lasagna

All posts tagged lasagna

Fishy Business: Two Inventive Dishes from the Sea

Published August 24, 2014 by The Feminist

fish

Contrary to what the first part of the above title may suggest, this post is actually a celebration of all the wonderful things that can be found under the Sea, and has nothing to do with rather suspicious or shady affairs with handsome Italian business men in Armani suits. (Sorry to disappoint you)

Although I will always attempt to eat vegetarian, there are days when I simply cannot resist the enticing call of a wonderful fish dish. (After all, I am a Pieces.)

The following dishes are true showstoppers that will make for a perfect Sunday meal with the family. They are full with bold flavours, colours and textures and will satisfy your fishy cravings in a heartbeat.

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Oriental Fish Fingers with a Thai-inspired Warm Noodle Salad

These fish fingers are without a doubt the best on the entire planet. Yes, I repeat: the best. You can also use this method to make crispy prawns, scallops, salmon and vegetarian alternatives such as tofu.

For the Fish fingers:

  • 600gr of strong white fish, cut into thick strips
  • Flour
  • 100gr desiccated coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper

For the sweet-and-spicy dip:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the warm noodle salad:

  • 300gr soba noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the package
  • 2 red chilies, finely sliced
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pak choi, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 200gr bean sprouts
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Lots of fresh coriander
  • Handful of sesame seeds
  • Juice one 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Method:

  1. Season the chunks of fish with salt and pepper and a tiny bit of chili powder. Place the flour onto a plate. Place the beaten eggs into a wide bowl and place the desiccated coconut on another plate. Take a piece of fish and dust it in the flour, next dip it in the egg (allowing any excess to drip off) and finally into the coconut. Put the fish fingers on a large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This is an essential step in creating the perfect fish fingers, so do not be tempted to skip it!)
  2. Meanwhile, make your dipping sauce by mixing everything together and pouring the sauce into individual serving jars.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and add the pak choi, ginger, chili, garlic, and red pepper and fry 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked noodles and beans sprouts and add all the other sauces and lime juice. Stir in the sesame seeds and season to taste. Finish with lots of coriander and spring onion.
  4. Deep-fry the fish fingers for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lime, the sweet and spicy dip and the fragrant noodles.

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Red Bream and Pesto lasagna

What makes this lasagna truly stand out is the home-made basil and almond pesto. Sure, you can just use store-bought pesto if you want, to save yourself the time and effort, but trust me: this pesto will transform an already great lasagna into an I-can’t-stop-eating-this-is-sooo-good lasagna.

Ingredients

For the basil and almond pesto:

  • 2 huge bushes of fresh basil
  • 50gr parmesan cheese
  • One clove of garlic
  • Handful of white almonds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good quality olive oil

For the lasagna

  • Sheets of dried lasagna (no-precooking necessary)
  • 2 large courgettes, cut into 0,5cm slices
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 500-600 gr red bream filet, cut into strips
  • Home-made pesto
  • 200gr mozzarella, cut into thin slices

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grill the courgette slices for a couple of minutes on each side until you get a lovely griddle effect. Set aside.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the garlic, onion and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato passata, oregano, balsamic vinegar and harissa. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Make the pesto by blending all the ingredients together. The pesto should have a rather thick consistency and look more like a tapenade rather than a pesto.
  4. Grease individual baking dishes with butter and start assembling the lasagna. First a layer of lasagna sheets, then the courgette slices topped with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Then another layer of lasagna sheets, followed by the fish topped with a generous layer of that home-made pesto. Now another layer of lasagna sheets and another of the courgettes and tomato sauce. Finish with a final layer of lasagna sheets and spread some remaining pesto over the top. Put the mozzarella cheese on top of the lasagna and put in the oven for 30 minutes.

Bellisima! A very yummy Italian weekend

Published January 6, 2014 by The Feminist

italian

Italian food. I still have to meet the first person who doesn’t like it. And to be honest, I don’t think I will ever meet him or her, because it is simply physically and emotionally impossible not to be swept away by the real flavours of Italian cuisine.

