Lasagna with Quark Cheese

This quark cheese could not have come at a better time. My colleague had sent me a text stating he was bringing in 12 ounces of quark cheese and it was all mine. He had recently worked at a farm to table dinner and a lot of food was leftover for the taking, and one of them being quark cheese. It was awesome quark cheese at that and from Clock Shadow Creamery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They make awesome cheese curds, so I was excited to try their quark cheese.

When I took the cheese home, I gave it a taste, and it was confirmed how awesome it was. The quark cheese was soft, a bit tangy, and reminded me a bit of ricotta cheese in texture. That’s when I knew what I was going to do with it, and what a better way to use up a lot of my tomato sauce that I have been freezing from an abundance of tomatoes from my garden. What’s better is my kids did not know I was putting in this cheese, so it was a new experience to a meal they already love, lasagna.

Lasagna with Quark Cheese Recipe
Lasagna with Quark Cheese Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 lb ground chuck, cooked, and fat drained
  • 5 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (I made my own)
  • 12 pasta sheets, I tried the ‘Oven Ready’ type
  • 1/3 cup shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 12 oz Quark cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of fresh mozzarella, torn
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • aluminum foil

Start by cooking your ground chuck. Once cooked and drained, return back to the stove on medium-low heat, and add in your tomato sauce, garlic, shallots, and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetable soften, and the sauce is cooked through. Once cooked through, set aside.

To a mixing bowl, add the quark cheese, eggs, black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Mix until everything is blended through.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

To a baking dish, lightly spray with cooking spray.

Lasagna with Quark Cheese Ingredients
Lasagna with Quark Cheese Ingredients

Now time for assembly. Ladle about a cup of meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, and evenly spread out.

Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna shells. Add dollops of the quark cheese mixture on top of the pasta. Ladle a bit more sauce, top with pasta, cheese mixture, pasta, cheese mixture, meat sauce, pasta, and finish with covering entirely with the meat sauce. Add the fresh mozzarella on top of the meat sauce, then cover with aluminum foil, and place into the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

After 35 minutes, remove, take off the foil, and return back to the oven to get the cheese nice and bubbly. Remove, and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes (I know that is the hardest part).

Now you are ready to serve. Slice into squares, shower with more parmesan cheese if desired, or shower with some chili flakes.

Lasagna with Quark Cheese Recipe
Lasagna with Quark Cheese Recipe

The end result, and I don’t say this because I made this recipe with quark cheese, was spectacular. It had everything you love about a great lasagna, but there was something about the quark that really made it special.  So if you have never tried quark cheese, do so, and if you have plenty to spare give this recipe a shot. I hope you enjoy!

Lasagna with Quark Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Lasagna
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ lb ground chuck, cooked, and fat drained
  • 5 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (I made my own)
  • 12 pasta sheets, I tried the ‘Oven Ready’ type
  • ⅓ cup shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup bell pepper, diced
  • 12 oz Quark cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of fresh mozzarella, torn
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • aluminum foil
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking your ground chuck. Once cooked and drained, return back to the stove on medium-low heat, and add in your tomato sauce, garlic, shallots, and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetable soften, and the sauce is cooked through. Once cooked through, set aside.
  2. To a mixing bowl, add the quark cheese, eggs, black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Mix until everything is blended through.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  4. To a baking dish, lightly spray with cooking spray.
  5. Now time for assembly. Ladle about a cup of meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, and evenly spread out.
  6. Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna shells. Add dollops of the quark cheese mixture on top of the pasta. Ladle a bit more sauce, top with pasta, cheese mixture, pasta, cheese mixture, meat sauce, pasta, and finish with covering entirely with the meat sauce. Add the fresh mozzarella on top of the meat sauce, then cover with aluminum foil, and place into the preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  7. After 35 minutes, remove, take off the foil, and return back to the oven to get the cheese nice and bubbly. Remove, and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes (I know that is the hardest part).
  8. Now you are ready to serve. Slice into squares, shower with more parmesan cheese if desired, or shower with some chili flakes.

