I found this recipe in a local newspaper and decided to give it a try. It referred to the dish as a Lasagna, but aside from the layering, it isn’t remotely a lasagna…more of a wannabe. I had to alter the recipe a little bit due to available ingredients and preferences. Some of the errors I made resulted in an *extremely* late dinner…but the food was yummy! And that’s all that matters! 😉
Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.
This dish involved a lot of chopping, dicing and slicing. Good for my knife skills, not so good when two hungry people are waiting on dinner! There was a lot of preparation involved, and not much in terms of cooking. Next time I attempt this meal, I would give myself some extra time and probably ask for a bit of help.
All good dishes begin with garlic!
After which I continued to chop up as much as I could to start off. (Admittedly, I was avoiding peeling the potatoes!)
After my chopping extravaganza, I grudgingly moved on to the potatoes. I have to say, if I were a potato peeler, I would be fired and unemployed. I really, really dislike peeling potatoes! Perhaps this explains why my kitchen is populated by boxes of instant potatoes!
But it had to be done so I peeled, sliced and seasoned those enemy spuds which took upwards of an hour and included some swearing. 😉
Potatoes done, swearing over, I realized my chopping wasn’t over. Three little zucchinis mocked me from the countertop. I have no Zucchini Mocking pictures…it was just too upsetting! But I recovered my dignity by attacking them with a blade!! Very cathartic! That’ll teach you, you arrogant zucchinis!
Chopping done, I turned my attention to the meat portion of this meal. The original recipe called for lean ground chicken but I could only find turkey at the grocery store, which worked just as well. It required a light sauteing with garlic and onions.
And then? Onto the layering! I assume the layering is why this dish was compared to lasagna, but it really isn’t anything like a lasagna…not only due to the lack of pasta, but also because it requires only one cheese. Not as rich as lasagna and not as expensive to make!
It said to layer them in this order: potatoes, zucchini, turkey et al, herbed with pinches of oregano, parsley and thyme….repeat! I managed to repeat this twice, then I topped it all with a third layer of potatoes.
I covered it with aluminum foil and baked it at 350 for 40 minutes.
At this point, I want to point out a few things…plus I need to admit to an error I made. It is due to this oversight that I had to cook this meal for close to double the amount of time.
The original recipe called for tomatoes as an additional layer. I deleted this ingredient as I simply don’t like tomatoes and figured I could make this without them. What I didn’t consider at the time was the water content in the tomatoes. Without them, there was little moisture in the dish to boil and aid in cooking the potatoes. After 40 minutes, the potatoes on top were still very uncooked. I mentioned this to B and he suggested adding water, repeating the point made above about the tomatoes.
Water added, I reset the oven and cooked it for an additional 20-30 minutes and all was good. If you add water (or tomatoes) from the very beginning, I’m betting the original cooking time would be enough.
This was my first time working with fresh herbs, so I had no idea how potent they would be! I didn’t overdo it per say, but I came awfully close. So if you, like me, don’t have much experience with fresh herbs…respect them and use them somewhat sparingly. 😉
BIGGER DISH, LESS VEG, MORE MEAT
I used a small round baking dish but in hind sight, I would suggest a longer rectangular dish instead.
If you go with a smaller dish, reduce your zucchini and potato amounts. I had quite a lot of both leftover that I ended up storing for a future meal.
Even with my small dish, I found I had barely enough meat to make two good-sized layers. For reference, I bought a 450 g package of turkey, so if you are going to try this, I suggest buying a little more than that.
Onto the final, and the best, step! Adding the cheese! I crumbled goat cheese all over the top and returned the dish to the oven for another 10 minutes. For the last couple of minutes, B turned on the broiler which allowed the cheese to brown slightly.
Okay, so at the end of the day, it isn’t exactly pretty:
…but was it ever good!
I don’t mind goat cheese, but it depends what I’m eating along with it that decides whether I really enjoy it or not. In this instance, the goat cheese complemented everything perfectly! I would definitely make this dish again and am considering what other ingredients I would add to mix it up a little.
READER QUERY: Thoughts? What other veg or tuber would you add as a layer?
Lastly, I have to say that reheated the next day….even better!!! 🙂
Potato & Turkey NOT-Lasagna
- 1 lb extra lean ground turkey (or lean ground chicken)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 6 large peeled potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp each of chopped thyme, oregano, parsley
- 1 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- little bit of water
- Preheat oven 350 F.
- Heat pan on high with a little bit of oil. Saute onions along with ground turkey and half the chopped garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Once meat is cooked through, remove pan from stove and set aside.
- Melt butter with remaining garlic and pour over sliced potatoes. Add salt and pepper.
- In a baking dish, start to build layers. Potatoes, zucchini, turkey, 3 chopped herbs, in that order over again until dish is full. Add a bit of water and cover.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until all layers are soft and easily pierced.
- Once soft, uncover and top with goat cheese. Bake another 10 minutes (broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese).
- The original recipe called for extra lean ground chicken. Turkey worked quite well; that’s all I could find at the grocery store.
- It also called for 4 large tomatoes, thinly sliced and used as another layer. I deleted this as I don’t like tomatoes. If you decide to add them, don’t add the water.