Just so you know, when I’m talking about Italian food, I do not mean spaghetti Bolognese or spaghetti and meatballs.

the horror

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with these two dishes- they are actually pretty yummy- but they are just not really Italian.

No, when I’m talking about Italian food, I’m talking about food that kicks you in the balls. Food that is so full of flavour, freshness and depth, it will take your breath away. Real, honest Italian food does not look dainty or pretty. It is gutsy and robust.

The bigger the plate, the better.

Now that is a cuisine I love.

As you all know, I like to do my own spin on classic dishes. So if you are a traditional Italian, who prefers his dishes the way la mamma used to make them, I strongly advise you to click away.

If not, let’s bring on some scrumptious Italian food de la casa de Eveline!

To make things even better, both dishes are completely vegetarian. But don’t let that scare you, (not so) dear meat eater! If you make these recipes, you will forget there even was such a thing as meat to begin with!

Pesto lasagna

This was by far the best lasagna I had ever eaten. Grilled vegetables, punchy pesto and smooth béchamel. Eating a piece of this lasagna is like watching a brand new episode of Sherlock: so good it will give you heart palpitations.

Don’t say I haven’t warned you!

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Ingredients:

  • Lasagna leaves, dried and ready-to-use
  • 1 large courgette or 2 smaller ones, cut into 0,5cm slices
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200gr minced tofu or seitan or quorn
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 150gr homemade pesto
  • 20gr butter
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of flour
  • 4dl milk
  • 150gr parmesan cheese, grated (plus some extra to finish)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a square oven dish with butter.
  2. Make the tomato sauce. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic, onion, spices and herbs for a couple of minutes. Add the vegetables (carrot, celery and pepper)  and vegetarian mince and fry for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the passata and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let is simmer for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Grill the courgette slices on a hot griddle pan. Set aside
  5. Make your béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a small sauce pan. Once melted, stir in the flour and whisk well. Gradually pour in the milk, while whisking vigorously. Stir the mixture until it starts to thicken and until there are no lumps left. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the grated parmesan.
  6. Assemble the lasagna. Start with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Now put a layer of lasagna leaves on top. Then a generous layer of tomato sauce- a layer of lasagna leaves- a layer of fresh pesto topped with courgette slices- a layer of lasagna leaves- layer of tomato sauce- layers of pesto and courgette-layer of lasagna leaves…. Repeat this process until you have used up all your tomato sauce, pesto and courgettes. Now finish with the scrummy béchamel and sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan on top.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Mediterranean Mash with stuffed courgette spirals

This is truly the best of both worlds coming together on a plate of culinary brilliance. The mash is very macho. The courgette rolls are very ladylike. But together they form the perfect marriage. The fragrant mash is zinging with basil, chives and fresh cherry tomatoes. The bold courgette spirals are a celebration of heavenly cream cheese and rich sundried tomatoes. Jay-Z and Beyoncé? Brad and Angelina? These glamourous showbizz couples suddenly seem nothing more than a bag of chewy Cheetos in comparison to this dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 750gr potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Lots and lots of fresh basil
  • Approx. 3 tbsp fresh chives
  • 300gr cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 250gr cream cheese
  • 200gr sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 courgettes, cut lengthwise into 0,3cm slices

Method:

  1. Grill the courgette slices on a hot griddle pan.
  2. Mix the cream cheese with the sundried tomatoes.
  3. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the courgette slices and roll them up into cute spirals. Put them in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 180°C.
  4. Meanwhile, make your mash. Cook the potatoes until soft; drain. Mash the potatoes until you get a smooth mixture but do make sure it is not too smooth. (This mash is supposed to be butchy not drab.) You will probably have some leftover cream cheese mixture, so by all means put that in your mash. It will make it even more flavoursome. If your mash looks to dry, add a little splash of milk and some olive oil. Stir in the fresh herbs and the tomatoes. The heat of the mash will slightly soften the tomatoes. Ah, heavenly.

