Saturday, 29 November 2014

Lasagne Coniglio

NAME: _Lasagne Coniglio

300g minced rabbit meat
150g diced bacon
1 large brown onion chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried "nane" (mint)
salt to taste
1 tin diced tomato (250g approx)
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 cups stock
2 tbsp olive oil

Enough lasagne sheets for four - five layers
salted water to cook

Cheese Sauce and Topping
3 tbsp plain flour
around 50g butter
2 cups stock
1/2 cup sour cream
water to adjust
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fine ground black pepper
1 clove garlic minced
100g sharp cheddar diced small or grated
1 raw egg, beaten.

Fry the onion, garlic, diced bacon, and minced rabbit over medium heat for 10 - 20 minutes, stirring and turning often. Add the basil and mint, diced celery, and salt, then add the diced tomato and stock. Allow to simmer for around half an hour, then set aside to cool.

Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter and dissolving the flour in it, then adding the stock, salt, pepper, garlic, dijon mustard, and sour cream. Bring the temperature up and add the cheese, Wait for it to begin thickening but not fully thickened yet, and the cheese is melted and dissolved. (Do this on low heat so you have plenty of time. Stir continuously.) Set aside and allow to cool.

Bring the salted water to a rolling boil and add the lasagne sheets. Simmer until the sheets are just soft enough to bend without cracking. Drain the sheets and lay out separately to avoid sticking together. Oil pyrex baking dish and lay the most cracked and broken lasagne sheets in a layer on the bottom, then follow up with thin layers of meat sauce, more sheets and so forth until the dish is full to within about 1cm of the top. Finish on a layer of pasta sheets.

Pour about 1/2 to 2/3 of the cheese sauce over the lasagne and work it down the sides and between the layers as much as possible. Now stir the beaten egg into the remaining sauce and mix in well, then top the lasagne with as much of this as will fit.

Bake in a moderate oven (160C or so) for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the lasagne, if it looks like it may start browning too much on top, turn the oven down. At 45 minutes, turn the temperature up to 210C and leave for another 5 - 10 minutes to brown the top in spots.

Serve immediately, with polenta biscuits if you have them.

The more linguistically-inclined will have realised that coniglio is rabbit. Don't let this put you off, this dish is delicious! Oh all right, substitute chicken if you're squeamish...  I generally make a lot of extra cheese sauce, add instant polenta, and bake this in the oven in a shallow baking tray alongside the lasagne.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Green Bean Fasolia a la Ted

NAME: _Green Bean Fasolia a la Ted

A large brown onion
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1 kg green beans
3 - 4 ripe tomatoes
2 - 3 tbsp tomato paste
2 - 3 tbsp dried mint (see NOTES)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (see NOTES)
2 - 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 - 2 cups water
3 tbsp olive oil

Slice the onion into 5mm thick rings, then dice the rings, put in a heavy base saucepan or pot over rapid heat with the olive oil, peel and roughly chop the garlic and put that in as well, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat slightly and cut the green beans into the pot, stirring as you go. Add the teaspoonful of salt, keep stirring occasionally.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pot, then add the mint, sugar, tomato paste, lemon juice, and about quarter of the water. Simmer for around an hour or so until beans are tender and keep adjusting water so the sauce is as thick as you want it.

Serve with bread or rice or polenta strips. I like a fair bit of sauce so I use more rather than less water, but some people prefer this almost dry. Suit yourself.

If you can get to a Continental food store they generally have Greek or Turkish dried mint, it seems to impart the best flavour. Use raw sugar, also for best flavour. And shop around for te ripest redest tomatoes and the brightest green beans you can find.



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