Usually we spend the summer grilling in the backyard. We haven't been able to do much of that this summer because it has been so incredibly hot. It might be me but I can't seem to turn on the grill in this heat. It hasn't seemed like a fun thing to do. Although, this hasn't stopped us from eating really well.
This week, we escaped the heat by going to California and spending some time at the beach. We stayed at my mom's house and we ate some incredible meals. She is such an amazing cook. She made our delicious salmon in foil recipe one night and some incredible burritos the next night. We were full of delicious food the whole time. It was nice not to have to do all of the cooking. I did help. We are a big family to feed. Actually, we all helped. Everyone pitched in while we prepared the meals. We had the best time cooking all together.
I can't wait for it to cool down a bit so I can get back to the grill. In the meantime, we are still cooking indoors. This week, my stepdaughter Ella came up with the recipe idea again. I am so happy her taste in food has become more sophisticated. She used to only like rice and pastaplain with butter. We drove back to Las Vegas yesterday and on the drive I asked her what was her favorite meal.
Salmon and Pesto Lasagna.
She works at a caf in England and has learned how to make many new dishes. They do a lot of catering for weddings and big parties. Her job sounds like a lot of fun. Her favorite meal is a pesto and salmon lasagna. She told me that it is so delicious.
I told her that I needed to know how to make this dish. It sounded like an amazing idea. I've never thought of having fish in my lasagna. She texted her boss for the recipe and she responded to us in simple terms (without measurements) how to prepare it. She said there is no real recipe. She just makes it up as she goes and changes the amounts depending on how many people she has to feed. I liked that idea. Most of my favorite recipes are like this. I rarely measure anything when I am cooking my favorite things.
She said we needed salmon, leeks, broccoli, butter, cream, cheese, pesto, garlic, wine, a cheese sauce and lasagna noodles. Okay, so this is another fattening meal and not how we should be eating in the heat or during bikini weather. We shouldn't eat too much cream and cheese at any time of the year for that matter. However, I couldn't resist trying this dish out. Anyway, if I just have a small piece with a huge salad on the side, I should be okay. Also, it's salmon instead of ground beef. That improves the healthiness of this dish a bit. It sounds so amazing and I still consider myself being on vacation while Archie and Ella are here with me. When I am on vacation, or in that holiday state of mind, I like to eat with abandon. Besides, it is Ella's favorite thing to eat and I am a sucker for making meals that make people happy. I had to do it. I'll eat greens, fruit and whole grains for the rest of the week to balance it out. Also, Daphne and Ella said they would help me make this and I always have so much fun cooking with them.
Salmon and Pesto Lasagna
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 plus
1 stick of butter
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup white wine
cup heavy cream
1 ten ounce package of pesto sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of salmon, cubed
4 broccoli heads, cut into florets
2 packages of lasagna noodles, cooked
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt the stick of butter. Add the leeks and saut for fifteen minutes. Add garlic and saut for another ten minutes. Add white wine and cream. Place salmon cubes into this mixture and cook for about ten minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat. Mix in well. In another pot, steam the broccoli until a little tender but still firm. Place the steamed broccoli into a bowl of cold water to stop it from cooking. Make a bchamel (creamy cheese) sauce. In an oven ready casserole dish, layer the noodles, salmon and vegetable mixture, cheese sauce and top with the two cheeses. Make three layers. The top layer will be just the noodles with the cheese sauce and sprinkled cheese on top. Place into the oven for 30 minutes.
After we got home from California, I ran to the store to get everything we needed. I added an extra bottle of wine for drinking with it. I've really been enjoying a nice cold glass of white wine with dinner lately. It's so refreshing for the summertime. Daphne, Ella and I spent an hour preparing the meal. Daphne was the photographer and Ella helped cook. We turned on some good music and had a great time singing and cooking. Once the lasagna came out of the oven, it looked amazing and tasted even better. The vegetables and salmon made it seem lighter than regular meat filled lasagna. It was so good. Everyone in my family absolutely loved it. We were all impressed with Ella's skills.