Bye Bye Belgium! Celebrating my trip to Italy with a delicious homemade veggie lasagna

Published July 11, 2013 by The Feminist

italy

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”

Amore. Love. That’s probably the best word to describe my incredibly huge infatuation with Italy. And guess what? I’m off to Italy in just a couple of hours!!!

[feel free to be green with envy]

First Lake Garda, where I will spend an entire week enjoying beautiful nature and the sun, discovering cozy Italian villages and eating like a true Italian “Mamma”. Pasta. Pizza. Gelato. Antipasti. Tiramisu. Risotto. Aperol Spritz. Prosecco. My “To eat/drink” –list seems endless! I can’t find the words to express how much I’m looking forward to visiting those wonderfully opulent, vibrant and colourful Italian markets! Smelling melons, tasting local cheeses and shouting “Buongiorno” to everyone who wants to hear it…

After one week in Riva Del Garda, it’s off to Northern Italy, the Dolomites to be precise, where everything will involve serious physical labour. Nothing makes me feel more alive than going hiking in the mountains. That challenge of making it to the top, to feel the fresh air in my longs, to be rewarded with a vast view over the valley and far far beyond…
And of course, let’s not forget the culinary delicacies this area has to offer!

So when I’m back in about two weeks, be prepared to hear all about the amazing food I’ve eaten, the beautiful stuff I’ve seen and the very stylish outfits I’ve worn!

However, this also means that you’ll have to miss me for at least 14 (!!!) days.

[feel free to let out some soft sobs]

I know. What a bummer.

But let’s try to look on the bright side, dear readers. I’ll be back.

[feel free to imagine an Arnold Schwarzenegger- voice with that last sentence]

And I’ll be back crazier than ever! With more Fashion. More Food. And more Flirts!

Hurray! 😀

By the way, let’s not forget who we’re talking about here. Me. And I would never ever leave you empty handed. So before I go, here is the most fantastic and healthy vegetarian lasagna you’ll have ever tasted!

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SN: It is very difficult to take an “appealing” picture of a slice of oozing lasagna. I tried. And –let’s be honest- I kinda failed. But I promise you, it looked absolutely divine in reality!

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Healthy veggie lasagna

Ingredients (serves 4 very hungry people)

• Lasagna sheets, no-precooking necessary
• 2 medium courgettes, in 0,5 cm slices
• 2 peppers, finely chopped
• 250gr minced seitan (or other vegetarian mince)
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• ½ red chilli, finely chopped
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp sweet paprika
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• Lots of fresh basil leaves
• 150gr grated mozzarella
• 500ml passata

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C and brush the inside of a large baking dish with a little olive oil.
2. Heat a ridged grill pan and grill the courgette slices for several minutes on each side until chargrilled, then remove. You’ll have to do this in batches.
3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion, garlic and peppers until soft.
4. Add the seitan mince and spices. Fry for a further 3 minutes.
5. Add the passata and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes.
6. Spoon a thin layer of the vegetarian ragu on the bottom of your prepared baking dish, then cover with lasagne sheets.
7. Next, layer with courgette slices (leave some room in between the slices, you’ll have to build about 3 layers, so make sure you have enough courgette slices when you reach the top layer. ) Scatter over some fresh basil leaves and season with salt and pepper.
8. Spoon a good layer of the vegetarian ragu on top of the courgette slices. Cover again with lasagne sheets. Repeat this process (step 7 and 8) until you have three courgette- ragu layers.
9. Cover with a final layer of lasagne sheets. Spoon the remaining ragu sauce over the top and sprinkle over a generous portion of grated mozzarella.
10. Bake into the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and the lasagna sheets are cooked through. If the cheese crust is getting to dark, cover with foil after 15 minutes.