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Monday, June 20, 2011

“Pasta Specialties, Pt. I—Self-proclaimed Household Lasagna Champ shares Recipe.”

Canned Heat’s eighteenth album, 1981’s "Kings of Boogie" was the new Canned Heat, basically being led by the drummer, Fito de la Parra who did his best to continue the legacy of the band. It’s difficult for a drummer to run a band as he’s dependent upon the musicians around him to produce the sound he wishes to present to the world. Still, it’s an admirable thing for a drummer to carry the mantle and Fito does it fairly well. He always manages to find a wide group of dedicated blues musicians to get the job done and in this respect, he succeeds. You know the procedure: all you have to do is to use the handy link and go to Amazon.com and buy it NOW! Thanks, the Elemental News of the Day.




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PASTA SPECIALTIES, PT. I

"Pasta Specialties, Pt. I—Self-proclaimed Household Lasagna Champ shares Recipe."
Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, June 21, 2011 by Club Director Murph MacDougal


 Bakersfield, CA, 06-21-2011 T: Good morning, friends, I’m back to write for you and am glad to do so. It’s been a short while, I was here earlier in the month and today, I am going to get a brand-new series off to a rip-roaring start: Pasta Specialties. Pasta is a wonderful food, it can be made from virtually anything and that is why we have everything from tomato-basil pasta to black squid ink pasta. Each and every vegetable and many a fruit can be transformed into something new and exciting and the folks who come to us for quality meals are always appreciative at what they get! Most of you who know me know that I am NOT a professional chef like most of the others but don’t let being a club manager or a director of foodservice fool you: I spent most of my early life working in my father’s restaurant as a pot washer and then moved up to line cook. Back in the day, it was unusual for women to be in the back of the house, as female cooks were few and far between. Usually, they were former foodservers who could no longer run the floor and so were forced to leave the front of the house for the back. For many, that was considered to be a disgrace, both for the foodserver and for the kitchen crew who had to work with the female. Relegated to minimal jobs and little responsibility, it was a hard life.

I, on the other hand, began life in the restaurant business in the back doing whatever my father ordered me to do. I peeled potatoes and peeled shrimp; I cut salad and I cut meat; I learned to bake and I learned to run the cook’s line and in so doing, became a total professional. I also learned that when I got my chance to wait tables, that I wanted to become what I now am: a club manager! I love the prestige!

Back in the 1980s, I was blessed with a husband who had four kids, none of whom were mine by blood and what was worse, three of them were teenagers and the grocery bill was incredible! But that’s life, we marry other people’s spouses and their families come with them so I thought, this won’t be so difficult, I’m a good cook, I am, after all, a professional culinary manager and foodist to boot so I though I could work my way into their hearts through their cavernous stomachs. Unfortunately, I soon found myself in a contest of wills and culinary talents and there were so many dishes that I did better than their dad but of course, they loved their dad’s better than mine. Now, we only had dinner together as a family, 2-3 nights a week if we were lucky, as both dad and I worked nights but he did get off due to split shifts and ate with the kids more often than not. I, on the other hand, had Mondays and occasionally a Tuesday to be at home and when I was there, I did the cooking because I was faster and I gave their father a break, nice gal that I was.

Now, dad made a wonderful lasagna but so did I and before I knew it, we were engaged in a battle over pasta, each of us determined to outdo the other and finally one day, I made a hell of a lasagna that the kids said, was "AWESOME!" That was the best compliment that I had ever had in my life and I took the recipe to work and put it to work. The clientele said they liked it, too, so I soon knew that I was on to something big and it has gone with me to many states over the course of the next twenty-plus years. So, today, that is what we’re going to do, make lasagna that will be the best you’ve ever had unless you’re like my step-kids and hubby, and grew up with your own much-beloved recipe and then no amount of wonderfulness will do the job! Ah well, at least you can use this for a quickie!

This is me when I met Stinkbug in 1978 and we had an amazing affair that lasted for several months. Then, we didn't see one another again for about thirty years. I am so glad we've caught back up!

