Indio, California: We have been observing
Passover this week, thus avoiding all grains. It certainly does not mean we have
been missing out on delicious foods. It is a privilege to be able to choose to
not eat leavened bread, a super-small sacrifice, considering what The Chosen
People had to endure on their exodus from slavery.
I made a brisket. I made chicken soup with matzo balls. I made a stew with
left-over brisket. We have dined alone. We have dined with friends. We have
enjoyed fine wines and fine company.
The kids are still back in DC:
Leo had a snow cone on the National Mall. Our Beautiful Daughter was on a
swing, and wearing a jacket for the first time in a very long time. They went to
the zoo to see the pandas. Lenny
took Leo to the home opener of his beloved Nationals. They are having a very
This is a time of big change in our resort. So many people leave for the season
the first week of April. Mid-April, the temperatures grow very warm and many
Motorcoach Country Club residents do not wish to deal with the three-weekend chaos
Stagecoach. As many
owners leave, many renters arrive to stay here during the basically-next-door
music festivals. (No one EVER
refers to the Coachella Valley Music Festival as the Coachella Valley Music
Festival. It is always just "Coachella".) By the way, if you are interested,
be broadcasting the festival live this year.
We are having a little cooling trend in the desert. We've had some wind and for the first time in over a
month, the fireplace has been switched "on" in our covered patio after dinner.
After weeks of 90+ degree temperatures, I had to go searching through my closet
for a pair of jeans to wear this chilly evening. Los Angeles had rain today and snow is
falling in the mountains. Much
much much much much needed.
For years I have been reading about "matzo lasagna" - substituting matzo for
lasagna noodles - and I decided to finally give it a try.
DT drove me a fancy market and on the way to the grocer, I "casually" mentioned
my plan. As predicted, he scrunched-up his face. Usually he trusts me, but this
time, I am pretty-sure he thought he would be eating tomato-sauce-soaked soggy
crackers. Honestly, I wasn't 100% sure myself.
After reading 25 recipes, there wasn't even a concise
plan. Some cooks soak the matzo for a minute or so in
water. Some recipes call for the dry cracker-bread. I
was winging-it. Completely.
I sauteed half a chopped onion and several cloves of
minced garlic in olive oil, added a pound of ground
beef, a jar of red pasta (tomato basil) sauce and a good splash of red
wine. This sauce bubbled for an hour or so and then it
was cooled and placed in the fridge. The lasagna was not
assembled until just before baking.
I placed a little of the sauce in the
bottom of an oiled 8x8-inch baking dish, then alternated
a sheet of matzo, sauce and shredded mozzarella (this
dish mixes meat and dairy). I used three sheets of matzo
and a lot of cheese.
The casserole was covered in foil and placed in a 375°
oven for 30 minutes... then the foil was removed and the
lasagna baked for an additional 20 minutes. It was DONE.
After a ten minute rest, it sliced beautifully and I
dare anyone (except Marcella Hazan) to tell me it wasn't
regular ol' gooey cheesy lasagna. The matzo sheets could easily be compared
with the no-cook lasagna "noodles" I often use when cooking in the motorhome.
Garnished with a little parsley from our herb garden.
I served the lasagna with a cucumber and mint (from our
DT had seconds!
Until my next update, I remain, your lucky correspondent.
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