1 cup chopped napa cabbage
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 package of store bought dumplings(about 50 wrappers)
oil for pan frying
 

METHOD

  1. To make the filling, combine the pork or beef, green onions or Chinese Chives, and ginger in a bowl.  Using a fork, lightly mix the ingredients till combined.
  2. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.  Pour these seasoning over the meat mixture, and stir to combine. 
  3. Cover the meat mixture and set aside for at least 1 hour.  Or you can prepare the filling 1 day ahead, and the filling is to be refrigerated.  Bring it to room temperature before wrapping the dumpling.
  4. Line few plates or a tray with plastic wrap and lightly dust with flour to avoid sticking. 
  5. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tbsp of cornstarch and 4 tbsp of water.  Stir well to foam a watery paste.  Place the bowl of paste on the table next to you. This paste is acting as a “glue” for wrapping the dumplings.
  6. If you are right-handed, hold the wrapper in the left hand.  For each dumpling, scoop about 1 tbsp of filling positioning slightly off center towards to upper half of the wrapper. 
  7. Use your index finger to dip into the watery paste, and spread it around the outer circumference of the wrapper.
  8.  Make the first pinch  between index finger and thumb.
  9. Fold over the front edge to form the first pleat and press it against the first pinch and the back edge.
  10. Pass the second pleat to the right hand, and press the second pleat to the back edge and the first pleat.
  11. Finish by pressing the edges together to seal well. 
  12. Repeat with the remaining wrappers till the filling is used up.  Cover the finished dumplings with dry kitchen tower or paper towel. 
  13. To pan fry the dumplings, heat about 2 tbsp of oil  in a non-stick frying pan. 
  14. Neatly arrange the dumplings touching each other. 
  15. Fry the dumplings for 2 minutes or till they are golden brown on the bottom under medium high heat. 
  16. Holding the cover lid of the frying pan, quickly pour water (about 1/4 cup of water) and cover with the lid immediately.  Note that the water will immediately splutter, so be careful. 
  17. Cover the pan tightly, and let the dumplings fry for 4 – 6 minutes (you will hear sizzling sound). 
  18. When the sizzling noise stop, you can remove the lid and transfer the dumplings to a serving plate with bottoms facing up.
  19. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. My favorite dipping sauce:  Mix 1 tbsp of black vinegar with 1 tbsp of soya sauce in a saucer.  Place some finely sliced ginger in the sauce. 
  20. Gently dip the dumplings in the sauce, and eat it with few slices of gingers.  Yum!