MURPH MACDOUGAL’S FAMED LASAGNA



For One 9" x 13" x 2" pan:
Quantity
Measurement
Ingredient
6Quarts Boiling water
1Tablespoon Kosher salt
12Each 100% durum wheat lasagna noodles
1Tablespoon Olive oil
1.5#Ground beef
.75Cup Minced yellow onions
.75Cup Diced celery
228-ounce cans Tomato sauce
128-ounce can Hot water
1Cup Sliced mushrooms
4Ounces Sliced black olives w/ juice
1.5Teaspoons Kosher salt
.125Teaspoon Black pepper
2Teaspoons Whole oregano
2Teaspoons Sweet basil
1Teaspoon Minced parsley
1Teaspoon Rosemary
1Teaspoon Marjoram
1Tablespoon Granulated sugar
4Cups Grated sharp cheddar cheese
6Cups Grated mozzarella cheese
1Cup Grated parmesan cheese
.5Cup Grated Romano cheese
18-ounce containerRicotta cheese
Paprika, parsley flakes, butter


Method:
  1. Place a large roasting pot over two burners on your stovetop. Pour the boiling water into this pot and the first measure or salt and olive oil. Bring it up to a boil and as soon as it is, drop in six of the noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick together. In the meantime, have a large bowl of ice water on hand to cool the noodles as soon as they’re done. Again, take care to not let them stick but don’t tear them either.
  2. As soon as the pasta is cooked, transfer it from the cooking pot into the ice water and allow to rest. Cook the second batch of pasta and when it’s done, place in ice water with the others. When cooled, down, remove the pasta from the ice water and dry on paper towels or a cloth. Discard both the cooking and chilling waters.
  3. Now, in a good-sized pot, heat the olive oil up over medium-heat and when hot, add the ground beef and cook it. As it does so, break it up with a fork or a wooden spoon and do so until it’s no longer pink. Add the celery and onion and cook another 5-10 minutes. When time’s up, strain the oil from the meat and discard it.
  4. Next, add the tomato sauce, water, mushrooms, olives, and spices. Bring to a bubble and then lower flame to low-medium and simmer sauce for about an hour. During this time, stir occasionally to keep everything evenly distributed and toward the end of the cooking time, preheat your standard oven to 375°F.
  5. When time’s up, there should be about 8 cups of sauce and if a little bit less, stir in a little bit more water to round it out and if you have a little bit more, fine, don’t worry about it. Now, we need a deep roasting pan about 13-inches x 9 inches by 4 inches or so.
  6. Spray the sides and bottom of the pan with PAM. Make sure the pasta is dry and then lay three sheets of past lengthwise across the bottom, overlapping if you need to do so and notice that the pasta, post-cooking, is a lot bigger than what it was when you started out.
  7. Atop this first layer of pasta, pour two cups of meat sauce and then follow with 1.5-cups of grated mozzarella cheese, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, .25 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of Romano cheese, and a fourth of the crumbled ricotta cheese over it.
  8. Lay down another layer of pasta and repeat the procedure we performed in #7. Then do it one more time.
  9. Finally, lay down the final three sheets of pasta and add whatever else is still left atop it. Dab some melted butter atop this here and there and sprinkle with paprika; parsley flakes, and then place inside your preheated oven on its middle rack. Make sure you place a drip pan underneath it to catch whatever decides to boil up and over the sides. Bake for 1.25-1.5 hours or a bit longer if need be until it comes to 155°F when you insert a quick-temp thermometer into the center of the pasta. Note—Quick temp thermometers are available at most grocery stores and kitchen supply stores nowadays and are invaluable. Buy one and always have one on hand.
  10. When pasta is done, remove it from the oven and let it sit on a wire rack for about 10 minutes so it can settle a bit and then, it’s ready to serve. Lasagnas are typically oozing beasts with all sorts of melted cheese and bubbling sauce so it’s good to have casserole dishes that you can place the portions inside of. An alternative way to serve lasagna is to cook it earlier in the day, allow it to cool, refrigerate, cut into portions and place into your casserole dishes and heat up in the microwave oven—this is how most restaurants do it—and it makes for a much prettier presentation!

