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Ace's Culinary Corner

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,242
71
One of my other passions happens to be food. Good food. Really really good food, the stuff that takes hours or more to prepare. So I thought I would start a thread here in the off topic section that I could share some of my favorite foods, recipes and such. No pressure from a 'gourmet' forum, as this is off topic amateur hour.

My first post in this thread is a favorite dish of anyone who loves Italian food - lasagne!
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,242
71
Mile High Sausage and Mushroom Lasagne

Recipe ingredients - all approximate and subject to change:

Homemade Pasta;

I use one of the simplest and basic recipes I've found, and as with any recipe, use it as a guideline and modify it as you see fit and what may work best for you.

For every 1 cup of flour you need, add 2 eggs.

For a 'normal sized' 13x9 pan, 2 cups and 4 eggs works, but for the 'mile high' version I am making in the tall Pampered Chef stoneware, I went with 3 cups and 6 eggs. Add salt and a dash of olive oil. I cheat and have a Kitchen Aide mixer with the dough hook attachment. Once the ingredients are in the bowl and mixing, add a splash of water to get the right consistency. Unlike a bread dough that is very soft and pliable, a pasta dough should be much firmer. This is something that comes with experience, whether using a mixer or kneading the dough by hand. The ideal dough should be dense, firm, not doughy & moist. Once it has been kneaded a good five minutes by hand or mixer, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.

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After the dough ball comes out of the fridge, its time to form it into a log, so you can section it out to feed through the pasta roller. At this time you should fill your pot and get the water boiling while you are working with the pasta.

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It's best to start the pasta first, but pull out the the ricotta & mozzarella cheeses from the fridge to come up to room temp while you prepare all the other ingredients.

Once the pasta is made and in the fridge, heat up the saute pan and add 3-4 lbs of sausage. My preferred blend is spicy turkey sausage, but you can do a blend of 50/50 hot sausage with turkey sausage too. A splash of olive oil in the saute pan and then cook the sausage, breaking up with a flat bladed wooden spoon works best. There's no need to over cook the sausage as it will bake in the lasagne later, so you are only cooking it enough so that it chops up nicely in the food processor.

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You need a clean work surface, rolling/pasta pin, and dough cutter.

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If you make your own pasta, besides the 'pasta pin' you also need a pasta rack, the simple wooden dowel setups work great. After you have rolled out your rectangular sections and have filled up the rack, your water should be boiling and ready to drop in the pasta.

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As I was making such a big batch, I had to cook the pasta in 2 stages, as the pasta rack was full, so I reduced the boil on the water down to a simmer, and built the bottom half of the lasagne. I had a big piece of pasta I used for the bottom layer, and the rest of the pieces were made to cover about 50% of the pan. Trim pieces with kitchen shears as required.

For the cheese layer inside the lasagne, a 16oz ricotta is fine, I added an extra 8oz for my king size version. Add 1 egg for each 16oz of ricotta, the eggs I had on hand were smaller, so I added a second, but this is your preference. If you like a 'looser' ricotta mixture, don't add another, firmer add the extra egg. A pinch of salt, some fresh ground pepper, and about a cup of parmesan & shredded mozzarella cheese per 16oz of ricotta.

Can't say enough about cooking with stone-wear, the heat transfer properties are superior to metal or pyrex. This is especially evident with pizza, cookies, chicken wings, etc. Stuff that normally burns, doesn't, and after it's seasoned, pretty much non-stick too. Layer the pasta, sauce, ground sausage, mushroom, spread with spoon, more pasta.

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Another pasta layer, and then the ricotta mixture;

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Add more mozzarella on top of the ricotta mixture, spread it thinly, there's a lot of cheese here, you don't want an overly thick cheese layer. That can lead to a slice that just falls apart when you serve it right out of the oven.

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This is what the fresh pasta looks like in the pot, it only takes about 2-3 minutes for it to cook and be ready for the rack. Once in the colander, spray with cold water to cool it down and remove any starch that can make it stick together. I learned this the hard way on one batch and it turned into a gooey mess that had to be tossed!

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Here's our Bengal Tiger cat, Tyson. Resident chow hound.

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Repeat layering, and then top with fresh grated Reggiano, bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.

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Checking on the fruits of my labor;

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Here's what it looks like after refrigerated when you are carving up the leftovers;

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Any questions or comments, feel free to post feedback. Besides great cars, you need good food and beer!

Cheers!
 
