Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not your Average Lasagne - this one Disapppears!

I was reading here, and I had to try out substituting zucchini for the asparagus in this delightful Asparagus and Ham lasagne.  Asparagus season is long gone here, but the zucchini is beating down a path to my door.

Kolz Kidz Riff on Ham & Cheddar & Zucchini Lasagne

9 uncooked lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 1/2 lb. zuchinni, cut into julienne strips, or half moon slices
1 (8-oz.) pkg. (3 cups) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 lb. cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 3/4 cups)
2 cups milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chicken-flavor instant bouillon
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded Cheddar-mozzarella cheese blend

1. Cook lasagna noodles to desired doneness (al dente - still a little undone) as directed on package.  Hey, don't get discouraged. This is as easy as boiling a big pot of water, putting in 9 large noodles into the boiling water, setting a kitchen timer, and then fishing them out with a pair of tongues a minute before you think you needed to.  Or pick up the big pot and Drain. You can do it. Continue reading. (Cook's note, you may not want to fall for the gimmick of no-cook lasagne noodles, just trust me on this. Or add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the sauce so your no-cook noodles will cook in the lasagne and be sure and cover well with foil).

2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Then do it again, just to be sure you're not sand blasting some yummy cheesiness stuck to your pan after dinner. Melt margarine in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and mushrooms; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until zucchini is taking on some color, and softening a bit. Now add the ham and warm through.  Pour into large bowl.. Set aside.

3. In same skillet, combine 1/2 cup of the milk, flour, bouillon, pepper and Dijon mustard; blend well with wire whisk. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups milk; blend well. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese until melted. See.. you just mastered a variation of the mother sauce, bechamel. Take a bow. Leave out the dijon another time and add a bit more cheddar and you have your basic cheese sauce suitable for well, most everything.

4. To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 cup sauce evenly in bottom of sprayed baking dish. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce for topping. Add remaining sauce to ham mixture; mix well.

5. Arrange 3 cooked noodles over sauce in baking dish. Spoon and spread half of ham mixture over noodles; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and reserved 1/2 cup sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

6. Bake at 350°F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Your tummy will thank you.  Really.  Just try the recipe, and listen carefully.
P.S. - Instead of Ham you can use leftover grilled chicken in this recipe.  Just do these little steps at your next cookout or grill session.  Make way too much grilled chicken, before letting the family eat it all, chill the extras in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator.  When you get around to it the next day, remove meat from the bones, or cube the boneless chicken, and remember this recipe.  See.  Easy Peasy. You're welcome. And remember.. sweet peas go nicely with zucchini, chicken and cheddar lasagne too.


Anonymous said...

oh wow this sounds delicious! I love the twist on lasagna and zucchini!

Anonymous said...

So will your kids actually eat the zucchini this way and not pick it out? :)

KelliSue Kolz said...

Allboys: Yes, my children will eat zucchini in all its forms. But if your children are picker outers of zucchini, here's a sneaky trick.

Shred it in the largest shreds you can manage. Or mandoline it, if you're a gadget nut. I defy them to get their hands saucy in an attempt to remove it. Squeeze the shreds to remove liquid. Cut the ham in larger chunks to compensate, just so you'll have something to bite.

SnoWhite said...

Awesome - I bet this is really tasty with zucchini! So glad your family enjoyed it :)