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Tuesday
Nov202012

Lasagna with Wonton Wrappers

If you have ever listened to my radio show, I constantly preach about reinventing the old and making it yours. When I first started my Chef career, I basically self-diagnosed myself as a Mediterranean Chef because the majority of what I liked could have been classified as Mediterranean cuisine. Roman (Italian), Asian, and Greek cuisine all blended together in one culinary culture. Upon inspection and criticism, I have reclassified as “New-American” as I never do a dish that is entirely Asian, Italian, polish, Hungarian but I blend different techniques and flavors of each. When I was asked to do lasagna at my restaurant, there was always something I wanted to try. I love wonton wrappers because of their versatility and ease of use. This was the perfect opportunity. I was astounded by the outcome. The wontons, not exactly a noodle, not exactly a sheet, had the perfect consistency without the weight of a semolina noodle. Give it a try, and you are sure to be surprised.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Meat Layer

1lbs Ground Beef, 80/20 Chuck

1 tsp White Pepper

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Garlic Minced

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp Paprika

½ tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Basil

4 Cups Your Favorite Red Sauce, homemade or jarred

Cheese Layer

2lbs Ricotta Cheese

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Onion Powder

2 tsp Minced Garlic

2-1lbs Packages Wonton Wrappers

In a medium pot heat the olive oil with the minced garlic over medium heat. Add the ground chuck and all the spices and herbs. Using a steel spoon or spatula, break up the meat while it cooks so that there are no large chunks of meat. Once the meat is cooked completely through, add your sauce and blend thoroughly. Once done, set aside. In a large bowl mix the ricotta, paprika, onion powder, and minced garlic with a whisk. Once mixed thoroughly set aside.

Spray a 9x13 pan with pan spray, Pam, or rub with olive oil. Place a layer of wonton wrappers across the bottom and sides, overlapping each by ¼ of an inch, about 36 wrappers. Apply a ¼ inch layer of the meat mixture, lay 24 wontons on top overlapping the same, and then apply ¼ inch cheese layer covered by wontons. Repeat process until all of the meat and cheese is used. In the pictures I made 40 layers. I know a little over the top, and WAY too time consuming.

My first batch was a little wonton heavy, so about 12 layers will do the trick. The top layer should be the meat layer covered by a last wonton layer, cover with red sauce and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Serve hot cut into any size you see fit. Even though this recipe has an ingredient not many people have used before, it is fairly simple to make, and absolutely delicious.

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