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Lasagna Cupcakes

I was reading through my food blogs on Flipboard one night and I found a recipe for these lasagna cupcakes. I modified it a little bit because I have made lasagna quite a few times and I know what I like in it. The original recipe is from Tablespoon.com but I changed it so much that I am going to just re-write it in my own words here. I chose to use gyoza skins instead of wonton ones because they are already round. I liked the way they came out when I used them whole but they can also be cut to size to allow you to see the layers a bit better when you take the cupcake out of the liner to serve it. The gyoza skins end up being soft like regular noodles.  If you use a whole one, the top layer skin sticks out of the sauce just a little bit and becomes crunchy, just like the edges of a lasagna baked in a 9×13 pan!  I used my family’s classic ricotta mix from our lasagna recipe I have been making since I was a kid. The sauce, I kind of made up as I was going along but it is the basic meat sauce I always make really. I love these so much and I am currently dreaming up all the different recipes I can turn in to cupcakes now!

Lasagna Cupcakes
Makes 22 cupcakes

For the Sauce:
3 8oz cans no salt added tomato sauce
1/2 a large, yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 lb ground turkey, browned
salt and pepper to taste

For the Filling:
1 8oz container ricotta cheese
a handful of grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

44 gyoza wrappers
mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350F.

To begin, brown the onions and garlic in a little bit of olive oil. While they cook, put the sauce into a medium saucepan. Add the onions and garlic to the sauce and use the same pan to cook the ground turkey. I seasoned the turkey itself with salt and pepper and a little bit of garlic powder as well but you don’t HAVE to do that. Once the turkey is done cooking, add it to the sauce as well. Let the sauce cook while you mix up the ricotta cheese and until you are ready to assemble. I left it for a good hour while I made dessert tonight. The longer it cooks on low, the better it will be.

Mix the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, and salt/pepper in a bowl. Taste it. If it needs more of anything, you can add it now.

To assemble the lasagna cupcakes, line your cupcake pan with foil cupcake liners. I found these to be much easier clean up than spraying the pan itself and building them that way. Spray the liners with a little bit of cooking spray. Place one gyoza skin in the bottom of each well. Add a tablespoon or so of the meat sauce, then about a teaspoon of ricotta, then a sprinkle of mozzarella. Place another gyoza skin on top of that, then another teaspoon ricotta cheese, a tablespoon of sauce and another sprinkling of mozzarella. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until they are golden on top and bubbly.

When I got to the last 4, I ran out of ricotta cheese. Instead of ricotta, I layered gyoza, meat sauce, pepperoni slice, mozzarella, gyoza, meat sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella. These were a touch smaller than the other ones but still just as tasty! Now for the pictures.

In the beginning…

First layer, complete:

Baked!

Close up!

366: Picture 73

Plated:

I can’t wait to make some more of these to freeze for lunches. It is such a great idea that can be applied to a bunch of different recipes! I might actually do this with shepherd’s pie for tomorrow night’s dinner. Hope you enjoy!

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in General Food, Meals!

 

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A nice dinner

My sister reminded me last night that I haven’t written a blog post since October so I thought I would throw one up tonight after I finished making dinner. I even have pictures! 😀

I decided that since it was a beautiful day out today, I would open all the windows in the house and clean. Once I got started, I ended up wanting to cook a nice dinner as well. The spring air makes me so happy 😀 I made cheeseburgers with animal sauce, caramelized onions, pretzel rolls, and salt and vinegar chips. I was intending to grill the burgers and potatoes but the grill ran out of propane after the potatoes were done. I ended up making those in a cast iron skillet instead.

I didn’t really change the recipes that I used for each thing so there aren’t too many comments to make.

Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Salt and Vinegar Grilled Potato “Chips”

I saw Bobby Flay make these on a commercial for his grilling show the other day. They were pretty delicious. I made them with Golden Potatoes that were pretty small but I still cut them in coins before I put them on the grill. Pre-boiling them really does make them cook so much faster!

Ingredients
6 golden potatoes, scrubbed
Canola oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Red Wine vinegar (Malt would have been better)
Kosher salt

Heat the grill to medium.
Place potatoes in a pot of cold water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook for 10 minutes once it starts boiling. Drain, let cool more than I did and slice into 1/4-inch slices.

Toss the potato pieces in a little oil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Place them on the grill until they are golden brown and cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes.
Take the slices off the grill and move them to a platter in an even layer and immediately drizzle with the vinegar and season with salt.

Pretzel Rolls I have made quite a few times and every time, they are amazing. This time was no exception. They don’t have a lot of ingredients and they are pretty easy. I use my mixer so my recipe varies a bit from what the original says to do. I got the recipe from Serious Eats, along with the ones for the animal style sauce AND the caramelized onions. I highly recommend Serious Eats whenever I can.

