Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays! Eggplant & Cheese Lasagna

How is everyone liking the time change so far??  I was grateful for the extra hour of sleep when it happened but I'm verrrry tired and my get up and go took off somewhere without me....  Of course that could have something to do with the fact that we worked cows for the entire weekend!! :-)   It's times like these that I realize I'm not 25 anymore....I creak and pop and snap more than I used to while I'm engaged in all of these day to day activites and it takes a lot longer to recover.  My dad just laughes at me and says....."Wait until you're in your 60's and then tell me how you feel!!"

We got all of the cattle worked, nobody got hurt, and there was a lot of good food and good times had by all.  What more could you ask for??

This week's post is a tasty creation cooked by my friend Michael Fusco of Michael Fusco's Riverside Grill in Tulsa, OK.  For those of you that may not know, Michael is a 5 star chef and good guy that has allowed me to share some of his awesome recipes on the blog for all to see.  Let's get to it....

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise, very thin, salted (salt acts as a draw for the bitterness)
  • 4 lasagna sheets or 1 box lasagna blanched (cook pasta "al dente")
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 oz butter - 2 oz rice flour
  • 3 cups or more shredded mozzarella
  • 24 oz. whole milk ricotta or more
  • 2 cups pecorino feather shredded
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

Dredge the eggplant in flour and shake off the excess.  Saute the eggplant until golden.  The flour protects the eggplant as you sautee with a small amount of oil, high heat (400 deg to sear, seals outside, holds flavor)

Combine the milk with the roux and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil while stirring, and then reduce and keep on low heat until it becomes thick.

Cover the bottom of a Pyrex with some of the bechamel sauce, (Italian white sauce) and then put one layer of noodles, then white sauce, then cheese, then eggplants, then white sauce again, etc.  Continue with the same process: spread the remaining cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 1 hour at 375 degrees F.

Cooking tips:              You can add sauteed minced meat in between the layers.
Preparation time:         40 minutes
Cooking time:              60 minutes
Zucchini or summer squash can also be used if preferred.

Bechamel sauce - (Half butter and half flour) Melt butter and add rice flour slowly.  Flour becomes encapsulated in the fat.  Keep on high heat until the roux has a very light white color.  When you combine milk, return to heat nad the flour will soak up moisture making a thick creamy sauce.


Eggplant is not my favorite food in the whole world...Alright I admit it, I never eat eggplant because I just plain don't like it!!  However, I was always taught to try everything on my plate and eat a respectable portion so as not to insult the host.  I did so and found that in this case, it was good!!  Perhaps it's because I love pasta so much, maybe it was the bechamel sauce, I don't know, but I liked it and that is saying something!  It's also Gluten Free!!

Enjoy!!


This post is part of the following blog carnivals.....Go check out these great sites!!

8 comments:

Rebecca Jean said...

I'm not a fan of eggplant either, but hey you never know.

This would be a great post to link to Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays.

♥ Rebecca Jean
Midnight Maniac

Em and Lib said...

OH my YUM!
I am an eggplant fanatic..willb e trying this soon!
Lib
http://bit.ly/9SxKcY

girlichef said...

Yup. Pretty sure that bechamel would make cardboard delicious ;) This sounds MUCH better, though...thanks for sharing it w/ the hearth and soul hop this week.

J L Health 918-836-0565 said...

Thanks ladies! It just proves that you're never to old to try something new!

naomilovestom said...

# 1 cup rice flour
# 1 quart milk
# 2 oz butter - 2 oz rice flour

I'm confused, which measurements of rice flour should I use? Or is that 2 oz of rice flour a separate ingredient from the 1 cup rice flour? I'll need to know before making this. Thanks!

J L Health 918-836-0565 said...

Naomi,

The ingredients are separate. The butter and flour in the same line are for making the Bechamel sauce. Thanks!!

Linda said...

That looks terrific. I think any type of lasagna is good.

Anonymous said...

how is it gluten-free? are you using a special kind of lasagne?
thanks!