I love me some lasagne but where's the ingredients?
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,242
71
NFSBOSS said:
I love me some lasagne but where's the ingredients?

I wanted my post to be the second one in the thread, but knew it would take time to put it all together with the pix and such, so I made the second post, and then clicked modify to add all the content.

Yeah, I'm a sneaky SOB. =D

I will have to post my Chicken Marsala recipe in another post.
 
I'm a chef for almost 30 years,have my own restaurant for 15 years,if anybody needs idea's or help just hit me up,always willing to help.
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,242
71
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssss

That's the sound of my balloon deflating... :-[ ( I did say 'amateur' )

It's all good, we all learn from those who are better, etc. I will hit you up for tips as required, you have been warned! =) Thanks.

p.s.

I'm an IT professional, and no I won't fix your computer, or recommend anything. hehe.
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,242
71
One thing I left out was 'the red sauce'. I also 'cheat' here and use Prego as there really isn't much difference in making my own, and it has a bit of sweetness that's a good balance to the sausage and mushroom flavors.

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Sesshomurai

What?!?! You use jar sauce after all that gourmet homemade pasta? lol

I enjoy cooking as well. For my meat lasagna I actually make homemade meatballs and mush those up. A blend of beef, veal and pork with various spices, bread crumbs, crackers, eggs, pancetta, parmesan, garlic, etc. Truly outshines off the shelf meats. I have yet to make my own pasta so my meat has to be the center piece.

For the sauce, its easy and void of preservatives and nitrates found in jar food. Just take crushed tomatos, olive oil, parmesan, garlic and optionally basil leaves and put it in a blender. viola!
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,242
71
Yeah, making your own red sauce isn't that hard but with the scratch pasta for this dish, it really doesn't matter that much and ends up just pushing to total time (prep, create, cook, cleanup) over 3 hours. Sure I could make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it, but this stuff isn't that bad. I also make my own meatballs that the family goes nuts for, 3lbs 80/20, 1.5 lbs ground turkey, and 1.5 lbs ground pork, lots of garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, egg, parmesan, some Mrs Dash seasoning, and some red pepper flake.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Good food matters. Some of my favorites from 2012:

Lobstah Rolls:
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Cajun New York Steaks:
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Filet with mushroom Marsala reduction on garlic mash:7671524576_d32ef60ae7.jpg

Pork cutlet katsu:
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Chicken Wings
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No pictures, but also been working on a braised shortrib...maybe 5 or 6 iterations this year. Key ingredient is about a dozen bay leaves from the garden.

Also have a 'go to' menu I call 'Beef-o-rama' for dinner parties. Open face filet on 1/4" french bread crostini with mayo-lemon-tarragon, Beef adobo, Mustard/onion/Worchester Beef, Twice baked potato, and a Panna Cotta for desert. There's usually one more entree beef item, but I try to change that up.
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,242
71
Scratch made Pizza - Veggie/Buffalo Chicken & Bacon/Bacon

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Ragu recipe I use
4 medium onions chopped finely
1 cup olive oil
2 cans 28 oz. peeled tomatoes
2 cans 12 oz. tomato paste. Diluted in 1 cup of water
10 leaves basil
A pinch of oregano
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. pork neck bones
10 pork spareribs
5 links of sausages
8 oz. pork skin cut in thin strips
You can also add meat balls, boneless pork or beef loin roast larded with garlic.

PREPARATION
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until the onions are golden, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add tomato paste a little at a time, stirring constantly. Cook it a few minutes and add an additional 2 cups of water. In a large bowl strain tomatoes to eliminate the seeds, or if you do not mind the seeds use a blender to crush the tomatoes, put into the saucepan. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaves. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes.
Wash neck bones, spareribs, and pork skin strips, add them to the pot.
Separate sausages into links and with any other meat, add to the sauce.
Heat to a boil, then reduce heat, taste for salt and simmer for 2 hours.
If it is too salty add a few skinned whole potatoes. When you first begin to cook the sauce it will be a little watery, as the sauce cooks it will reach the right consistency.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
ArizonaGT said:
I used this recipe for Chicken Marsala last night, my wife loved it so much I will be making it again tonight:

http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/03/chicken-marsala/

Thanks for posting this recipe. :)

I've been sauteing mushrooms for over 30 years, regularly order chicken marsala in restaurants...but never made it until tonight! My wife loved it too, and went for seconds! 8)

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