Tag Archives: Delicious

Vietnamese Sandwich Delight

7 Apr
NhuLan's Bakery

NhuLan's Bakery Lemongrass Tofu Sandwich (photo from Chicago Tribune)

I made a discovery yesterday. My favorite kind of discovery. The delicious kind.

After reading the Chicago Tribune’s ’30 sandwiches in 30 days’ piece, I realized that day 28’s was from NhuLan’s Bakery– mere steps from my house. I consulted with a co-worker, who also lives in the area, and she confirmed the sandwiches from NhuLan’s Bakery are to die for.

Well, you don’t have to tell me twice!

We put the baby in the stroller, put the leash on the dog and strolled a few blocks to experience the wonders of Vietnamese sandwiches from NhuLan’s Bakery last night. I got the tofu lemongrass sandwich and my husband got the grilled pork equivalent. At the bargain basement price of $3.50 each sandwich, we were already happy with our dinner decision.

When we got home, we tore into our respective sandwich bags and dug right in. The result? AMAZING. I was skeptical at first because the tofu was a little too good. Surely they had mixed mine up and put in pork instead. But no, it really was tofu. Sliced deli-thin and perfectly seasoned. My husband’s pork sandwich was equally delicious.

So the verdict: Yes. Yes, yes, and a million more times, yes. We will be back. Soon. And if you’re in Lincoln Square, we definitely recommend you checking it out as well.

Sinfully Simple Lasagna

9 Oct

 

Lasagna from Women's Day

Lasagna from Women's Day

 

Growing up, my mom was known throughout my family, immediate and extended, for her signature lasagna. I have memories of her making pan after pan for large family parties out in eastern Long Island; she even catered my uncle’s wedding with lasagna. So needless to say, the term lasagna was always one associated with much labor and ferocity. But my God was it delicious.

As I started to dabble in the kitchen, lasagna remained one of those culinary entities that intimidated the hell out of me. Visions of bubbling sauce, boiling noodles, messy aprons danced through my head. But it was the New Years eve of my sophomore year in college that I decided to embark on the quest to serve lasagna at a party with friends.

I called my mom, got her recipe and set forth. It wasn’t pretty. But, it wasn’t that bad. Once I was able to wrap my brain around it (sauce, noodle, ricotta, cheese, sauce and repeat) I realized this could be a really fun dish to improvise and play around with.

Fast forward 10 years and I still enjoy making lasagna. I love to add veggies, flavor aspects, etc… And just recently, I discovered the most amazing tool out there to even further simplify this no-longer-as-scary-as-I-thought dish: no-boil noodles. I thought they were a myth. I thought they would taste like leather (and maybe to more refined pasta pallets, they do, but not to me).  Turns out, the no-boil noodles just got lasagna back into our monthly meal rotation. This is also a great meal because you get a ton of leftovers for lunch throughout the week.

So in honor of my mother, who I love, and her famous lasagna, here is my, ridiculousy easy version of her acclaimed favorite:

Sinfully Simple Lasagna

*Please note- I don’t, ever, follow recipes to a T, so you’ll have to forgive that when I share my recipes, they’ll look like I how I prepare them- lots of guesstimates.*

  • Box of no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 jars of tomato sauce
  • Veggies (I like carrots, spinach, and mushrooms- but add whatever you want here)
  • 1.5-2 cups of Ricotta cheese
  • 1 large log of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese
  1. First things first: turn on the oven to 350.
  2. In a large lasagna-like dish, wipe a bit of olive oil on the pan and then put a layer of sauce on the bottom.
  3. Add noodles so they don’t overlap but cover the pan
  4. Add more sauce
  5. Add dollops of ricotta throughout, on top of the sauce
  6. Add a thin layer of shredded mozzarella cheese
  7. Add veggies (here I would add spinach and mushrooms)
  8. Add another layer of sauce
  9. Add noodles again
  10. Add more sauce
  11. (Do you see the pattern here?!)
  12. Add ricotta
  13. Add veggies (here I’d add the carrots)
  14. Add a little more sauce
  15. Layer the top with mozzarella cheese and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
  16. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes to an hour (the top should be browning, melted and bubbling).

VOILA!