Pretzel Rolls

Ingredients
2 3/4 – 3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup and 1 tablespoon hot water
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal

Place the bread flour, instant yeast, kosher salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix with the beater until it is well combined. Swap to the dough hook and stream the water in while the mixer is on low speed. Once all the water is mixed in, set the mixer on 3-4 and let it mix for a few minutes until the dough forms a ball. Put the dough ball into a greased bowl and let it double in size (30 minutes or more).

Once doubled in size, punch the dough down and separate it into 8 equal pieces (I ended up with 7 this time) and form each piece into a ball. Slash the tops with an X and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

During this time, fill a stock pot with water and let it come to a boil. Heat the oven to 375F. Once it starts to boil add the baking soda and sugar to the water. Do it slowly because the baking soda will make the water froth! Once 30 minutes are up, boil the pretzels for 30 seconds on each side. Place them on a baking sheet that has been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle the rolls with Kosher salt while they are still wet from their bath. (The original recipe says to use egg whites but I didn’t want to waste an egg)

Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown and look like pretzels!

Next up, the caramelized onions! These are part of the Serious Eats spread on how to make an In-n-Out burger at home. I followed the directions for the onions and also for the animal sauce.
Serious Eats In-n-Out Burger Recipe

Ingredients
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

To make the onions:
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until onions are well browned, about 15 minutes. Once onions begin to sizzle heavily and appear dry, add 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir. Continue cooking until water evaporates and onions start sizzling again. Repeat process, adding 1 tablespoon of water with each iteration until onions are meltingly soft and dark brown, about 3 times total. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

To make the sauce:
Put the mayo, ketchup, relish, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and mix until it is combined.

Finally, I made a tomato mozzarella salad with basil, parsley, scallions and vinegar/oil for the dressing. It is something I make in the summer all the time so I thought it would go well with this dinner. This is the recipe I followed originally for it. Tomato Mozzarella Salad is based on a caprese salad. I use a pint of regular red grape tomatoes. Unfortunately, it is not the season for tomatoes so these were a little bit too tart.

The last photo is the best, I think! Everything all finished and ready to eat 😀

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Meals!

 

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Calzones

So i bought some pizza dough with the intention of using it for making cheese calzones. I can’t order them at any of the pizza places around town so I thought I should make it myself.

I used whole milk ricotta cheese with a little garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese mixed in. I do it to taste so I don’t have any measurements. I split a pre-made pizza dough into 4 pieces and rolled out 2 of them and saved 2 of them. I rolled them thin and put a spoonful of ricotta cheese on each one and put some mozzarella cheese on top of that. I closed them up and baked them at 400F for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and delicious. 😀 I made a romaine salad with oil and vinegar as a side dish as well.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2009 in General Food, Meals!

 

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Shrimpies and salad

I was watching “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” on the Food Network this afternoon and I just had to try the panzanella salad that he made. The recipe looked really simple but delicious. It turns out that it really was DELICIOUS. I served it with shrimp cooked in the same mixture that the bread is tossed in (I made a second batch of the butter/garlic/oil mix while the bread was toasting in the oven.) I used regular olives because that’s what I had in the house. I also used Apple Cider vinegar for the same reason.

Ingredients:
* 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into small cubes
* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 pints red and yellow, grape and pear tomatoes, sliced in 1/2
* 1 cup halved, sliced kalamata olives
* 1/2 pound perlini mozzarella
* 8 basil leaves, chopped

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, the butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook to infuse the butter and oil with the garlic, about 4 minutes.

Add the cubed bread to a large bowl, pour the butter and garlic mixture over the bread and toss to coat. Transfer to a sheet tray and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar and set aside.

In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, croutons, basil, and the oil and vinegar mixture. Gently toss to coat all the tomatoes and croutons. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes before serving.

At first I thought the show was going to be lame but he is just so adorable! It is one of those shows that I will just HAVE to see on the weekends now. Incredible!

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2009 in General Food, Meals!

 

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Home again.

Well, we are home again and I decided that after cleaning the house all day, I didn’t want to cook anything. However, the guys in the IRC convinced me that I should make pasta with sauce for dinner. I took a can of diced tomatoes and a tiny can of sauce and added some oregano, 3 cloves of fresh garlic, 2 yellow tomatoes from our garden, 2 green bell peppers from our garden and let it cook for about 20 minutes. It was at that point that I decided that I should try adding some of our new dried Gourmet Mushroom (porcini, oyster, brazilian, ivory portabellas, and shiitake) mix to the sauce. I rehydrated them according to the directions on the canister and added them to the sauce. They cooked in the sauce for a good 5 minutes. I figured the angel hair was done cooking so the sauce should be pretty well done as well. It all tasted fantastic but the mushrooms definitely needed to be soaked longer. Some were perfect and others were still sorta hard and weird tasting. All in all, topped with mozzarella and parmesan, the pasta dish was awesome enough for me to try making it again.
Here are some pics of this easy pasta dish!

Pasta cooking:

Sauce cooking:

The finished product!

Gourmet Mushroom Blend:

I am going to need some mushroom recipes for this baby!

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2008 in General Food, Meals!

 

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