Cooking for Kids at the Lodge 2 – Lasagna

On Saturday, we had an insane amount of food.  Breakfast was pretty usual (for the lodge) – eggs scrambled with picante and cheese, 3 kinds of meat, hash browns, tortillas, and muffins.  Lunch was chicken salad, hot dogs and chili, and leftover meatloaf (sandwiches).  There was no relief at supper – lasagna, Italian sausage, salad with everything on it, green beans, and garlic bread.  I made Ropy Polies earlier in the day, which one of the guys referred to as “crack,” because they’re so additive!

The chili was amazingly delicious.  I used the deer chili meat we had in the freezer, and made the Picante Chili recipe, with a few “alterations.”  I added cooked crumbled bacon, and sausage to the deer meat.  For seasonings, I added soy sauce, worcestershire, and a small container of Gebhardt Chili Powder.  Then I simmered it for 3 hours, until there was not a chewy feel to any of the deer meat.

Lasagna has always been one of my “go to” recipes, for a crowd, and over the years I’ve made it much simpler to prepare.  Here’s what I’ve learned – if you use enough sauce, assemble the lasagna, and let it set in the fridge overnight – you never have to cook the pasta, even if they are not the oven ready type.  Just make sure the noodles have a little space between them, because they expand.  I always hated precooking the noodles, it’s just a big mess.  The other thing about lasagna is that after you cook it, let it sit on the counter about 20 minutes before you cut it, otherwise, it slides all over the place.  My classic lasagna is a layer of meat sauce, a layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of whole milk ricotta mixed with eggs, a layer of Italian grated cheeses, and repeat.  It’s hard to go wrong with that combination.  On occasion, I’ve been known to fill in with any kind of pasta I have, if I run out of lasagna noodles.  And if I need a little more moisture, I might drizzle in some cream (stop laughing).    It’s your kitchen, and you’re the chef, so don’t be concerned about changing a recipe.  As long as you use good ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong.