I’ve been watching quite a bit of Rachael Ray lately. I used to watch it all the time but I get easily bored and then move on to other things so I had stopped for a while. I started again, well because with the holidays, a) a lot of shows are in reruns so I’ve been looking for something to watch and b) she often has a lot of really neat holiday recipes and ideas on her show. I have to admit though, I’ve been taping her shows on my PVR and then skipping through to the parts I care about LOL. I’m not really that into the whole celebrity interview or makeover or wear the latest fashions thing. Oh, I’ll watch an occasional interview if it happens to be with someone I know is really funny like Jim Parsons but really, it’s the crafts, decorating, and cooking parts that I care about.
Last week while watching her Thanksgiving show, she had someone on who makes what she has called a Pummple cake. It’s supposed to solve the age-old problem (which apparently was never a problem in my family) of whether to serve cake or pie as dessert for the holidays because it bakes a pie inside of a cake. The one she showed had a pumpkin pie baked inside of one layer of cake and an apple pie baked inside the other layer of cake. You will not see my rendition of this recipe on this blog – that I can promise you. It sounds positively disgusting to me and if I want both cake and pie, I’ll just make both…SEPARATELY!!! Here’s the recipe though if you’re interested http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/pummple/
Instead, what I’m sharing with you today is my take on her potato lasagna recipe. The potatoes serve as the lasagna noodles. Rachael made it a Spinach Artichoke Potato Lasagna but I’ve changed it to broccoli. Although my daughter likes the 4 cheese spinach artichoke dip they serve at a restaurant around here, she’s not really a spinach fan and so I wanted to make this more appealing to her as well. I also tried this recipe without the broccoli (more of a scalloped potato au gratin then) and it was quite tasty that way too. I also cut the recipe in half so that it’s just about perfect for 2 people to eat as a main course or for 4-6 as a side dish.
2 lbs. potatoes (Rachael peeled them which I guess would make them seem more like lasagna but I left the skin on), sliced lengthwise (if you have a mandoline, this goes really quickly!)
1 cup chopped broccoli (either use frozen and defrost it or cook it before putting in the lasagna)
1 cup ricotta cheese (note: Rachael used all ricotta. I happened to have some mascarpone on hand that I needed to use up so I did half and half but I’m sure it would be really good with just ricotta as well.)
1 cup mascarpone
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 cup shredded Parmesan
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 cups milk
nutmeg and Italian seasoning to taste
Instructions: Rachael parboiled the potatoes first for about 5 minutes before putting into the casserole. I think because I used a mandoline to slice the potatoes, mine were thinner cut than hers because I didn’t find parboiling necessary. Mix together the broccoli, ricotta, mascarpone, salt, pepper, egg yolk and 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan. Make a Bechamel sauce by first creating a roux – melt the butter over medium high heat and stir in the flour. Cook this for a minute or two and then whisk in the milk. You can add some salt and pepper to the sauce if you’d like but I felt like there was enough in the cheese mixture already so I simply added some nutmeg and Italian seasoning. Continue to whisk over medium high heat until the sauce thickens. Pour half the sauce into a casserole dish, then add a layer of potatoes and half the cheese mixture. Follow with another layer of potatoes, the rest of the cheese mixture, the last of the potatoes, and the remaining sauce. Top with the other 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Bake until golden on top – I found for my smaller sized casserole that about half an hour was good. I also reduced the heat from Rachael’s 400 degree oven to 350 and this worked well. If you’re making a bigger one, you might want to go with her oven setting and bake this for closer to 45 minutes.
As Rachael would say, YUM-O!