June 2014

Viewing posts from June , 2014

Make Your Own: Ricotta Cheese

A good lasagne recipe usually calls for ricotta cheese.  The Manly Man Lasagne recipe I made needed almost 4 cups, and let’s face it – even if you can get it from the upmarket grocers in Kuala Lumpur, a 200-250 gm tub (about 1 cup) would cost at least RM 20, and I’ll need four tubs! Adoihh!

After weighing my options and doing some digging around on the Internet, I discovered that ricotta is one of those cheeses one can easily make at home, using common ingredients easily obtainable from hypermarkets. Booyah!

So try it out, and $ave$ome$ in the process!

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

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Special Occasion: Manly Man Lasagna

I’ve been wanting to make this dish for years now, but every time I read the recipe, the list of ingredients and the sheer time and effort required to make this seem simply… daunting.  But this is the month of June and it is a certain someone’s special day, so I figured that it is worth pulling all the stops this time around.

As the name suggests, the Manly Man Lasagna is definitely “manly”, given its massive size and insane amounts of unhealthy (but oh-so-yummy) ingredients.  To bring costs down I had to make extra effort to hunt down the ingredients at the best prices, even enlisting the help of fellow Round Knight of the Table, Merv (thanks babe!).

Be warned: it’s a LOT of effort.  I started around 11 am in the morning, and except for a quick lunch break, I spent literally the rest of the day in the kitchen, prepping and cooking.  It’s a lot of fun for me personally, but (as a mental note to myself, as well) I highly recommend making the bolognese and sausage tomato sauces one day ahead.  One more thing, if you do have one, a food processor or kitchen aid IS YOUR FRIEND.  Use it for slicing, grating and chopping your ingredients. It will save you a lot of time.

Based on Emeril’s Manly Man Lasagna recipe.  Good luck!

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Weekend Cooking: Chicken Spaghetti

Been out of the home-cooking scene for quite a while now.  Recently, out of sheer boredom I started browsing through the Food Network website and finally discovered Ree Drummond.  Her recipes look simple, inexpensive and quite comfort food-ish; totally my kind of food.  So over the weekend I decided to try out one of her recipes – Chicken Spaghetti. Overall it turned out well; for Rudy and I, our only complaint was there wasn’t enough cheddar flavor, so I was thinking of adding more cheddar into the mixture next time round.  For my mom and Kak’mbang, however, it was just right and not too rich so one can definitely have seconds with no problems (yes, both pint-sized women had seconds).  So perhaps we can stick to the recipe and serve extra grated cheddar instead. Do try it out!

Based on Ree’s chicken recipe here.

Updated on 24 Feb 2018 with new pictures.  I used cream of chicken & mushroom soup instead of plain mushroom, because I feel it is more flavorful.  I also upped the amount of cheese on top, using about 1 1/2 cups usually.  Having made this several times I think the type and brand of cheese that we use does make a difference; Kraft’s sharp cheddar turned out best for me.   For a richer sauce, you can up the amount of soup by using 1 305-gram can and 1 420-gram can.  Definitely a crowd pleaser at potlucks.

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For Your Spice Rack: Seasoned Salt

Ree’s Chicken Spaghetti called for seasoned salt, which I now know is not the same as regular salt or Ajinomoto.  Lol.  Seems like in the States one can get these pre-made in a bottle, but I really didn’t feel like going out to some high-end grocer to buy something that may cost me something like RM15 or more just to use 1 teaspoon of it in a recipe I’m not sure I’ll be repeating, and this is assuming I can even find it here in KL.  So I searched around on the Internet and found an MSG-free copycat recipe.  Yay!

Based on the recipe I found here.

Updated on 24 Feb 2018 with new pictures.

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