Monday, September 26, 2011

Lamb Lasagna with The Secret Recipe Club - #Recipe

It is the end of September, and time for another great blog and recipe from The Secret Recipe Club!

Secret Recipe Club

What's the secret? Participants are assigned a blog, they can go through recipes, drool over posts and photos till a recipe can be chosen to try. The "Ta-dah!" reveal is kept secret until today.  Sound like fun? This is the brain-child of Amanda from Amanda’s Cookin’, and you can join up, see the other blogs involved and get all the deets at The Secret Recipe Club blog.

This is my 3rd month cooking with the Secret Recipe Club, and I was given Random Acts of Food to secretly peruse and cook from. Once I saw her Lamb & Eggplant Lasagna, I knew I had the recipe! My garden is still full of eggplant, and we enjoy using local lamb when I find a recipe for it.

Jamie, from Random Acts of Food, is an Italian girl with a love for food. She has a wide variety of pork chop recipes I was drooling over and good hearty dinner ideas. Oh, don't miss out on her dessert posts either.

 This recipe isn't as hard as it sounds, in fact lasagnas are pretty easy they just have many parts to them. So, let's get started, shall we?

You Will Need:
30 slices of eggplant (1/4-inch thick), about 3 lbs
2 cups flour
3 eggs beaten
3 cups fine bread crumbs
*Essence, recipe follows
1 cup vegetable oil
*Spicy Lamb Sauce, recipe follows
1 c. blanched and chopped kale
Lasagna noodles enough for 2 layers and a few spare in case of breakage
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 lb Feta cheese, crumbled
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried thyme

 Spicy Lamb Sauce: 
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 c. finely chopped onions
1/2 c. finely chopped celery
1/2 c. finely chopped carrot
Freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 (28-ounce) cans of peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1  can tomato paste
3 c. beef stock or water
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
Okay, you can either start by breading and frying the eggplant, or making the meat sauce. I decided to start with the meat sauce.

Heat the oil and brown the meat. Add the crushed red pepper. After 4 minutes add the chopped veggies and cook till soft. Then add the garlic and tomatoes.

Add the paste, broth and herbs. Then set the sauce to simmer for 2 hours. Season to taste and set aside.

Now, grab your trusty mandoline, or a steady hand and sharp knife to cut your eggplant slices. Sprinkle the peices with a pinch of salt and set aside on a towel. Then get out your breading materials.

I like to set up my loaf pans and small casserole dishes in an assembly line. Flour on the rights, then egg wash and then the bread crumbs. Put a little essence into the breadcrumbs.

Heat your vegetable oil in a pan a few inches deep. Knock off excess in between dips to prevent getting excess bits falling off into the oil. Pan fry your breaded eggplant slices till they are golden brown. Then let them cool slightly on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Set these aside till you are ready to assemble your lasagna.

Boil the lasagna noodles as directed on the package. Set them aside in a colander. While the water is still boiling, blanch the kale, dry and mix with the ricotta cheese and 1/4 c. mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

Now preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Spread 1-1/2 c. of lamb sauce on the bottom of your pan. It should be thin, but enough to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom. Then cover with a layer of noodles.

Add a layer of kale and cheese, approximately half of the bowl. Then add a layer of eggplant slices.

Sprinkle the feta cheese over the top and add another layer of sauce. Top with the last layer of noodles, then the other half of the kale mixture, remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Now you are set to bake it. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes till it is bubbly and the top is starting to brown.


Now check out the fabulous spread of culinary delights shared today with the Secret Recipe Club.

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