Saturday, April 23, 2011

MMC Challenge 8 & 9 (Part 2) - Bread Lasagna (with potatoes and peas filling)

Here's the ingredient 8 & 9 of MMC challenge 

Ingredient 8: Green Peas
Ingredient 9: Standard White bread

This twist in the tale was M's way of getting me out of my writer's block as well as winter blues and inspire me to think outside the box. The rules he came up with are:

1. You have to use both ingredients 8 and 9 in making the dish. 
2. Both should be considered as main ingredients and hence should be provided with equal importance in quantity and in taste.
3. You have to make 2 dishes and that is why we are counting them as 2 ingredients.
4. The dishes should not be from the same category (Appetizer, Main course, Side, Dessert)

Here's part -2 of this challenge.

For the second part of this challenge, I decided to go with a twist on lasagna. Normally my instincts guide me into making an appetizer/snacks since I would eat an appetizer or a snack for a meal instead of the main course !! When I go to a restaurant I end up liking the options in the appetizer section more than I do the main course that I order appetizer as my main meal :-) So given my immense liking towards appetizers I had to resist the urge and decided to go with a main course.

This recipe is almost a fusion between lasagna and a sandwich. I have used the principle of lasagna (layering the bread with tomato sauce) but have used a stuffed sandwich instead of pasta for the layering. I like lasagna and potatoes/peas stuffed sandwich. So no surprise here that I loved the final result which had the taste and texture of both lasagna and a sandwich. Thinking about it, maybe I should rename this recipe as "Sandwich lasagna" :-)

  1. Though it looks like the recipe involves too many steps and elaborate, this is actually nothing more than assembling a layer of sandwich with tomato sauce and cheese.
  2. If using fresh tomatoes instead of the Hunt's sauce, blanch the tomatoes. Remove the skin and seeds and puree.
  3. Season both the sauce and the stuffing generously. Taste and adjust the seasoning before assembling the lasagna. Remember there is enough bread in the recipe to absorb the spices. If under seasoned, the dish may turn out bland.
  4. Use a wide shallow pan to make the filling. The potatoes and peas will crisp up better if there are spread into as thin a layer as possible in the pan.
  5. Toasting the bread - Use either the oven or a simple toaster to toast the bread.

For the Sauce
Hunt's tomato sauce, plain - 14 oz  (see notes)
Diced tomatoes (fresh or canned) - 1 cup
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Sugar - 1 tsp
Red chili flakes - 1 tsp (or more)
Basil dry - 1/2 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil - 2 tbsp

Peas and potato stuffing
Potatoes , medium - 3, diced into small cubes
Peas, frozen thawed - 2 cups (remove excess moisture from the peas using a towel)
Black pepper, freshly ground  - 2 tsp or more
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 3 tbsp

White bread 6-8 slices
Oil or melted butter - as required
Garlic - 2 cloves
Mozzarella or Italian blend cheese - 2 cups (more or less as you'd like)

Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.
Add red chili flakes and garlic. Let it cook for a minute.
Now add the diced tomatoes and season with salt.
Let it cook for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are well cooked.
Now add the tomato sauce, sugar and basil. Let it boil for 10 min.
Add more salt if required and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Take it off the heat and set aside.

Heat oil in a wide shallow pan.
Add potatoes and spread it into a single layer (so most of the potatoes are in direct contact with the pan).
Sprinkle some salt. Do not stir. Cover and let it cook for a few minutes until the bottom starts browning.
Now stir the potatoes, add peas. Let it cook until the potatoes are done and the peas get crisp.
Add more salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Preparing the bread:
If toasting in the oven, brush each side on the bread with oil or melted butter. Place the slices on a sheet pan, bake for 10 min at 400 F or just until the bread gets brown and toasty.
If using a toaster - toast the bread slices as you would and then brush with some oil or melted butter.
Rub both sides of the toasted bread with a garlic clove. Set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Grease a baking dish with oil.
Spread a thin layer of the tomato mixture in the baking dish.
Layer a few bread slices (I used 31/2 slices) to cover the entire baking dish. Break the slices to make sure you fill the whole surface with bread.
Spread a little more than half of the potato/peas mixture on the bread layer. Spread 3/4 cup of cheese on this.
Cover this layer with another layer of bread.
Spread the remaining potato/peas layer and then the rest of the tomato mixture.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, making sure to cover the entire baking pan.
Bake for 30-40 min or until the cheese melts and bubbly.
Remove it from the oven and let it cool a bit before slicing.
Serve with a side salad.

Enjoy !!

15 comments: said...

Very innovative recipe.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Perfect for vegetarians like us and when we don't have pasta, love it and the pictures make it even more tempting :)

Vandana Rajesh said...

very creative...delicious innovative recipe.

Parita said...

Delicious and easy one!

aipi said...

Really blown away by the originality- this recipe is soooo bookmarked!
US Masala

Now Serving said...

Lovely lasagna quite different from the norm - like it a lot!

Gulmohar said...

That's nifty ! very pretty too :-)

Jay said...

inviting ...sounds delicious..
Tasty Appetite

Shri said...

That is so innovative and delicious..

Panchpakwan said...

Wow so delicious lasagna..

swapna said...

Vreative and delicious lasagna....

Suman Singh said...

First time to your blog..u have a lovely space here..Bread Lasagna looks delicious and yummy...

Kalyani said...

looks new recipe to me and delicious .....

Prathibha said...

Nicely n innovatively done lasagne..looks delicious

Manasi said...

Oh, this is interesting! Must try !