For this recipe I have used the Mature Cheddar Crumbles with Breadcrumbs and Herbs - the added breadcrumbs help to give a crunchy topping to dishes.
These two dishes do take a while- but it's mostly time you don't have to spend in the kitchen, and no fancy ingredients are needed - these dishes give a slightly different twist to basic and storecupboard ingredients. Ideal for a busy day at home, when you don't want to spend too long in the kitchen, or for somebody who works from home and can pop through to the kitchen in tea breaks.
Crunchy topped lasagne (serves 4)
500g minced beef
1 onion, finely shopped
150g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
1 jar of bolognaise sauce
8 sheets of no-need-to-pre-cook lasagne
500 ml milk
50g plain flour
50g butter or margarine
1 pack Pilgrims Choice Mature Cheddar Crumbles with Breadcrumbs and Herbs
Place the mince and chopped onion in a flameproof casserole and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the meat is browned and the onion soft. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes longer. Mix in the sauce. At this point your jar may well tell you to simmer for a minute or two and the sauce will be ready, but mince always seems to have a creamier texture if cooked for a longer time, so if you have time pop it into a low oven for anything up to an hour, stirring occasionally and checking that it doesn't dry out.
When the meat sauce is ready, make a white sauce by putting the milk, flour and butter into a pan and bringing to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Simmer for a minute or two until thickened. This can be seasoned with a small grating of nutmeg if you wish.
Preheat the oven to 200 C (180 C fan, 400 F, gas mark 6)
Grease a rectangular dish the right size to take 4 lasagne sheets side by side. Put half of the meat sauce in the bottom, place 4 lasagne sheets on top and spread half the white sauce over it. Sprinkle about a quarter of the Crumbles over the top. Repeat the layers but this time use the remainder of the pack of Crumbles. Place the dish on a baking sheet in case any sauce bubbles over then bake for 20-25 minutes until the topping is well browned.
We loved the way the breadcrumbs gave the topping a crunch. I think they would work well on macaroni cheese or a fish pie too.
Pesto onion bread
1 pack onion bread mix plus extra ingredients needed as listed on pack
4 tbs pesto (because I was serving this with lasagne, I used a traditional basil and pine nut pesto but you can ring the changes with any other type. Tapenade would work well too)
2 lb loaf tin, greased and lined with non-stick paper.
Make up the bread mix as directed on the pack but before placing the dough in the loaf tin, roll it out to a rectangle. The short side should be very slightly longer than your loaf tin, the long side 1½ to 2 times as long. Spread the pesto over the surface and roll up, starting from a short edge, then place in the loaf tin, tucking the ends under slightly. Prove and bake as directed on the pack.