Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts and Lasagne!

Hi All!

I dunno if you know but my husband, Craig, is in the restaurant business and he works really weird and wonderful hours. But lucky for him; he works with a really fantastic team of peeps and we were really blessed to have first Tod and Terri over for Korma the one night and now Riki and Jade over for some good lasagne and great conversation yesterday. These peeps are definately a wonderful bunch of coconuts; Riki and Jade, thanks for one helluvan awesome visit!
On request from Jade; I made my famous Lasagne and here it is:

Chef Shant's Beef Lasagne
2 boxes lasagne sheets of your choice
2 large, finely diced onions
1 tin tomato puree
2 tspns sugar
1 tablespoon garlic
1kg punnet of minced beef (can use chicken or lamb or even veggies too).
Some olive oil
1 punnet sliced mushrooms
1 finely chopped red, green and yellow peppers
1 250ml cream
Some cheese
A pot of white sauce (recipe to follow).
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato slices
Dried sweet basil and parsley

1. Turn your oven on to 180C.
2. In a thick bottomed pan, fry together your onion, sugar, garlic, mushrooms and peppers.
3. Add your minced beef and fry till cooked through, add your tomato puree and 1/4 tin of water. (You can use the same tin). Give it a good fry till all ingredients are cooked through.
4. Add your cream and salt and pepper and toss through. Remove off the heat and cover.
5. Now make the white sauce:

Salt and pepper
Milk and cream
A). In a pot, melt a huge blob of butter, now add the same amount of flour and fry together on a medium heat. This is called a "roux". Gently cook your roux until the flour smells almost "nutty". This does take about fifteen minutes.
B). Heat your milk in the microwave, just so its warm, not bubbling. Now put on your favourite music and grab your whisk. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk it vigorously in time to the beat of the music. The hot milk and whisking will guarantee a lump-free sauce. Keep adding the milk until you have a thick sauce consistency, now add a dash of cream and remove from heat.

6. Now its time to layer your lasagne:
In a rectangular baking dish, start your layering off with the white sauce first (this allows the lasagne sheets to cook and not stick to the bottom); now add a layer of lasagne sheets. Do not overlap them. Now more white sauce. Now a layer of the mince, more white sauce, more sheets, more white sauce, more mince. Do this until either all your ingredients are used up or until your dish is almost full. Remember, your last layer should be white sauce. Now cover the top with a generous amount of cheese. Top off with some tomato slices and sprinkle over the sweet basil and parsley.
7. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
8. Set aside to rest for about 15 minutes before serving. Serves +- 10.
We like to serve it with a tossed green salad and some thick garlic bread slices. Ps: I added about 500ml of Bulgarian yoghurt into the mince mix before I began the layering!!!

This lasagne is absolutely fabulous and with this recipe, you can have peeps begging you for more too. Join me tomorrow for some more awesome ideas and some really funky food art!

Stay insane, coconuts!! And thanks again Riki and Jade!
Chef Shants xxxxx

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