You should be able to serve 6-8 people comfortably with this recipe but it also depends upon your appetites. Me and my stepkids, they could finish it in one sitting and if there were any leftovers, polish them off before going to bed so you will find out. However, if you have more delicate appetites and you have leftovers, freeze them and pull them out a day in advance of needing them so they can defrost naturally in the refrigerator and heat up in the microwave. However you do it, serve them with French bread, butter, a nice green salad and some Chianti or Italian red wine! Enjoy!
Well, my friends, that’s it for today! I always have a lovely time writing blog posts for your enjoyment and it’s fun to talk food with those who like to do so. Please support the Elemental News of the Day by looking at the Google advertising links as they have many fine things to offer our readers. Google is an amazing entity with which to work and we appreciate their support and encouragement in everything we do. We also appreciate you, our dear reader, and look forward to offering you nothing but the best! Thanks again, and have a wonderful day! See you tomorrow! Bye!

Thank you, my friends!
Murph MacDougal
Murph MacDougal

Certified Club Manager, ACF Member, Foodserver/Bartender and professional Chef and Baker.
This is a picture of me when I was a young chef in the kitchen back in 1975.  I apprenticed underneath my father and spent six years working for him in his British-Irish Restaurant in Fresno, California.  I later moved to Frazier Park, California, and spent quite a few years working in the area and that's where I met Stinkbug. Anyhow, I am now working at a country club over on the coast near San Luis Obispo.


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END Commentary for Tuesday, June 21, 2011 by Club Director Murph MacDougal. Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us. Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:
This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Club Director Murph MacDougal.
MacDougal, Murph. "Self-proclaimed Household Lasagna Champ shares Recipe." The Bakersfield Californian. 17 August 1989: Food AA 18.
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This is #1288, a 24" x 36" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, "Evening Shadows." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!
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This is a shot of the gear lugged around by the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers on 07-07-1978.  We had enough gear to fill a large truck and the average set-up and tear down was about three hours. So, figure having to tear it down, reassmeble it, and then tear it down again and take it home took anywhere from 4.5 to 5 or more hours.
These are some of the dancers at a gig on 09-29-1978.  The band used to rock when we played before the right audiences and this one in Bakersfield, CA, was a hot one; even the security guards got in on the action!
This is our good friend and collaborator, Gerry Kleier, of Kleier Books in San Francisco, CA, on 09-21-1976 pointing to a bottle of "the truth." Beer, in other words after a late night jam session that ended around 5:30 a.m. in the morning.
This is a shot of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers on 08-21-1976 after a rehearsal at Shamrock, in Bakersfield, CA, the band's permanent home. From left to right is guitarist/vocalist Randall Kyles, drummer and vocalist, Brian Carrick, and bassist, vocalist, percussionist, and keyboards player Victor Gaona.
This is a shot of the great guitarist/vocalist Randall Kyles, of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers on 08-21-1976 at the mike at Shamrock, in Bakersfield, CA, during a rehearsal.
This is a shot of bassist/vocalist Victor Gaona, on 06-29-1978 getting geared up for a band rehearsal of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers at Shamrock, in Bakersfield, CA.
This is another shot of Groucho the Cat causing trouble on 12-23-1980 at Shamrock. Groucho was a wonderful cat and a true lover of mischief. 

                                                                           
                                                                  
       The fine folks here at the Elemental News of the Day would like you to know that AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA, is a substandard business when it comes to both merchandise and customer service. One of the reasons we are having difficulties with our blog the past few days is that our main computer has been in their care since Wednesday of last week.  They had installed a defective harddrive and a defective optical scanner and yet cannot get the work done on time nor completed to satisfaction.  In addition to that, they are still charging us $180 to repair something that was NOT due to our misuse or mishandling. Please avoid this business, they are no longer the leader of the pack in Bakersfield, CA. We recommend that you find someone else to handle your computer needs. We will be looking at Mac computers very soon in the future.                                                         
                                                                  
                                                           
                                                              
                                                            
                                                                                 




















                                                          

                                                               



 

                                                                




Club Director Murph MacDougal
END Commentary 06-21-2011
Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions
Word Count: 2,580.


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