 

Homemade Biscuits

I recently told my wife “This is the year of the biscuit”. I don’t know what got over me when I said that, but I meant what I said. I’ve been thinking of biscuits for some time now that I had to make some more attempts at trying to get the biscuit down. There are so many things you can do with a biscuit, and hence why I probably said that to my wife, everything from sweet and savory. What is not to love about that? Ever since I lived in Dallas, there was one thing that has never left my mind (besides the friendships I made) and that is the love of biscuits and gravy. That is probably another reason why I am making an attempt at creating some really good biscuits.

Homemade Biscuits Recipe
Homemade Biscuits Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled but not frozen, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • Ring cutter, cut to about 3/4 inch thick

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Start by mixing the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Once mixed gently add in the butter, and slowly begin pouring in the milk. You want to form a somewhat firm dough, but not too firm.

Gently roll the dough onto a lightly flour surface, about 3/4 of an inch thick. Use a glass, or if you have a kitchen ring mold, and press down into the dough to shape your biscuit. Continue with however many biscuits you can get away with. Mine yielded 5 biscuits.

Homemade Biscuits
Homemade Biscuits

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove onto a wired rack, or onto a serving plate, and dig in.

These were a perfect side dish to some homemade barbecue ribs, and with a bit of butter they were even better. Now I have to teach my kids how to make these as they would be great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Hope you enjoy!

Dump Cake

I know, I know… another dessert recipe. I guess I am on a roll. The chocolate ice cream was such a hit that I decided to show my daughter another no fuss and way too easy to make dessert. This time it is dump cake. If you have never had a dump cake, well, it is basically you dump some ingredients into a baking dish and that’s about it. The great thing is that you can essentially make it however you want, so I went with a pretty straight forward one using a can of apple pie ingredients and some yellow cake mix. Yep, that’s about it, but the end results are nothing but deliciousness.

Apple and Peach Dump Cake Recipe
Apple and Peach Dump Cake Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 15 oz can of your favorite fruit (I used fried apples with cinnamon)
  • 1 peach, skin removed, sliced

Yep, that’s it.

Start by getting a casserole dish out, and take about 1 tablespoon of the butter and rub it in the interior of the dish.

Pour out the can of your favorite fruit, juices and all, and layer in the peaches. Pour in the cake mix, then add the dollops of butter.

Dump Cake Ingredients
Dump Cake Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Once heated, add the dump cake and bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool, and dig in. Simply spoon into a bowl and serve with some vanilla ice cream. Yum. That’s about all we could say. A simple and easy dessert and one that is perfect this time of year with all of the great fruit. Hope you enjoy!

Ham and Peas Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese has got to be a top ten comfort food. I’ve made all sorts of different kinds of mac and cheese in my lifetime, and granted that it is summer time here in Wisconsin that did not stop me from making another delicious batch of mac and cheese. This time it was ham and peas mac and cheese. Ham and peas are a perfect match, and as I was digging through my freezer to purge things that I have stored for the past couple of months, I decided it was the ham that was going to get purged. This ham and peas mac and cheese is not only a great pairing, but it ended up being one great one pot meal.

Ham and Peas Mac and Cheese Recipe
Ham and Peas Mac and Cheese Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cups of cooked ham, chopped
  • 1 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco, optional
  • 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices of American cheese, optional
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 lb penne pasta, cooked until al dente

Start by adding the canola oil to a large pot, and cook on medium heat for a minute or so. Toss in the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, Tabasco, and cooked ham. Cook until the ham gets a bit crisp, and the onions cook through, about 7 minutes.

During that time, cook your pasta.

In a sauce pot, add the butter, and let it get melted on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour, and using a whisk or wooden spoon, cook the flour for a few minutes. Once the flour is a bit golden in color, this is when you want to add in your milk, continuing to stir, mixing in the roux and thickening it. Once the sauce thickens, add in the cheeses and let that melt, making the cheese sauce.

ham-peas-mac-cheese-ingredients

Drain the pasta, and add it to your ham mixture. Add in the cheese sauce, along with the frozen peas, and give it a great stir. Once everything is nicely incorporated, cover, and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Remove and serve. The end result is nothing but pure comfort, and yes I did crumble goldfish on mine. That’s the type of mood I was in that day, and boy were they ever delicious.  Hope you enjoy!