Wednesday, April 30, 2008
My daughter and I are very excited about a new venture we're going into. Sometime in the future, at an as yet unspecified date, we're going to launch an on-line magazine. We realized that there's a demographic that is underrepresented in the magazine industry - men. Not all men. There are plenty of magazines for men who put product in their hair or want to know what the latest fashions out of Italy are. No, we want to break ground and make a manly man's magazine. Here is a sneak preview of what's coming in.....(drumroll here).....Bad A Magazine.
The first issue is, of course, crucial in launching the magazine's image and grabbing our demographic. We can't leave a thing to chance, so our cover model will be, of course, Chuck Norris. In fact every issue will have a regular Chuck column. Chuck Norris fitness tips, fashion tips, and of course, jokes. "Once a cobra bit Chuck Norris' leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died."
Since I am somewhat food oriented, there will be a food section to the magazine giving both restaurant reviews and recipes. Restaurants will be rated according to how many items on the menu feature beef and whether there's an open pit barbeque on the premises. Recipes are, naturally, centered around meat, preferably grilled. No tofu or quiche here!
There will be a movie review section. It's a fast-paced world out there, and the manly man on the go needs to know whether his time and theatre dollars will be well spent on a movie. We'll provide in-depth reviews, summed up with a quickie rating system: chainsaws. Terminator? 2 chainsaws revved. Pretty in Pink? 2 rusty chainsaws.
Each month will profile a different man, asking probing questions about his deep sea fishing experience, his power tool collection, and his prowess on a Harley. If we're impressed, he'll be awarded the badge of manliness - the coveted Leather Jacket award. Those that fail to impress will slink away, head hung low, forever branded with the Pink Polo of shame.
And then there will be the Ask Arnold Advice column, Suck It Up And Be A Man. That's not the title of the column, that's the adivce Arnold has for any and all questions.
As you can see, this will be a hot magazine. If you'd like to be on the waiting list for the premier issue, let me know. Subscription rates will be quite reasonable, especially considering that every month you'll have recipes guaranteed to please the carnivores in your house like this absolutely delicious Italian Grinder Lasagna. Yes, all the meat eating pleasure of a sandwich in a hot dish. Making your own lasagna noodles makes it even tastier and it's manly because it involves a machine. Bonus points if you rig it up to a chain saw motor to speed up the process.
Italian Grinder Lasagna
- adapted from Lasagna: the Art of Layered Cooking
1 lb. ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. dried lasagna noodles or fresh pasta sheets cut into lasagna noodles
2-1/4 cups Quick Tomato Sauce (below)
1/2 lb. prosciutoo, thinly sliced
1/2 lb Genoa salami, thinly sliced
1/2 lb smoked deli ham, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. sweet capicola, thinly sliced
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
These are all suggestions. You can take this recipe and go wild, layering in all your favorite meats and cheeses.
Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish evenly with olive oil. In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, basil, oregano, eggs, pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese. Mix until eggs are thoroughly combined.
In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the dried pasta according to package directions; cook fresh pasta for 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water. Place it on a paper towel to dry before using it in the dish.
Place 3/4 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top noodles with 1/3 cup of the ricotta cheese mixture, spreading evenly over the noodles. Top with another layer of pasta. Top pasta with half of the meats, layering them evenly. Top the meat with half of the provolone, and top this with half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat with a layer of pasta, then 3/4 cup of sauce, then 1/3 cup ricotta cheese mixture. Top the ricotta cheese mixture with another layer of pasta, then the remainder of the meats, provolone cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Finish with a final layer of pasta, topped with the remainder of the tomato sauce and the remaining ricotta cheese mixture.
Coat a large sheet of aluminum foil with oil and cover the baking pan with it, oil-side down. Bake for 30 minutes, covered. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is bubbly and the cheese begins to brown. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
Quick Tomato Sauce
2 (28 oz) cans best-quality, peeled plum tomatoes with juice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp coarse salt
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano 1/4 cup red wine
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring and boiling for about 5 minutes, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon while stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to five days. The sauce may be made, chilled, and frozen in airtight containers for up to three months.