Lasagna


IF IF

Lasagna

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • 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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Quiche (French Baked Custard Pie)


Baked custard pie with bottom crust and no top crust, cut into wedges and served.  One of my favorite weekend breakfast to make for my family.  Savory and addictive dish! 

For this recipe, you can add whatever ingredients you like to the custard, vegetables, meat, and cheese (a must!).  Do note that this dish takes 1 hour to BAKE.  With all the preparation in hand, you will need about 90 minutes to make this dish.

IF

1 roll of Store bought frozen puff pastry
9 inches pie pan
 
Filling ingredients
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup your favorite shredded cheese (I use parmesan cheese)
pinch of salt and black pepper
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly
1/2  green pepper, cut into small chunks (broccoli florets, asparagus, and oven roasted tomatoes, other vegetables that don’t contain too much liquid)
1 cup ham, cut into cubes (sausages, cooked shredded chicken and other cooked meat)
 

METHOD

 (1)  If frozen puff pastry, let it thaw in refrigerator overnight.  If it’s been chilled overnight, let it warm for 15 minutes at room temperature. 
(2)  Slowly unroll the puff pastry on a 9-inch pie pan.  Do not stretch the dough as it may shrink back when baked.  Instead, lift the dough and let it settle into the pan.  Cover the crust and chill in refrigerator until ready to bake.
(3)  Heat the oven to 375 F.
(4)  For the filling, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, milk in a bowl until smooth and combined. Set aside this liquid mixture.
(5)  Heat the pan to medium high.  Add about 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Once heated, add the sliced onion and stir fry till slightly caramelized. 
(6)  Add green pepper and stir fry for another 2 minutes. 
(7)  Place the bowl of liquid mixture from the step 4, and stir in the cheese gently.  Season with little salt and black pepper.
(8)  Place the chilled crust on a baking sheet, and sprinkle the filling ingredients (ham, onion & green pepper) into the crust.
(9)  Gently pour the egg mixture over the filling. 
(10)  Bake for 60 minutes until the quiche is slightly puffed and golden brown on top. 
(11)  Cut in wedges and serve warm or in room temperature. 
 

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Leek and Potato Soup


Main Ingredients:  Potatoes, Leeks

Modified from Cookbook:  Le Cordon Bleu – Soups

INGREDIENTS

1 large leek or 2 medium size leeks (500 gm), white and light green part, thinly sliced
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 stick of celery, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 litre chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

(1)  Rinse the leeks in cold water to remove dirt, and drain well.
(2)  Melt the butter in a stockpot over low heat.  Add the leek and cook slowly for about 10 minutes or till leeks are soft. 
(3)  Add the celery and potato and cook for another 3 minutes. then pour in the stock.  Once the soup come to a boil, reduce to medium low heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potato are tender and soup becomes very flavorful. 
(4)  Turn down to lowest heat, and puree the soup with hand blender or food processor until very smooth.  If prefer chunks of vegetables, take out half of the soup and puree them. 
(5)  Add the cream, and cook for another 5 minutes.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste and keep warm.
(6)  Serve with croutons or your favorite soup topping. 
 

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Southern Fried Chicken (美式炸鸡)


Main Ingredient:  Chicken

INGREDIENTS

Marinate for Chicken (enough for 2 lbs of chicken)
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 head of garlic, minced finely
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk
 
Coating for Chicken
2 cups flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp salt
dash of black pepper
1 tsp rosemary
 
For frying
Peanut oil for deep frying
 

METHOD

(1)  Combine marinate ingredients together, and mix well with chicken.  Refrigerate for overnight or up to 2 days.
(2)  Before frying, remove chicken from refrigerator and let rest at room temperate for 2 hours or until it comes to room temperature.
(3)  Fill the frying pot with at least 2 inches of peanut oil and heat up to 340F. 
(4)  Combine all coating ingredients and add into the marinated chicken with buttermilk.
(5)  Carefully lower the chicken meat into the hot oil.  Adjust the temperature to return the oil to the right temperature.
(6)  Fry for 5 – 8 minutes and turning the pieces as necessary for even cooking, until the chicken is deep golden brown and very crisp.
(7)  After removing the chicken from fryer, let the chicken rest for 5 – 7 minutes.   If your chicken rests longer than 10 mins, reheat the chicken in a 400F oven for a minute to ensure that the chicken stays crispy and hot.
 

