Saturday, December 08, 2007

Baby Tuna Spinach & Lentil Potato Lasagne


When I first introduced lentils to Kimi, he took to it very well. Recently, he's been rejecting it. Not sure if he's sick of it or simply don't like it anymore... Whatever the reason, I'm determined the he continue to eat this wonderful legume.

So, it was back to the 'thinking board' for me to come up with something that can hide this goody. Came up with a 'potato-lasagne' instead of the normal pasta kind. Actually can also be considered as a gratin. Well, most importantly, Master Picky finished it with gusto. Next time I will make it for myself too.. cos its pretty yummy!

The cheese layer is more burnt than I want it to be but it's alright, just remove and serve. I used a toaster oven so the heat can't be controlled. Hence, it is better to use a convention oven. But I wanted to do something so that most of my readers can use and I'm quite sure most of you would have a toaster oven at home. So, just watch the heat or simply tear off the top. ENJOY!

Ingredients

  • 1 potato (boiled)
  • Some butter
Filling
  • 1 tbsp of lightly blanched & chopped Spinach
  • 1 tbsp of lentils (boil in milk to mashy and let stand for 10mins after boiling)
  • 2 tbsp of Tuna (flakes in water)
  • 1 tbsp of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
* To prepare the filling, after the lentils has been cooked, strain and drain. Add the tuna and stir till blended. Add 3-4 tbsp of milk and place in microwave for 1 min. Once heat through, stir in the spinach and cheese and set aside. You can also add the tuna to the lentils when it is almost done and bring to a boil. But must ensure not too much milk left over in saucepan or you will have to strain it and lose some flavourful juice from the tuna.

Topping
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese or shredded cheddar/mozarella

Method
  1. Smear the bottom & sides of an oven-ready dish

  2. After the potato is soft from boiling (check with fork), pour away the water and heat it in the dry saucepan, shaking & moving the potato till dry, approx 1 min.

  3. Use a fork or knife to mash lightly the potato and lay a little at the bottom of the dish

  4. Spoon some of the filling and repeat the mash potato process

  5. Fill top layer with the mash potato, press lightly to compact it

  6. Tear up a pc of the sliced cheese and arrange till covered or sprinkle the shredded cheese on top till covered

  7. Place in toaster oven for 5 mins or oven at 190 degrees for 8-10mins or until the cheese has browned

  8. Remove and slowly scoop out & serve immediately

Tips

  • Use a good quality, powdery potato (for baking) so that it can be mashed easily and taste sweet and soft.
  • Boiling the lentils in milk enhances the taste and removes more the nutty flavour, giving it a sweet, creamy texture
  • Recipes not suitable for freezing
  • You can substitute other kinds of meat like salmon or other veg like broccoli or cauliflower
  • Dry heating boiled potatoes after it is done is to remove the moisture that has accumulated especially in the centre of the potato. This will help to remove/reduce the sogginess and makes handling it easier and improves the texture.

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