Today’s the day to have foods served inside other foods! Eggs inside toast, bananas inside buns, and cheese and spinach inside layers of noodles! Forgive me for the lunch “recipe” — Thursdays are busy days and I’m on the go all day long, so I needed a quick lunch that would be easy to take with me. Plus, I’ve always wanted to try Ariel’s Pee-Wee Herman-approved banana dog. (“Viral banana dog” is a great band name, btw.)
Remember our April patron Jackie? She shared with me her easy go-to lasagne recipe for din-din.
Let’s start putting foods inside other foods…
Breakfast: Egg in a hole
- 1 sourdough or rye bread
- a glass that has a diameter of approximately 3 inches
- 1 egg
- salted butter
- olive oil
- herbs: basil, chives, or parsley (whatever you have around)
- Take the glass and use it to cut out a circle (like a cookie cutter) of the middle of the sourdough
- On a non-stick skillet, heat a little less than one tablespoon of butter in the “middle” of a skillet — don’t swish it around, just let it melt
- Take the bread, rub one side in the butter and let it sit on the skillet
- Take a dab of butter and melt it next to it, and then lay circle of bread on that dab of butter
- Let the bottom of the toast get toasty and then flip over both pieces
- Take a little dab of butter and put it inside the hole on the pan to melt
- Crack the egg directly into the hole
- Sprinkle the egg with salt and cracked pepper
- Take a lid and cover so that the steam cooks the egg a little bit — for like a minute, or until all the clear part of the egg has turned to white. Or shift the pan off of the heat a little.
- Take the lid off, and with a spatula, try to make sure the egg toast is one unit, then spatula it onto your plate with your little toast circle
- Take olive oil and drizzle a little bit on top, like a restaurant does, and sprinkle with a little bit of salt, add your herbs of choice, and enjoy
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly banana dog
- Hot dog bun
- Peanut butter
- Jelly (optional)
- Slather peanut butter inside the hot dog bun
- Add jelly if you’d like
- Plop in the banana
Jackie’s easy lasagna
Maybe it sounds intimidating, but this recipe is one of my secret weapons.
Using no-boil noodles, pre-grated cheese (I just use mozzarella instead of Fontina on top), and pre-made sauce makes it really simple; there’s just a little bit of mixing things in a bowl, like the cheese layer and the spinach layer (and I use fresh spinach, so I steam it a bit until it wilts/gets kinda mushy) and then making the layers before you put it in the oven. The other key is making sure to cover all the noodle area with sauce to prevent burning.
Comments on Cooking Challenge Day 4 recipes: Egg in a hole, banana in a sandwich, and lasagne
No boil noodles? Where does one find such witchcraft?
Uhmuhgud it’s magical! I used to burn my fingers separating lasagna noodles all the time. These work wonderfully–maybe even a little better because I feel like regular noodles can slip a lot more on the sauce.
I once used regular noodles as nonbake noodles in a veggie and sauce heavy lasagna. There was so much moisture from the veggies that they cooked fine! It would not likely work with your typical meat and cheese lasagna, though.
Actually you can make lasagna without boiling noodles even if they’re regular lasagna noodles. My mom’s been doing in this way my whole life and I know no other way to make lasagna:
Run each noodle under water to wet it on both sides. Warm water is good, but it doesn’t especially matter. add a half to one cup of water to the sauce before you put it in the pan. While it bakes, the extra water will help the noodles get cooked and you don’t have to try to fiddle with limp noodles while assembling your lasagna.
I’ve had good success just using regular boxed noodles, and either adding a tiny bit more sauce than the recipe calls for, or watering the sauce down a little bit. (Really just a little! I prefer slightly dry lasagna to soupy lasagna.)
I love the no-boil noodles! I think the ones I buy are Creamette. Just remember, let the lasagna sit for about 10-15 minutes when you take it out of the oven to let it “set”. Also, it might be a bit liquidy, but on day two – yum! Those noodles really soak up the liquids!
I think you can find them at most grocery stores in the US (says me, who no longer lives there and no longer eats gluten, but they were easy to find 5 years ago).
But all lasagna noodles are “no boil” if you assemble the lasagna a day ahead and make sure the ingredients are a little extra watery. Soupy sauce or not pressing the water out of the spinach would do it. I’m trying to remember, but I think I’ve even assembled lasagna the day of (like, late morning) to bake that afternoon and it came out fine. Bake covered until the last 30 minutes and all that liquid steams the noodles perfectly.
For the gluten free or those trying to sneak in extra veggies, you can use long strips of zucchini or quickly pan seared eggplant in lieu of noodless. My go-to choice when it gets to be mid-summer and I can’t cook my CSA veggies fast enough!
I had never even heard of boiling lasagna sheets before assembling a lasagna until the world of pinterest a few years ago… Not sure if it’s an Australia/USA thing or I have just been living under a rock (although in the cooking ream I am usually ahead of the curve, so it seems unlikely). As has already been suggested, I either make sure my meat sauce is liquidy enough to cook the pasta, or I use fresh pasta sheets which need less cooking (although they’ve only become popular in the last 10 years in Aus, so the liquidy sauce is my usual deal).
My partner/cook is away this week (EXCELLENT timing guys) …I am living half on various recipes from this challenge and the other entire 50% of my meals are egg in a hole. Sometimes with avocado or cheese on top. So easy, so good. Shot glasses are the perfect size for the hole, btw!
I don’t mind boiling noodles but one alternative to layering as lasagna is to spread the filling on individual cooked noodles, roll them, then pour the sauce over them. Easy to freeze in smaller portions too. A full lasagna usually does 3-6 meals for the hubby and me so we tend to freeze it in smaller portions for easy baking.
I like lasagna, but HATE the fiddliness of layering and pre-boiling noodles etc, so I’ve discovered a new favourite thing – lasagna soup!!! Fry up the meat, onions, garlic, spices, and chopped bell peppers first, throw in a tin of diced tomatoes and some tomato paste, a cup of stock and simmer away for 15 minutes. Throw in broken up lasagna noodles for another 10 minutes, grate in some parmesan at the end and stir (I’m lazy and have the prepackaged powdered parmesan stuff). Ladle into bowls, grate some other cheese over the top, and serve with crusty bread!
So easy, so good, so filling.
I have done this before, when I bought a box of noodles to discover most of them broken or split. I used a recipe for pasta e fagioli, and used the broken noodles instead of elbows.
Eggie in a basket! I’m totally trying that Sunday!