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American Caesar Salad (美国凯萨沙拉)


INGREDIENTS

1 Romaine lettuce
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1 cup roast chicken, cut into thick slices or cubes (Bacon is usually used in Caesar salad.  I replaced it with chicken for healthier version)
2 thick slices bread, cut into cubes
handful of almond slices
Parmesan cheese, in shavings
 
Dressing: 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp light cream, 1 cured anchovy fillets(mashed), 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp Djon Mustard, 1 tbsp white vinegar, dash of Worcestershire Sauce.
 

METHOD

(1)  Preheat oven to 430F.  Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake until crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes.
(2)  Put lettuce in a salad.  Add toasted bread cubes, almond slices, eggs, chicken, and Parmesan Cheese. 
(3)  Combine all salad dressing ingredients, and whisk lightly with fork. 
(4)  Before serving, drizzle dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
 

Fish Taco with Fresh Salsa


 

INGREDIENTS

1 lb halibut or any fish meat
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
10 fresh tortilla (available in all grocery stores)
2 cups coleslaw (about 1/2 package of coleslaw)
Salsa – follow this recipe (omit mango)
1 cup cucumber, shredded and seeds removed
1 cup carrot, shredded finely
 

METHOD

(1)  Slice fish into 1 inch thick.  Marinate with salt and pepper.  Leave aside for 15 minutes.
(2)  Dust fish slices with cornstarch, and deep fry them till crispy.
(3)  Heat 1 small pan on low heat.  Place tortilla on heated pan, and grill about 20 seconds on each side. 
(4)  Place tortilla shell on a plate.  Arrange some coleslaw, salsa, cucumber, carrot and fish slices on tortilla.
(5)  Fold into half, and enjoy!  Simple, healthy and delicious.

 

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White Chocolate Cheesecake


Recipe adapted from Sandra Lee BakeSale Cookbook

INGREDIENTS

1 package of Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies
10 pieces of Graham crackers
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 packages cream cheese, Philadelphia
1 package instant white chocolate pudding and pie filling mix, Jell-O
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups white baking chips, Ghirardelli
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup orange juice
 

METHOD

(1)  Preheat oven to 350F.  Using 8 or 9 inch springform pan, arrange Chessman Cookies, facing outwards, around side of pan.
(2)  Place 2 cups Graham crackers in a blender, and blend till fine.  Transfer to a medium bowl, and sir together with melted butter until mixture comes together.  Press into bottom of springform pan and bake for 5 minutes in oven.
(3)  Remove from oven, and set aside to cool. Place aluminum foil to wrap around the bottom exterior of pan.  
(4)  In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, pudding mix, and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add sour cream, and beat until combined.  Pour into prepared cookie crust.
(5)  Place springform pan in a large tray; fill tray with hot water to reach 1 inch up the side of the springform pan.
(6)  Bake for 60 minutes or until set in center.  Turn off the oven 7heat, leave the cake inside oven with oven door ajar for 10 minutes.
(7)  Remove springform pan and cool on a wire rack.
(8)  For ganache, heat heavy cream and orange juice until about boiling.  Pour cream mixture over white chocolate chips, stirring well with spoon until smooth with no lumps.  Let stand at room temperature, and pour over the cooled cake, but not over the side of cake.
(9)  Garnish with your favorite topping, like sprinkle with candy or chocolate. 
 

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Spaghetti in Meat Sauce (意大利面)


INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb ground beef, 90% lean
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 cup red wine
1 can of tomato sauce
1 red pepper, cut into bite size
1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried sweet basil
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 handful of pasta, cooked according to package instruction
 
METHOD
 
(1)  Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package instruction.
(2)  While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan.
(3)  Add minced onion and garlic, and cook till it is softened for about 3 minutes.
(4)  Add red wine, and bring to a boil till wine is almost evaporated.
(5)  Add ground beef, and break them up while it is cooking. 
(6)  Add tomato sauce, red pepper and all seasoning ingredients except heavy cream, and simmer for 20 minutes.
(7)  Add heavy cream(optional) for creamy taste. Stir to combine. 
(8)  Place the drained pasta on a plate, and pour some meat sauce over the pasta.  Serve with toasted bread on the side.
 
 

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