Posts Tagged cheese

Breakfast Lasagna

breakfast lasagna

In case you didn’t notice, I appear to have inadvertently taken all of December off from this blog. Happy Christmas Vacation to me! It truly wasn’t meant to be a whole month of me MIA. But Kyle’s mom and step-dad were staying with us for half the month, plus my brother and his fiancé were also back from school; So we were enjoying spending time with family over December. Also, we have a new, sweet little addition to our family: a Bernese Mountain Dog named Kona! She is the cutest little thing, and has been occupying most of our time. With mid-night wake ups to take her out, and keeping her exercised and occupied throughout the day, there has been little time for extra-curricular activities…even blogging.

Because of the tardiness of my posts, I fought with the idea of saving this post for next year. This is a rich breakfast meal that Kyle and I save for extremely occasional eating; as in only on Christmas morning (and one extra time last year for a sister’s graduation!). But, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a Christmas dish, so why should I keep it from everyone. It’s not my concern about how you treat your arteries and waste line. Okay, that’s not true. Loved ones: please be kind to your arteries, I plan on keeping you all in my life for many more years.

Since we had family staying at our place over Christmas, we made a large pan that could easily serve 8 people; if served with additional breakfast items. Otherwise you may be looking at feeding only 6 with a 9 x 13 pan. Let me warn you now: There is basically nothing healthy about this dish. Yeah, you may get some nutritional value from the brown rice pasta, and even from the eggs; but it is mainly fat and calories and breakfast delight in a pan. We’re not attempting to run any marathons or lounge by the pool in our skivvies after a meal like this. This one prepares you for the gluttony of Christmas day; putting a little extra stretch in your stomach so you can fit in that additional helping of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Hopefully you received a new pair of pajamas to loaf around in after this waist-expanding breakfast. It may not look pretty, but it’s pretty tasty.

Breakfast Lasagna

The great thing about this dish is that it can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to bake – making it perfect for a lazy Christmas morning. I suspect it would do well frozen as well, but I haven’t tried it, so I couldn’t give you directions. Please share if you try to freeze this and are successful. Obviously this can be made with regular lasagna noodles if gluten is not an issue in your household. 

2 cups frozen shoestring hashbrowns, thawed (remember to do this the night before)
6-10 sheets gluten free lasagna – the amount depends on the size of the noodles
1 lb bacon
2 cups of hollandaise sauce (make your own or use a packaged mix – just make sure it’s gluten free)
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 slices black forrest ham

If you are baking this right away, preheat your oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan. Cook the lasagna noodles as per package directions, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, chop the bacon and cook until crispy in a non-stick pan – drain the bacon on paper towel and set aside. (this is also a good time to prepare your hollandaise sauce) Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt & pepper, set aside.

Layer the thawed hashbrowns on the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle half of the bacon over the hashbrowns, then pour over 1 cup of the hollandaise sauce. Top this mix with 3-5 sheets of lasagna noodles – however many you need to cover the pan. Cover the noodles with 1/2 cup of cheese, then the ham slices. Pour the egg mixture over the ham and noodles. Cover with another 3-5 sheets of lasagna noodles, the remaining bacon, another cup of the hollandaise sauce and the remaining cheese. At this point you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Bake the lasagna at 350°F for 45 minutes or until bubbling. If required, you can broil the lasagna for a few minutes to brown the cheese. Pull the lasagna out of the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to baking if you prepared this beforehand.

Serves 6-8.

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Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I’m preparing for a BIG POST coming up sometime soon. It’s not really a secret, but since I know you all want some mystery in your lives around Halloween, I will just offer you the following hint:  this + this. Check back soon!

Meanwhile in the Carr household: I’ve been attempting to clean up my computer of the immense collection of photos I’ve accrued; and I came across one of the last things we cooked in the old apartment. It was a Pinterest inspired recipe that we devoured greedily – Philly Cheeseteak Stuffed Peppers. The original source of the recipe comes from Peace, Love, and Low Carb. It’s not a blog I have read, but this recipe looked good. Since going gluten free, I have missed amazing sandwiches such as Cheesesteaks or Beef Dips – and when I saw this I had a “Duh, why didn’t I think of that” moment. Of course I could just stuff my favourite sandwich toppings into a pepper to have a pseudo-substitute cheesesteak. Yes, I realize this isn’t a real, real Philly Cheesesteak, but it’ll do for me.

