Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Cooking for Kids - Chicken Lasagne with a Twist - Sausage Casserole

    Our Grand daughter Sophia is about to turn 14 , where has that time gone, here she is with her friend Annabel, just little kids, only 5 years ago

    now they are beautiful young ladies…anyway I digress, I am contributing my Chicken and Corn Lasagne for dinner on Sunday, to celebrate her birthday.
    We are about to swan off for the weekend, so I needed to get it made and into the freezer .
    It is not strictly speaking Italian.
    The Chicken part is actually a Chicken and White Bean Chili that I have borrowed from Giada de Laurentis, Food
    The kids like it and it makes an excellent filling for the lasagne.
    I bought free range breast and thighs and minced them in the food processor.
    Nothing but the best for our kids!
    I cut out the chili powder, there are some young mouths not quite ready for heat, but I did add a little red chili flakes. You need a little bite.
    The addition of celery salt, I really like, I feel it helps to give an authentic flavour to the chili.
    I also disregarded the Swiss chard (Silverbeet) for the kids...but have left it in the recipe, I think I would like it, if making for a wider audience. it would add great colour

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 pounds/1 kg ground chicken
    1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
    2 tablespoons ground cumin
    1 tablespoon fennel seeds
    1 tablespoon celery salt
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    3 tablespoons flour
    2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
    1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard,(Silverbeet) stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
    11/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
    4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

    In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven,
    heat the oil over medium-high heat.
    Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
    Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, celery salt and chili powder.
    Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
    Stir the flour into the chicken mixture.
    Add the beans, Swiss chard, (if you are using it) corn, and chicken stock.
    Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
    Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened.
    Add the red pepper flakes and chopped parsley, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
    Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    Also make a béchamel sauce
    2 tablespoon unsalted butter
    2 tablespoon white flour
    2 cups milk infused with peppercorns, a peeled shallot and 2 bay leaves
    Just pop the milk into the microwave about 2 minutes
    Heats and infuse all at once.
    20 gms grated Parmesan
    20 gms grated Feta
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Grated Mozzarella for the topping
    Melt the butter
    Add the flour
    Cook for about 3 minutes to cook the flour out
    Add the strained hot milk
    Stir well and bring to the boil to thicken
    Simmer about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

    Cool a little
    Add cheeses
    Stir well
    Taste and adjust seasoning

    To assemble
    Lightly cover the bottom of gratin dish with béchamel
    Place lasagne sheets on top
    Layer of chicken

    More béchamel
    More chicken
    Lasagne and then cover with the remainder of the béchamel

    Pre heat oven to 180
    Into the oven for 20 mins

    add grated Mozzarella then a sprinkling of breadcrumbs for a little crunch at the end

    I then covered it and into the freezer for Sunday.
    Now onto the Sausage Dish for the Thursday Night Feats With Grandma
    Veal Bratwurst Casserole

    I love Veal Bratwurst and its not easy to find in the local Supermarket, but Faro Fresh, over on the North Shore has a wonderful selection of Deli meats. IN fact all of their meat is excellent. More about that later. I bought a few packets while I was there. Some for the Freezer
    Great dinner, for the kids and to get the vege into them, how about a nice casserole.
    Just a base of carrots, onions, celery and garlic.
    I added some White Balsamic vinegar for acidity and also it has a lovely sweetness to it
    And separately, I fried some onions. Sausages and onions. Oh Yes
    This is so tasty and so, so simple, soft meaty sausages, topped with a fluffy Cheesy Potato Topping.
    A kids delight.

    5 Veal Bratwurst Sausages
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 small red onion fine chop
    1 small carrot finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic finely chopped
    1 stick of celery finely chopped
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    A little water
    2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

    For the fried onions
    1 large onion peeled and sliced
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 cups chicken stock
    I browned the sausages in a pan and then transferred them to a casserole dish

    Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the pan
    Season and sauté till they get a little colour and start to tenderize.
    Add a little water and let that absorb
    Add white balsamic vinegar

    Meanwhile in another pan
    Add olive oil and the sliced onion
    Cook slowly to caramelize
    Add flour stir well and let cook for a few minutes

    Add chicken stock
    Bring to the boil stirring while you do
    Simmer about 5 minutes
    Add the other vege

    Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary
    and then pour the finished sauce over the sausages

    Potato Topping
    4 large potatoes peeled and chunked
    3 tablespoon milk
    Big knob of butter
    70 gms cream cheese
    1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
    1 egg
    Sea salt and ground white pepper

    Meanwhile cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender
    Strain and make sure they are quite dry

    Heat the milk and butter in the microwave or a small pot
    Now I am with Delia Smith, when it comes to mashing.
    You can either put the hot potatoes through a ricer, or just get out your hand beater
    and whip them up with that.

    Start off slowly, you don't want to end up with it all over you
    Add the hot milk and butter

    Beat them up
    When they are smooth
    Add the shallots and cream cheese
    You can start beating with a fork now
    Add egg
    Season with salt and white pepper
    Continue to beat till smooth
    Pile on top of sausages

    I have popped this into the fridge and will finish it off tomorrow night
    From room temperature,
    180C for 30 mins
    Should be a winner

    No comments: