Gluten free Skillet Lasagne

January 14th, 2012
by: Sue

This skillet lasagne is quick and easy and better than any standard lasagne I have made. I took an America’s test kitchen recipe and altered it to fit my pantry and my gluten free diet, the result is outstanding!

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 slices Wrights peppered bacon, cut into dice
8 ounces smoked sausage, diced
12 ounces corn pasta (lasagne corte)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan
ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 grated parmesan to top
1/2 cup grated cheddar to top

Empty the tomatoes into a four cup measure; add liquid until it measures four cups (I used water). Heat the oil in a 12 inch high sided stainless skillet, add the onion, salt and cook until the onion browns, stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds. Cook in a separate skillet the bacon until crisp, add the chopped sausage, when brown add to the onion mixture. Scatter the pasta over the mixture, add the tomatoes and cover, stirring occastionally, add the wine, and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the parmesan. Dot with heaping tablespoons of the ricotta, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup parmesan grated, and 1/2 cup grated cheddar and put under broiler until cheese begins to bubble and brown. Remove from oven, let stand for 5 minutes then serve with salad.

Shrimp and Grits Casserole

January 7th, 2012
by: Blue

Shrimply delicious!

I decided to make this dish mostly because I had all the ingredients on hand and did not have to make a trip to the grocery store.  My limit on grocery shopping is about once a week.  More trips than that makes me grouchy because that means I’m going after work (UG!).  I hate going after work.  And besides, sometimes the fun of cooking is figuring out the perfect dish using what is in the pantry.

Key thoughts on this dish:

I love grits, but I’m picky about them.  I only buy Bob’s Red Mill coarsely ground grits (also labeled as polenta).  Yes, I’ve said that before.  This dish would be good with any grits, but Bob’s Red Mill grits take it to the next level.  GET IT! GOT IT? GOOD.

I used large shrimp, so big that I was concerned about the cook time – so I butterflied them.  The added benefit of this is they cooked up beautifully (which is typical of butterflied shrimp – they are just prettier and make a better presentation).  I also used about 2 pounds, which was on the verge of excessive, because I wanted it to be extra-shrimpy-licious. Und it vas (said in my very best Dr. Everett Scott voice – yes I’m a Rocky Horror Picture Show dweeb).

Whatever you tweak in the recipe – don’t mess with the corn!  I realize it may sound bizarre to you, but it’ s fantastic bit of crunchy sweetness that is perfect on the palate.  A recommended tweak would be to add chopped Hatch green chiles or chopped fresh jalapenos.  Or chipotle peppers.  Do we see a pattern here?

Tweaking recipes is fun.  This dish started out as a kind of standard recipe that I found (ironically it was a healthy, light version – but it certainly wasn’t after I was done with it).  My tweaks were based on one of my favorite recipes in the whole wide world, Sue’s Kickin’ Grits.  Make those and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven (we also call them the Virgin Mary grits because one bite will make you see the face of the Virgin Mary).  Giving due credit to my Dad, he is the one who blessed the grits with the Virgin Mary nickname.  Gotta love it.

And finally, do yourself a favor and buy a high quality smoked paprika, it’s much tastier than the standard paprika.  I use La Chinata.


2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup uncooked grits
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Worschester sauce
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter
3 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 – 2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 – 2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp, butterflied
Cooking spray
3/4 cup panko
Smoked paprika


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine milk and broth in a medium heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually add grits and salt to pan, stirring constantly. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in Worschester sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 2 tablespoons butter, and cream cheese.

Sauté onion, celery, and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter over med high heat for 5 minutes.  Stir onion, celery, garlic, frozen corn, parsley, and lemon juice into grits.  Let the grits cool for 15-20 minutes, then add egg and shrimp. Mix well.

Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with panko, remaining 1/4 cup parmesan, and sprinkle liberally with smoked paprika. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until set. Serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.