Wednesday, August 29th was the final round of August Cooking Classes at our house. And much fun was had by all.
For Pesto Possibilities, we harvested basil from our patio garden, then created two different types of pesto – Basil Walnut Pesto and Basil Tomato Pesto.
Next up, we created “roll ups” using our freshly made pesto, sliced deli turkey, arugula, and cheese slices.
Our side dish consisted of Pesto Potato Salad that we “invented” as we went along. Mixing some of our pesto with a little canola mayo and a squeeze of lemon, we stirred that delightful tasting goodness into freshly steamed (in the microwave) red potatoes, added some chopped celery, and lunch was served!
Also on the menu: Grilled Zucchini Roll-ups. Super simple to make, and very tasty little bundles used as a side dish or party appetizer.
Later that day, Meals For One was on the docket. After boiling some lasagna noodles, and letting them cool, we constructed “Lasagna Nests” utilizing ramekins as our “nests”. (This was a take on two different recipes. Here’s the other recipe.)
Our filling consisted of sautéed mushrooms, a little garlic, thawed frozen spinach (well-drained), vodka sauce, and freshly ground pepper – all mixed together in our skillet. (Added just enough sauce to make it “colorful, but not runny).
Our stove top cooking was completed. In a small bowl, we whisked together ricotta cheese, one egg, some grated parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper, a pinch of salt, fresh chopped basil, thyme, and oregano from the garden (and the secret ingredient – grated nutmeg). Whew! It came together quickly – and in one dish.
Taking our lasagna noodles, we crisscrossed two in each ramekin (that was sprayed with non-stick cooking spray), added some of the ricotta mixture, then some of the mushroom mixture, a little grated mozzarella, and crossed 2 of the noodles over to begin to close up our bundle. (If the noodles overhang the edge of the ramekins, just use kitchen scissors to cut them to size).
Once closed, we added another layer of ricotta mixture, mushroom mixture, and mozzarella, and crossed the 2 remaining noodles over the bundle. On the tippy-top, we put a small amount of the ricotta mixture to cover the noodles, and added some mozzarella – then topped it all off with grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
These pretty little nests were placed on a baking sheet and into a 350 degree oven, for about 18 -20 minutes (until bubbly and golden brown on top). While these cooked, we made our Stuffed Pork Chops.
While the lasagna cooled, we finished cooking Pork Chops Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Sun-Dried Cherry Tomatoes, and Walnuts. Yes, just like it sounds, we mixed the ingredients, cut small slits in the pork, inserted the mixture, and popped them in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Removing these Lasagna babies from the oven, we could hardly wait for them to cool enough to “unmold” and taste test. But we had to use our patience, so as not to burn our mouths, ’cause there was way more to taste!
All of those good smells were really driving us crazy hungry, so we had to dive in! Class dismissed…..!