Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fiery Veggie Lasagna

The sun, I for sure saw it for a change, it came out! What a day! This really makes a difference and enhances the mood for sure, I would say. Good for me!
I was in the mood for cooking some old things new, well, for experimenting, or recreating things in the kitchen. The following recipe I tried already ages ago. At this point I decided to bring it back to my mind and adjust it a bit (you won’t notice anyway).

Now, it doesn’t happen to be the case, that I am vegetarian, but I don’t have a problem cooking without meat. Hm, anyway, I can remember the times when meat was just something for Sundays. Something like that would have saved a lot of lives …
Where were we? Good, cooking!

Anyway, here goes, as far as I am concerned a quite good vegetable dish:

Ingredients (2-4 persons):
For the stewed vegetables:
One onion
One large carrot
2 small red peppers
2 small green peppers
400 ml of tinned tomatoes
100 ml of chili sauce
One small courgette
One spring onion
Three stalks of thyme
One stalk of oregano
Olive oil
Salt, pepper

For the spelt pancakes:
One mug of spelt flour
One mug of milk (same mug as before)
One egg
Pinch of salt

For the cheese sauce:
50 g feta cheese
100 g double cream or crème fraîche
50 g grated Gouda (or whatever cheese you prefer or have – Cheddar would be cool)

100 g extra grated Gouda

To start the whole thing we are doing something, that, if you were Italian, would call soffrito. This is the base. Heat up some olive oil at low heat and add the chopped onion and carrot. Let it cook for a while to soften them up. Ten minutes should do.
Whilst that happens you can already prepare the batter for the pancakes, by mixing all the mentioned ingredients together thoroughly.
Then we are ready to add the cut peppers (cut them in small bite size pieces you want them). Cook it together for another five minutes before you add the tinned tomatoes and the chili sauce. Fill the tin of the tomatoes halfway with water and add as well. In case you are not adding the chili sauce (then you have to take away the fiery part from the name of the dish), because, maybe, someone you have for the meal doesn’t like it or can’t stand it, well, in that case you add more water accordingly.
Bring the whole mixture to the boil. Then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about ten minutes.
Since you have your pancake batter ready, you can start doing the pancakes. Use only a little oil when you bake them in golden brown in a pan. If you have a square pan, great, if not, no worries. I have none (apart from my griddle pan, which obviously won’t work here anyway).
But don’t forget your veggies. Add the cube sized pieces of courgette after the above mentioned ten minutes. Haul in the rings from the spring onion and the chopped herbs as well. Season with salt and pepper. Check, if you have sufficient heat. If not … do something!!!
Finish your pancakes. It seems they look prettier the less oil you have in the pan. However, that is of no significance to this dish, nor has it any future relevance (of course only, if you are going to make pancakes on their own).

After a further ten minutes or so (I don’t want to be picky) everything should be ready.
No – not really, you should think about mixing all the ingredients together for the cheese sauce – oh, oh, nearly forgot it. Did you think about it! No worries! Here we have it.
It’s time to assemble the whole thing …
Cover the base of your casserole dish with pancake pieces. As you don’t have a pan that matches exactly the shape of your dish, you have to cut things in places (well, you may have, but I don’t).

Put a layer of vegetables on it.

 Then goes the cheese sauce.

Followed by another layer of pancakes. All should be gone after that. If not something went wrong. I had no trouble. Lucy was watching and kind of begging for some pieces. Somehow, she wasn’t tired anymore – strange.
OK, put more veggies on. If you manage all, fine, if not you can think of another dish to do with the leftovers (maybe some kind of bread – veg soup – don’t know).
Finish it of with the extra grated cheese. As I am a cheese lover (my dog Lucy as well) I could use even more than the mentioned 100 g. It would be great if you can’t see the vegetables anymore.

Then transfer the casserole dish to the oven at 180°C for 35 minutes or until the cheese gets all bubbly and … you know what I mean. No need to get exited.
After that it is up to you to enjoy it.

Conclusion: First, there might be the chance, this is a healthy dish. Second, we don't need meat all the time. And third, I don't know!

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