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Reg’s Lasagna

Just realized that one of my favourite go-to recipes has never appeared here! When you get tired of that turkey, my American friends, you might give this dish a try. I’m leaving the kitchen for  a few days but wanted to share this with you before I put all the dishes away…LOL…Buen Provecho as always!!

Reg’s Lasagna (easily feeds 8 people)
1 cup diced white onions
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup carrots sliced
1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef and pork mixed (you could use ground chicken or turkey instead)
1 or 2 garlic cloves minced
14 oz. can cubed tomatoes
5 ½ oz. can tomato puree
1 19 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
½ cup red wine (optional)
2 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. each of basil and oregano
12 lasagna noodles oven ready
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 package fresh spinach stems removed and chopped
1 small package of fresh mushrooms sliced
1 large bag shredded manchego or mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan (don’t use the Kraft powdery stuff!)
In a little olive oil, brown the carrots, celery and onions until tender and slightly browning. Add in the pork and beef mixture and cook until browned and almost no pink visible. Drain off the fat if there is an excess. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, ½ of the tomato sauce, sugar and seasonings. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add in the sliced mushrooms and continue to simmer until they appear softened.

While this has been cooking, mix the ricotta cheese with the chopped spinach in a bowl. Set aside.

In a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish pour a little of the remaining tomato sauce and spread over the bottom. Place four noodles in the bottom of the dish. Add ½ of the meat sauce to cover the noodles. Add 1/3 of the grated manchego or mozzarella cheese.

Cover this with four more lasagna noodles. Add the layer of ricotta and spinach. Add four additional lasagna noodles. Cover with the other half of the meat sauce and 1/3 of the cheese.

Add four more lasagna noodles ( if you have no sauce left, heat the remaining half jar of spaghetti sauce and pour over the top noodle layer. Cover with the remainder of the cheese. Over top of this add the Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Cover with foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Test the noodles with a sharp knife to make sure they are softened. Remove from the oven and let sit before cutting into desired portion sizes.

I make this a few hours before company comes and let it cool before refrigerating. 45 minutes before serving remove from refrigerator to let the dish warm to room temp. Return to 350 degree oven for about 15 to 25 minutes.

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Turkey Divan

With US Thanksgiving fast approaching, as well as Christmas (44 days), thoughts turn to turkey. I have previously posted a great recipe for preparing turkey which originated with Emerill Lagasse — check out Funky Brined Turkey elsewhere on the blog. Its awesome and I have used it for many years. AFTER US Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will undoubtedly be some leftover turkey. You could make pot pies, but who wants to fiddle with a crust? Turkey Divan is the perfect answer for leftovers!! The following recipe was adapted from Anna Olsen, Food Network Canada.

FYI, if you don’t have leftover turkey, just head down to the deli and get a precooked roasted turkey breast and either bring it home to slice or have the butcher cut thick pieces. Don’t use turkey lunch-meat!!! You could also substitute chicken… enuf said…hope you enjoy this one.

Turkey Divan by Anna Olsen Food Network Canada
Ingredients (my changes in red as always)

3 cup fresh broccoli, cut into florets (and peeled stem pieces)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into ½-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh savory (I could not find any here)
1 tsp each thyme and oregano
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cup chicken stock
½ cup half-and-half cream
½ cup dry white wine
2 cup Jarlsberg cheese or Manchego if in Mexico
salt & pepper
1 lb. cooked turkey breast meat (not luncheon meat), sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Directions
1. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water (or steam) until just tender, then shock in ice water to halt cooking. Drain broccoli and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
3. In a large sauté pan with sides melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until almost translucent, about 4 minutes.
4. Add diced pepper and sauté 3 minutes more. Sift flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, until a faintly nutty aroma is emitted, but flour does not brown.
5. Stir in mustard, savory and zest. Stir in chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, blending well after each addition (this will prevent lumps). Bring liquid up to a simmer, then stir in cream.
6. Return to a simmer and stir in wine. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 ½ cups Jarlsberg or Manchego cheese until melted. Season to taste.
7. Stir in broccoli and turkey, adjust seasoning if necessary, stir in parsley and pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.

This can be prepared to here and refrigerated until before dinner when you can apply the topping before baking. I usually put the refrigerated dish on the counter to warm it up a little before baking.
8. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup cheese mixed with breadcrumbs and olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling along the sides.
9. Serve over cooked rice or buttered noodles.
10. Alternatively, the half-and-half cream can be replaced by ½ cup mascarpone cheese, for a more decadent version.

Serve it with a great Jasmine rice!