Buffalo Ranch Chicken Lasagna

It’s Super Bowl time! You have the perfect excuse to scroll through your pins on Pinterest and choose a few super unhealthy, extremely decadent dishes to serve to family and friends during the big game. Hooray!! Trust me, I’ve been there and done that. A few years ago when Pinterest first hit the scene I had a Super Bowl spread that you could gain five pounds just looking at. It was intense…and delicious. This year I was thinking about trying to replicate my mother-in-law’s hot wings, but I just can’t bring myself to go through the whole deep-frying ordeal. Such a mess. Then I remembered something I actually saw on Pinterest myself a few days ago- Buffalo Chicken Lasagna.

Interesting.

I read the recipe and it actually sounded pretty good…hot sauce, blue cheese, white cheddar, pasta…what’s not to love? I made some changes and additions and came up with what I think it a pretty amazing combo. I personally love dipping my hot wings in ranch dressing, not blue cheese, so I added some “ranchy” herbs and spices to the sauce to really drive home my favorite hot wing flavors. If you want to mix up your game this year, give this one a shot. It’s a crowd pleaser and it won’t leave your kitchen with a layer of oil coating your appliances and countertops. Or if you must, go for the gold and put all those pins of yours to good use. At least you have a good excuse. 🙂

photo copy

olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1, 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 , 12 oz. bottle Louisiana brand buffalo wing sauce 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄2 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper, to taste
no-­‐boil lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta cheese
4 oz. blue cheese
1⁄2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  2. Add the can of diced tomatoes, bottle of wing sauce, dried parsley, dried dill, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir in chicken and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, cooking for 20 minutes or up to an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine beaten egg, ricotta cheese and blue cheese. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove lid from Dutch oven and check seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Begin the lasagna layering process. Spread 1 cup sauce into a greased 13-­‐in. x 9-­‐in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, 1-­‐1/2 cups sauce, 2/3 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 2/3 cup cheddar cheese. Repeat this process 2 more times for a total of three layers.
  6. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees with 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Cauliflower and Celery Root Soup

Sometimes it’s really fun to start cooking with just one ingredient in mind and build from there. In keeping with preparing seasonal food, I had in my mind that I wanted to try a cauliflower soup. I recently made a Broccoli Cheese Soup that was to die for…so I wanted to mix it up a little bit and play with some new flavors.

Celery Root is another in-season veggie, and since the base of many soups is already onion, carrot and celery, I figured throwing celery root in instead would be an easy substitution. I also REALLY love leeks in soup. To tell the truth, I love leeks in anything. They are awesome used in place of a regular onion, as they have a more complex onion flavor. I really love their light green color too.

One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is The Flavor Bible. It’s a great way to learn how to pair different ingredients and I use it a lot to double check myself. I used it with this soup to make sure the cheese I wanted to add would work well with the other ingredients and sure enough, perfect match! I ended up going with cauliflower, celery root, leeks, truffle oil and gruyere cheese. Ahhhh-mazing! If you’re looking for something a little less intense, scratch the drizzle of truffle oil and add fresh dill instead. I plan to try that next!

cauliflowersoup

For the soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium celery root, peeled, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 medium cauliflower, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 medium leek, quartered and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 inch chunk of parmesan cheese
½ cup heavy cream
splash of white wine
salt and pepper, to taste
4 oz. shredded gruyere cheese, for garnish (optional)
white truffle oil, for drizzling

For the crispy kale:

1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and chopped into 2 inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until becoming translucent. Add celery root and cauliflower; sauté 3 minutes . Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Add splash of wine and simmer until it is mostly absorbed.
  2. Add chicken stock and parmesan cheese chunk. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low to simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss kale with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove when kale is crispy, you may have to watch for this.
  5. Carefully transfer in batches to a blender. Purée until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in cream, salt, pepper. Add more cream or stock if you need to until you reach desired consistency. Simmer 5 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of truffle oil and sprinkling of Gruyere. Garnish with a few crispy kale leaves. Serve remaining kale chips alongside soup.

***A variation to the truffle oil would be to stir in about a tablespoon of fresh chopped dill. Where the truffle oil will add richness, the dill would brighten up the soup.***