SPICY MEAT & CHEESE LASAGNA

A few spices adds a little heat and tons of flavor to the classic lasagna. I like lots of sauce, so I always make extra to pour on top. This recipe requires many ingredients but once assembled, you can store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. It can be kept in the fridge for 5 days and reheats well in the microwave.

INGREDIENTS:

  • meatloaf mix (ground pork & beef) – 1 lb
  • tomato sauce – 24 oz jar
  • ricotta cheese – 16 oz
  • oven-ready lasagna noodles – 12 pieces
  • large onion (diced)
  • egg
  • grated parmesan – 1/2 cup
  • grated mozzerella – 1/2 lb
  • garlic – 4 cloves (chopped)
  • cayenne pepper
  • chipotle chili pepper
  • paprika
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • sugar
  • salt
  • pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Saute garlic and onions, with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Place into a pot with tomato sauce and simmer.
  3. Brown meat and add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, chili pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce and mix.
  4. In a large bowl, fold together the ricotta, egg, parmesan, mozzerella, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  5. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Lay oven-ready lasagna noodles on top (leaving some space between noodles).
  6. Spoon cheese mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Cover with another layer of noodles.
  7. Spoon beef mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Cover with another layer of noodles.
  8. Repeat with remaining ingredients, for a total of 4-6 layers of noodles.
  9. Cover with tomato sauce, sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan on top.
  10. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake (covered) for 1 hour.
  11. Remove aluminum foil and bake (uncovered) for 10 minutes.

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BRAISED PORK SHOULDER

Shanghai dishes are often braised or stewed in sugar and soy sauce. This Chinese-style pulled pork dish has a rich flavorful sauce and goes great with all kinds of noodles, even ramen or egg noodles! And it’s easy to make in a slow cooker.

INGREDIENTS:

  • pork shoulder (half) – 4 pounds
  • 5 spice powder
  • chicken broth – 2 cups
  • soy sauce – 1/2 cup
  • brown sugar – 1/4 cup
  • rice wine – 2 tablespoons
  • chili flakes – 1/2 teaspoon
  • scallions – handful, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ginger – 5 slices
  • garlic – 5 cloves, cut into halves
  • shitake mushrooms – 8, cut into halves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Rub pork shoulder with 5 spice powder and place in slow cooker, skin side down.
  • Combine broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine & chili flakes in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add marinade, scallions, ginger, garlic & mushrooms to slow cooker.
  • Cook on LOW for 8 hours.

CAULIFLOWER BACON SALAD

This is the perfect side for any meat entree, especially BBQ. Toss with a bit of ranch dressing for a creamier version. It’s delicious hot or cold, so it can be made in advance and refrigerated.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 3 slices bacon (cooked and diced)
  • 1 shallot (finely chopped)
  • paprika – 1/2 teaspoon
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil, paprika, salt & pepper
  • Bake cauliflower at 350 degrees F, for 20 minutes
  • Fry bacon until crispy, then dice into small pieces
  • Cook shallots in bacon fat
  • Toss bacon and shallots with baked cauliflower

BRAISED PORK BELLY

This is a traditional dish from Shanghai, where the flavors are rich and strong. Cook this in advance and refrigerate, so you can easily scoop the fat off the surface. Serve with crunchy green Chinese veggies and white rice.

INGREDIENTS:

  • pork belly – 2 pounds
  • 2 shallots
  • ginger – 5 slices
  • rock sugar
  • mushroom soy – 2 tablespoons
  • rice wine – 1 tablespoon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 star anise
  • beef stock – 2 cups

INSTRUCTIONS:

PORK CHOPS IN APPLES & ONIONS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bone-in pork chops (brine in salt & peppercorns)
  • 4 carrots (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 3 red potatoes (cut into 1 inch pieces)

MARINADE:

  • 1 small onion (thin sliced)
  • 1 apple (thin sliced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (diced)
  • butter – 1 tablespoon
  • sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups broth
  • 1/4 cup wine

QUICHE LORRAINE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 eggs
  • half & half – 1/2 cup
  • swiss cheese – 1/3 cup (finely chopped)
  • 1 shallot (finely chopped)
  • 3 slices bacon (cooked and diced)
  • Pillsbury crescent roll (pressed into cake/pie pan, with a 2-3 inch edge)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Fry bacon until crispy, then dice into small pieces.
  • Cook shallots in bacon fat.
  • Layer shallots, bacon and cheese in bottom of pan.
  • Beat eggs then add half & half, salt & pepper to taste.
  • Slowly pour into pan.
  • Bake at 350°F, for 30 minutes

BBQ PORK LOIN RIBS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 pork loin ribs

MARINADE:

  • BBQ sauce – 1/2 cup
  • honey – 1/4 cup
  • water – 1/4 cup
  • 3 garlic cloves (diced)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:  slow-cooker

  • Place ribs in slow-cooker and add marinade.
  • Cook on LOW for 5 hours

INSTRUCTIONS:  oven

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place ribs in an oven safe pan and add marinade.
  • Cover pan tightly with tin foil.
  • Bake for 2 hours.

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