Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lidia Bastianich style-Italian-American lasagna with meat sauce

For lasagna
2 pounds lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggs
Pinch salt
2 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 pound mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, sliced thin
Meat sauce
Two 35-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
5 or 6 meaty pork neck bones (about 3/4 pound)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup tomato paste
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably the Sicilian or Greek type, dried on the branch, crumbled
3 to 4 cups hot water
For meat sauce

Pass the tomatoes and their liquid through a food mill fitted with the fine blade. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Make a little room in the center of the pot, dump in the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the pork bones and cook, turning, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and pork and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the meat changes color and the water it gives off is boiled away, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and oregano, then pour in the wine. Bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the pot, until the wine is almost completely evaporated. Pour in the tomatoes, then stir in the tomato paste until it is dissolved. Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce takes on a deep, brick-red color, 2 to 3 hours. Add the hot water, about ½ cup at a time, as necessary to maintain the level of liquid for the length of time the sauce cooks.

Skim off any fat floating on top and adjust the seasoning as necessary. The sauce can be prepared entirely in advance and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

For lasagna
Line a sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth or a basket-type coffee filter. Place the ricotta over the cheesecloth and set the sieve over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to one day. Discard the liquid that drains into the bowl. Make the meat sauce.

Bring 6 quarts of salted water and the olive oil to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat. Stir about one third of the lasagna noodles into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, set a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. When the lasagna noodles are al dente, remove them with a wire skimmer and transfer to the ice water. Let them stand until completely chilled. Repeat the cooking and cooling with the remaining two batches of lasagna noodles. When the cooked noodles are chilled, remove them from the ice bath and stack them on a baking sheet, separating each layer with a clean, damp kitchen towel.

While the noodles are cooking, beat the eggs with the salt in a mixing bowl until foamy. Add the ricotta and stir until thoroughly blended. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

To assemble the lasagna, ladle about 3/4 cup of the meat sauce over the bottom of a 15 x 10-inch baking dish. Arrange noodles lengthwise and side by side so as to cover the bottom of the baking dish and overhang the short ends of the dish by about 2 inches. (A little “cut and paste” might be necessary. Also, the noodles will most likely overlap in the center of the dish. That is fine.) Spoon enough meat sauce, about 2 cups, to cover the noodles in an even layer. Sprinkle the sauce with ½ cup of the grated cheese. Arrange a single layer of noodles crosswise over the cheese so they overhang the long sides of the baking dish by about 2 inches, again trimming the noodles and overlapping them as necessary. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles. Arrange a single layer of noodles lengthwise over the ricotta, trimming the noodles as necessary. Arrange the sliced mozzarella in an even layer over the noodles. Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce over the cheese and sprinkle 1 cup of grated cheese over the sauce. Cover with a layer of noodles, arranged lengthwise. Spoon enough meat sauce, about 2 cups, to cover the noodles in an even layer and sprinkle the sauce with 1 cup grated cheese. Turn the noodles overhanging the sides and ends of the dish over the lasagna, leaving a rectangular uncovered space in the middle. Spread a thin layer of meat sauce over the top layer of noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes.

Uncover the lasagna and continue baking until the top is crusty around the edges, about 20 minutes. Let rest at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before cutting and serving. To rewarm a lasagna that has been standing, cover it loosely with foil and place in a 325-degree F oven until heated through, 15 to 45 minutes, depending on how long it has been standing.

Serving Size
12 servings, plus leftovers

Monday, May 2, 2011


Shrimp Veracruzana - 11g Carbs, 2g Fiber, 0g Added Sugar

Eating Well - May/June 2008

Veracruzana is a dish full of onions, jalapeƱos and tomatoes from the
Mexican state of Veracruz. Here we pair the zesty sauce with shrimp,
but it can be served with any type of fish or chicken. The heat of
fresh jalapenos varies depending on growing conditions. Be sure to
taste yours as you're adding them to the dish and adjust the amount
according to your taste. For pepper flavor without the heat, use a
thinly sliced green bell pepper in place of the jalapenos.

Serve with: Rice or potatoes and an avocado salad.

Nutrition Profile - -
Diabetes appropriate | Low calorie | Low carbohydrate | Low saturated fat
| Low sodium | Heart healthy | Healthy weight | Gluten free

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Serving Size: about 1 cup each

2 tsp canola oil
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and very thinly sliced, or to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb peeled and deveined raw shrimp, (16-20 per lb; see Shopping Tip)
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup thinly sliced pitted green olives
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bay
leaf and cook for 1 minute. Add onion, jalapenos and garlic and
cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in shrimp,
cover and cook until pink and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and olives. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to
medium-low, replace cover and cook until the tomatoes are almost
broken down, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf. Serve with
lime wedges.

* Shopping Tip:
Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound.
For example, "21-25 count" means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp
in a pound. Size names, such as "large" or "extra large," are
not standardized, so to be sure you're getting the size you want,
order by the count (or number) per pound. Both wild-caught and
farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when
not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp
that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices.
Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent
agency, such as Wild American Shrimp or Marine Stewardship
Council. If you can't find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught
shrimp from North America—it's more likely to be sustainably caught.

Servings: 4
Serving Size: about 1 cup each
Nutrition per Serving:
192 Calories, 6g Fat, 1g Sat, 3g Mono, 172mg Cholesterol, 24g Protein,
11g Carbs, 2g Fiber, 0g Added Sugars, 324mg Sodium, 516mg Potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (61% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv),
Iron & Vitamin A (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo

South of the Border Salmon Burgers

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4

1 lb salmon fillet, skin removed, fish cut into 1" chunks
2 tsp PLUS 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-oz) head romaine, shredded (4 cups)
1 medium avocado, cubed
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp cayenne

In a food processor, combine salmon, 2 teaspoons of the sour cream,
mustard, chili powder, cumin, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon
black pepper; pulse just until mixture comes together, 15 to 20 seconds.
Form mixture into 4 patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

Lightly coat a grill or grill pan with cooking spray and heat to
medium-high. Grill patties until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per

While patties are cooking, in a large bowl combine lettuce, avocado,
oil, 1 teaspoon of the lime juice, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Season with black pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup sour cream, remaining
1 teaspoon lime juice, cilantro, and cayenne.

Divide salad among 4 plates and place a burger alongside. Top each
burger with a dollop of cilantro sour cream and serve.

Servings: 4
Nutrition per Serving:
330 Calories, 23g Fat, 5g Sat, 25g Protein, 6g Carbs, 3g Fiber, 260mg Sodium