Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.
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~Henry James

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Chicken and Ham Lasagne


(Lasagne noodles are somewhat different over here.  They're  not long and ruffle edged.  They are flat edged, and about 4 by six inches in size.)
I had some cooked chicken and some cooked ham that needed using up today.  I could have made a cordon bleu type of casserole, but I wanted something different.   I was craving pasta . . . which as you know Todd hates.  I think I finally found a pasta dish he sorta likes though.

 

Chicken and Ham Lasagne.  I found the recipe in a cookbook I love. Rachel Allen Home Cooking.  I didn't follow it exactly . . . I rather adapted it a bit, but then again . . . that's what I like to do.  I find a recipe that works for me and then I adapt it to our tastes and my rather lazy way of cooking.

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I have always loved Rachel Allen's recipes and her cookery shows.   The food she cooks is real food.  Nothing artsy fartsy there.   You don't  have to run out and buy special ingredients or equipment.  That's my kind of cooking.  Simple and wholesome ingredients.   Simple cooking methods.  Economical use of what you have in the larder . . .

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I added some frozen spinach to the recipe  I like to get veggies in wherever I can.   I also added extra cheese to the top . . .

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. . . because we like cheese, and that's how I roll.   You can never have too much cheese to my way of thinking.   Its like bacon . . . more is . . . delicious.  Things just taste better if there's cheese and/or bacon involved.

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This was quite simply fantastic!   It helped me to use up my leftovers.   It was cheap to make.  The Toddster loved it.  Ok, so maybe love is a bit of an exaggeration.  I LOVED IT . . . he just  kinda liked it . . . a lot.  That's as much as he would concede.

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I think he's afraid that if he actually ever admitted to loving anything with pasta in it . . . that would open a dam or something . . . pasta would start raining down on him like cats and dogs . . .

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And for someone like Todd . . . that just wouldn't do.  (He did really really like it though . . . trust me on this.  He had two servings.)

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*Chicken and Ham Lasagne*
Serves 4 to 6
Not your traditional lasagne.  Deliciously different and makes good use of leftover cooked chicken and ham.

75g unsalted butter (1/3 cup)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
50g plain flour (1/2 cup)
700ml of milk (scant 3 cups)
300ml chicken stock (1 1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cubes of frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
400g of cooked chicken, diced (scant pound)
200g cooked ham, diced (1/2 pound)
8 sheets of dried lasagne (you will need three layers)
250g of strong Cheddar cheese, grated ( 2 cups)

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Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter an 8 by 12 inch baking dish.  Set it aside.
Melt a third of the butter in a saucepan.  Add the onions and cook gently for a few minutes until it begins to soften without browning.   Add the garlic.  Cook for a further two minutes.  Scoop out and set aside.  Add the remaining butter to the pan.   Whisk in the flour to make a smooth paste.  Slowly whisk in the milk, until it is completely mixed in and smooth.  Whisk in the chicken stock as well.  You should have a thickened sauce which coats the back of a spoon.  Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.


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Mix together the ham and chicken.    Place half of it into the bottom of the baking dish.   Cover with half of the spinach.  Spoon 1/3 of the sauce over top.   Top with four lasagne sheets.   Spoon the remainder of the ham/chicken mixture and the spinach over top.  Spoon over another 1/3 of the sauce.  Top with the remaining four sheets of lasagne.  Spoon the remaining sauce over all and sprinkle the cheese over top to cover.
Place onto a baking sheet and bake in the heated oven for 55 minutes until it is deliciously golden brown and bubbling.  Allow to stand a few minutes before serving.  Cut into squares to serve.

7 comments:

Lita said...

Oh my gosh! This sounds perfectly wonderful. I can't wait to try this. I'd love for you to link this to What'd You Do This Weekend? http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/whatd-you-do-this-weekend-20/

Wishes for tasty dishes,
Linda@ Tumbleweed Contessa

Suze said...

Oh Marie I want to co me live with you. My mother hates chicken and I am so over cooking and eating the met she does eat. I am up to just eating the vegetables at present. This looks lovely.

La Table De Nana said...

Different! One day? Looks so good.

MM said...

Given that lasagna includes the flavors popular in some meat pies, I'm sure it made it possible for Todd to pretend he wasn't eating pasta :)

Jessica S. said...

Am I assuming you cook the pasta before adding to the dish to bake? This look really yummy!

Marie said...

Jessica, you do not cook the pasta before hand. It's not necessary with the lasagne sheets which we get here in the UK. If you are in North America however, you may want to partially cook your noodles before proceeding!

Marie said...

I made this tonight for dinner and it was absolutely delicious! Another winner, Marie. As I am a tweaker as well, I added some chopped hardboiled eggs to the chicken and ham mix and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese between the layers, just because I love parmesan. This is yet another of your recipes that will be a regular here. Thank you.