Sunday, 9 September 2012

Lazy Lasagna

Fortunately the rest of my lazy Saturday was not interrupted by arguments, loud music, DIY or noxious smells. In fact I spent a very happy couple of hours just breathing in the sweet fresh air and listening to the birds singing all around me. With a bit of luck I hope to be doing the same again today.

Laurence is thrilled with the kittens and has put some of the pictures on Facebook to show me. They are absolutely adorable but bigger than I thought they would be. However they are inoculated, neutered and microchipped so you can't say fairer than that for £80. He has to let the owners know if he is taken them by tomorrow. I think the answer will be 'yes'.

Well it hasn't got off to a good start, my new next door neighbours are having an argument. I have no idea what about but a male voice has come over the fence loud and clear 'that's it! I'm not having alcohol in this house ever again!' Oh dear, sounds like someone has been partying just a bit too much.

As it is so beautiful out there I've decided we are eating al fresco and am making a quick lasagna which we can eat out on the decking without having to take loads of bowls and serving spoons. One dish, one serving spoon, plates, jug of fruit juice, forks. Sometimes we have salad with it but as this is spur of the moment we'll be missing that out and having some garlic bread instead. If anyone else fancies a quick dinner one day this is how I do it.

Garlic Bread

Take one baguette or several crusty rolls and split down the middle. Take approx 50 -100 gms (this depends on how much bread you are covering) of softened butter and 1 - 2 pureed garlic cloves. To puree garlic either use a garlic crusher on the finest setting or place in a pestle and mortar and work until a smooth paste has been formed. Mix the garlic and butter together with a fork until creamy and smooth. Spread generously onto the bread and pop under the grill for 5 mins until the butter has sunk into the bread and is starting to brown.

Quick Lasagna

You will need

1 medium onion finely chopped
500g minced beef (or assorted veg chopped for the veggie version)
1 beef or veg oxo cube
1 tin chopped tomatos
1/4 pint warm water
salt pepper
250g grated cheese
50g butter plus 5g extra for frying
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 pint milk
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
12 sheets of dried lasagna.

In a pan melt a knob of butter and fry the onion until softened. Add meat , or veggies, season well and cook until brown, or softened if you are doing the veggie version. Add the tomatoes, water and stock cube and simmer with lid on for about 15 mins.

While meat is simmering pour the milk into a pan add the flour and nutmeg and whisk until well mixed. Add the 50g of butter cut into small cubes and heat slowly, stirring CONTINUOUSLY until the butter has melted and the sauce thickens to form a double cream consistency. Stirring is important if you don't want lumps or the mixture to burn. Remove from heat and put aside.

In a lasagna pan starting with the meat/veg mixture layer meat, white sauce lasagna sheets finishing with a layer of white sauce. You should have enough for three layers. Make sure the lasagna sheets are well covered or they will come out hard.  Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and place in the middle of the oven 180 fan for 20 -30 mins until cheese is brown and bubbling.

This recipe makes enough for 4 - 6 good servings and freezes well.

Well I'd better go and start, typing the recipe up has made my mouth water. There is nothing as nice as Italian food on a hot day.

I'm back in work tomorrow so the next blog will be Friday.