Chicken Alfredo Lasagna with Spinach

1 lb. cooked ground Chicken (seasoned with basil and oregano to taste)
1 lb. Chicken or pork Spicy Italian sausage ( I get mine at Central market for now)
16 oz bag of fresh leaf Spinach-rinsed in hot water
2-8 oz  boxes Lasagna noodles
1-30 oz container Ricotta cheese
3 cups fresh grated Mozzarella cheese
2-15 oz jars Light Alfredo Sauce
2 Eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 
In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, and 2 eggs until well blended. Spray a deep(4") baking pan with Pam on all sides and bottom. After boiling Lasagna noodles to al dente, cover bottom of pan with noodles, slightly over lapping them. On the first layer of noodles spread a thin layer of ricotta, cheese and egg mixture, then place blanched spinach leaves generously to form a good layer. Next layer of noodles, again slightly overlapping cover with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, then a generous portion of chicken and lastly, drizzle some alfedo sauce over entire layer. Next layer of noodles, cover with a thin layer of Ricotta cheese, a layer of spinach leaves, then a good portion of Italian sausage evenly spread out. Repeat each layer making sure you ration all ingredients for at least six layers, plus a top layer with chick, sausage, alfredo sauce and mozzarella to cover it all. 
Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browning.


Good luck, and Buen Comer!

Chicken Cacciatore

A request from one of our followers, for a simple crock-pot meal with chicken, got me to thinking.  Chicken Cacciatore is one of the easiest and most loved dishes out there, and can be prepared in a multitude of ways.  Preparing it my way (giggles) is a combination of a couple of ways I like to cook:

one whole chicken~cut into individual sections (2 legs, 2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs/backs)
Tip: If you remove the skin, you will cut the fat content of this dish down considerably.
3 cups of white rice
5 cups of water
4 medium tomatos~boiled, skinned and crushed
2 medium jalepenos~seeded and finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper~sliced into 1/2" crescents
1 medium white onion~sliced into 1/2" crescents
3 cloves garlic~crushed and minced
1 tsp fresh Thyme~chopped
1 tsp fresh Oregano~chopped
1 tsp fresh Rosemary~chopped
1 tsp fresh Basil~chopped
(all of these herbs can be purchased in the produce market at your local market.)
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend
2-8oz cans tomato sauce
1 cube chicken bouillion

Chopping, crushing or mincing spices and herbs releases more of their oils than
simply tossing them in whole.

Lightly dust the chicken with the 1 Tblsp of Mrs. Dash. Grill the chicken over a medium fire about 6 minutes per side. You are not looking for the chicken to be fully cooked at this point, only to have that smoke flavor from the charcoal.

While the chicken is grilling you can get your other ingredients prepared.  In a 5 qt crock-pot, place the crushed tomatos in the bottem, then sprinkle the garlic and jalepenos over the tomatos.  Place the chicken on top of the veggies. Place the onions on top of the chicken.  Add the tomato sauce. Add the fresh herbs~ Tyhme, Rosemary, Oregano and Basil.
Add 1 cup of water.

If you don't have the ability to grill, or you don't want to grill the chicken....saute the chicken in a low profile skillet with 1 Tblsp Extra Virgin olive oil, each side about 2 minutes, just enough to sear the chicken, then add 1 tsp of liquid smoke, to the one cup of water before adding it, to the crock pot.

Cover and turn the crock pot on low for about 6 hours.  The chicken will be smokey and tender and very flavorful.
Add the bell peppers and turn crock pot to high for about thirty minutes.  I like my peppers more crispy, and since they really don't affect the overall flavor of the dish, they don't need to be in the mix the entire time.

In a seperate 3 qt sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water and cube of chicken bouillion to a boil. Once bouillion is reduced and water is boiling, add rice, cover with tight fitting lid and reduce heat to medium to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove rice from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

To Plate:
Place about 1/2 cup of rice slightly off center on your desired serving plate.  Place 1-2 pieces of chicken on the rice, opposite of center from the rice.  Spoon about 1/3 cup of sauce mixture onto rice and chicken.
makes 4-6 servings.

Green Chili Enchiladas

This is not a low fat, low sodium recipe but a few easy changes can make it one. It is definately influenced by my mother, but she kept all of her recipes in her head, so I have no idea if it s the same. Also remember, when you are using pre-made items from cans or packages, check the sodium content before you start adding your own. Salt piles up fast and can get so overpowering that it will burn the inside of your mouth.

1 lb. boneless chicken
1 large tomato~diced
1 medium poblano pepper~diced
1 medium red onion~finely chopped
2 cloves garlic~crushed and minced
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp dark chili powder
5 cups water
3 cups(16 oz.) Green enchilada sauce ( I make my own and that recipe will follow, but you can use Hatch or Old El Paso)
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese

Using a 5 quart stock pot, bring water to a boil then add your chicken, tomato, poblano, garlic onion and seasonings. Boil chicken until done, no pink reamaining and red onions should now be clear. Remove from heat and strain off liquid reserving about 1/2 cup. Place chicken mixture back in stock pot and add 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 cup green enchilada sauce, and 1/2 cup of liquid reserved from boiling chilcken. Stir together until well blended.

Pre-heat small skillet on medium low heat, then add olive oil. Place each tortilla into pre heated skillet for about 1 minute on each side, just enough to warm it so it will roll easily.

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Place 2 to 2 1/2 Tblsp of chicken mixture onto each tortilla, then roll up and place in
a 8 X 10 inch baking dish sid by side.
Spread remaining sour cream across the top of rolled up enchiladas, cover with remaining green enchilada sauce and then cove the entire dish with the cheese.
Bake until chees is melted and slightly golden.

makes 6-2 enchilada servings.

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