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Mama Mira’s Famous Lasagna

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I promise this is the only lasagna recipe that you will ever need. Its the perfect cheesy, meaty, hearty lasagna. Stuffed full of garlicky tomato sauce and creamy smooth béchamel sauce, it’s a super comforting dish, that gets requested more than any other dish I make. Its worth it to get the good parmesan, not the powder that comes in a can because it will give a great taste to the béchamel.

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Ingredients:

1 pack of lasagna noodles

shredded mozzarella

For the meat sauce:

  • 1/2 kilo ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2- 8 oz  (227 grams) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

For the béchamel:

  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, saute onion in the vegetable oil until soft and translucent. Add the beef to brown.  Add the all spice, cinnamon, black pepper, and garlic. Once the beef is cooked through add the salt. Pour the tomato sauce, tomato paste, italian seasoning, garlic powder and brown sugar over the beef. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the water and simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the béchamel: melt butter with flour in a medium saucepan and stir until mixture becomes golden color (about 3 minutes). Pour the milk and cream into the pan (milk and cream should be warm), whisking continuously. Add the garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until the mixture has just began to thicken up, then turn off the heat and add the parmesan. (The sauce will continue to thicken up off the stove).

To assemble: Coat the bottom of the pyrex with a little of the béchamel so that the noodles wont stick. Then put one layer of noodles, top with 1/3 of the meat sauce, and then 1/3 of the béchamel. Put another layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel, then the final layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes. In the final 10 minutes  turn on the broiler to brown the top.

Enjoy!

-M

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by | October 23, 2012 · 10:00 am

Pecan Pie

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My sister’s pie mood was infectious apparently. Ever since she posted the all-butter crust, I had been craving a good old fashioned slice of pie. With all the pumpkin recipes floating around, I decided on a rich, satisfying.. pecan pie. Ha! Why not? It’s just as seasonal, and probably even more delicious. Now pecans are a little hard to find in Jordan, you will need to go to one of those places that sells nuts and spices and ask for raw pecans, although sometimes the larger supermarkets will have them. This pie is fantastic, with crunchy nuts overlying a sweet candy-like filling. Start with a small slice as it can be super rich. I went with a very classic recipe as that is what pecan pie to me should be like, sweet and simple.

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Pecan Pie (adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

Ingredients:

For the crust: use Farah’s all butter crust recipe, it will give you the most amazing flaky crust.

*tip: I didn’t roll out the crust, I just put big chunks of it in the tart pan I was using, and patted it down with my hands, it worked out perfectly

For the filling:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Prepared the crust as instructed, and press into the tart pan (I used a 9 inch)

In medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.

Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

1 Comment

by | October 21, 2012 · 1:11 pm