Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ham and Asparagus Lasagna

This recipe is a wonderful alternative to a red sauce based dish.  For some reason my red lasagna seems to be inconsistent with taste.  However, I've made this lasagna numerous times and have everyone in the family requests it for birthday dinners and such.  I've adapted the recipe that I found at joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com and I believe they modified the same recipe from Pillsbury.com.

Enjoy!

HAM AND ASPARAGUS LASAGNA
8-9 lasagna noodles--uncooked
1 tbs olive oil or butter
1 lb asparagus cut into bite sized pieces
1 8oz package fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb chopped ham (I make a whole ham and use leftovers or frozen leftovers)
2 cups milk
1/3 cup flour
salt to taste
pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
1-2 tbs spicy brown mustard depending on your taste
8 oz shredded cheese, swiss, monterey jack , mozzarella, cheddar or combination of all.
1/2-1 cup chicken stock

Saute mushrooms and asparagus in 1 tbs butter or olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until desired doneness.  Add ham and saute for a few more minutes until ham is warmed.  Pour into a large bowl and set aside.  In a small bowl or cup, combine 1/2 cup milk, flour, salt and peppers.  Mix with a whisk until well blended.  In the same skillet, (there will be some juices left from cooking the veggies and ham), spread out the mustard and stir in the milk mixture.  Add remaining 1 1/2 cup milk slowly and blend well.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly and thick.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1/2 cup cheese until melted.  Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of the glass pan.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce for the top of the casserole.  Add remaining sauce to the ham mixture.  Stir to combine.  Arrange three noodles over the sauce.  Spoon half of the the ham mixture over the noodles.  Top with 1/2 cup cheese.  Repeat layers.  Top with remaining noodles, 1/2 cup reserved sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheesse.  Bake covered at 350 for 10-15 minutes, then cook for additional 20-30 minutes uncovered until the noodles are tender.  Let stand for 15 minutes prior to cutting and serving.

**Note:  I use some homemade chicken stock (bottom of the ingredient list) to thin the white sauce if needed.  I also pour a small amount (1/2 cup) around the edges of the lasagna prior to placing in the oven.  This adds a little low fat flavor and helps the noodles to become tender without pre cooking them.

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