And you may ask yourself “Why don’t I just stuff my cheesesteak between some gluten free bread?” The answer is that I have not yet found a gluten free bread that can hold up to juicy toppings. Every, single, last loaf I’ve tried becomes soggy and grainy within a minute of any minor amount of liquid touching it. Fine for toast or sandwiches with cured meats, awful for juicy burgers and runny beef dips. If you know of gluten free bread (or a recipe for one) that doesn’t behave so badly, please let me in on your little secret.

Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Adapted from Peace, Love, and Low Carb

I made a few minor changes to this blogger’s recipe. Not that there appeared to be anything wrong with the original, but if I’m going to have a cheesesteak, I want real beef; not processed deli meat. Although I get that if you’re in a rush, using some pre-cooked meat likely shaves off a few minutes of your time – worth it for some, but not for me. 

12 oz sirloin steak
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 oz crimini mushrooms, slice
kosher salt & pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp fresh thyme (optional)
2 green peppers, sliced in half and seeds removed
4 slices provolone

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil (optional). Thinly slice the sirloin and season liberally with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper).

Melt butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions to the pan, season with 1/2 tsp of salt and saute for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the mushrooms to the onions and saute for another 8-10 minutes or until onions are very soft and translucent and mushrooms are cooked, stir in 1/8 tsp pepper. Remove the onion mixture from the pan to a bowl; turn the pan to medium-high and add the olive oil.

Add the steak to the hot pan in small batches; this will prevent the meat from steaming. Brown each batch of meat for about 4 minutes, removing each previous batch before adding the next. When all the meat is browned, add the cooked meat and onion mixture back to the pan. Stir in the fresh thyme (if using) and remove the pan from the heat. (Alternatively, you could add all the meat to the pan at once – but you really won’t get a good sear on your meat)

Place the halved peppers onto the prepared baking sheet. Stuff each pepper with a quarter of the the beef mixture – yes, it looks like a lot; you will be thankful for this. Top each pepper with a slice of provolone. Add the pan to the oven and bake the peppers for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are cooked and the cheese is browned on top. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-4 depending on what you serve with this.

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Spicy Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas

Kyle has been away again, and I thought that would mean I’d be on here posting up a storm; trying to keep myself busy. But this is the first post since he left – and he’s back tomorrow, so I guess those promises to myself didn’t quite pan out. Oh well. Instead I enjoyed some time spent with my family, as my aunt and uncle were in town from Sherwood Park, AB to help out with packing up my grandmother’s apartment for her upcoming move. It was a great week spent catching up.

It can be so hard to pack up your life for a move, and especially when family is involved. So I give kudos to my grandmother for being a trooper through the entire process. She looked exhausted every night; after a long days of people asking her what she was would give away and what she would be keeping to bring into her new, smaller digs. Luckily, her emotionally hard work was rewarded each night by a home-cooked meal and some quality time spent with family. And the bonus is that the rest of us got to enjoy the family time and great food as well!

But I suppose this has nothing to do with today’s recipe. On to the enchiladas! A tasty dish of filled and rolled corn tortillas, smothered in sauce and cheese. These were devoured by Kyle and I with frosty Mexican beers on a night that was just cool enough to crank up the heat on the oven. So we took full advantage of it to prepare this comforting meal. My easy interpretation involves zero meat (sorry carnivores), a prepared tomato sauce, some beans and chiles, and lots of cheesiness. Because we all need some cheesiness in our lives. Although I can’t wait for you to try this, part of me secretly hopes it’ll be a while still before the mercury dips back down – I’m digging the heat!

Spicy Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas

Be careful not to walk away while you’re frying the corn tortillas; otherwise you will end up with a few crunchy ones – which aren’t as easy to roll. All you’re looking for is for the tortilla to cook and soften up – you don’t want taco chips. Is this step necessary? I would say yes. Corn tortillas need to be softened in order to curl them up around a filling, and the best way to accomplish this is by giving them a nice oil batch. Feel free to share your “healthier” methods if you prepare your tortillas in a different way. And please no flour tortillas. To make this a super simple dish to prepare, we cheated and used a canned enchilada sauce, but of course you can go ahead and make your own. 

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
10 – 12 6″ corn tortillas (whatever amount is in the pack you buy)
2 1/2 cups cheese, shredded (I used mix of cheddar and monterey jack cheese) – divided
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if from a can
1/2 cup white onion, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream (full fat to ensure it’s gluten-free)
1 4 oz can of green chilis
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup red enchilada sauce
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 red chili, sliced

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Cook one tortilla at a time in the oil for about 20-30 seconds per side or until softened. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.

Meanwhile, combine 2 cups of the cheese, plus the next 10 ingredients (black beans through pepper) in  large bowl – mix well. Spoon out about 1/4 cup of the black bean mixture onto each corn tortilla and roll up. Line the prepared baking dish with the rolled corn tortillas. If there is any left over black bean and cheese mixture, spread it out over the tortillas. Once all the tortillas are filled and rolled, pour over the enchilada sauce then top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Bake the enchiladas for 15 minutes in the prepared oven. Remove from oven, and sprinkle over the lime juice; let sit for 5 minutes. Top with the cilantro and sliced chili pepper. Serve hot.

Serves 3-4.

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Beef & Guinness Pie

We’re back from our beautiful family vacation in Hawaii! We definitely needed this break, and I’ll tell you all about our trip soon (likely over here). But for now, I thought I’d share this comforting recipe while winter still descends upon us for a few more weeks. Going away during the colder months is always a grand idea, but returning to the gloomy snow and temperatures below zero is never fun…even if I do love coming home to my bed. Comforting braises, stews, and meat pies are the ultimate way for me to warm my insides, and this particular pie is one we turn to again-and-again during the cold months of the year. This pie take some tender, loving care to become the tender, juicy, robust dish that it is, but it is so worth it in the end. Plus you can just open up a good book and curl up in a cozy blanket while you braise away the filling throughout the day.

Try not to judge me: but this recipe originally came from Jamie Oliver. I realize I just posted about a recipe of his…but I have no shame. So here is another one of this dreamboat’s chef’s delicious dinners.

Beef & Guinness Pie

Adapted from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver

Note: even you you think you don’t like stouts/porters, you should give this recipe a try. As the meat braises, the Guinness creates a thick, robust sauce that is not heavily barley flavoured. 

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing dish
1 large red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 1/2 lbs stewing beef (brisket, chuck, etc.), cut into 1″ cubes
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary (because I didn’t have fresh…use some fresh rosemary if you have it)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pint size can of Guinness
2 heaped Tbsp flour
1/2 – 1 cup of beef stock
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large dutch oven (preferably cast iron), heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes until softened, but with not much colour to them. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir-in the garlic, carrots and celery. Add the beef, thyme, rosemary, salt & pepper to the pot and fry for another 5 minutes. Pour in the Guinness and stir in the flour. Add enough of the beef stock just to cover the beef mixture. Bring the “stew” to a simmer, then cover the pan with the lid and place in the oven.

Braise the stew for 1 & 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and give it a quick stir. Return the stew back to the oven for an additional hour or until the stew is very thick and dark and the meat is tender. Remove from the oven and check the seasonings – add more salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

(At this point you can leave the oven on while the stew cools if you will be making the pie right away. Or turn off the oven and put your filling in the fridge to make the pie the following day)

Grease a pie dish with some butter. If your 1 lb of puff pastry is just in one piece, cut it in half (typically you’ll find a pound of puff pasty in two blocks or sheets when you purchase it). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry so it will fit inside the pie dish, with some of the edges hanging over. Gently line the greased pie dish with pastry, then pour in the prepared beef stew. Top the pie with the cheddar cheese, and brush the edges of the hanging puff pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the remaining puff pastry so it will fit over the pie, place it over top and crimp together the two pieces of puff pastry. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg and make a few slashes in the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Bake the pie on the bottom rack of the oven (at 375ºF) for approximately 45 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and puffed up. Allow to cool slightly (approximately 10-15 minutes) then serve. As Jamie states, this pie is great just served with some hot peas.

Serves 4.

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