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I Was A Guest Chef For Jeanne In The Kitchen!!!

celebrity chefWell today, I had to leave the house in huge Jackie O sunglasses and a wide brimmed floppy hat, to hide from the paparazzi and the autograph hunters. That’s all because I am now a celebrity chef! You may already have seen it for yourself, but in case you didn’t know, Caramel was featured as a guest chef by Jeanne, the creator of A Jeanne in the Kitchen.

Here is the link where you can see Jeanne’s post detailing my recent culinary escapade:


Jeanne is inviting anyone who would like to be featured as a guest chef to get in touch with her – but make sure you have sunglasses and a hat before becoming a celebrity chef – the paparazzi are a nightmare!!

You can make anything you like! I chose a dish I was make for friends – it was a hit, although one of the lads asked where was the meat. That was after he told me he didn’t mind eating vegetarian food for the evening.

Here was my choice:

Leek And Greens Lasagne – a BBC Good Food Recipe!

First of all. the recipe said to make the bechamel sauce. Here are the ingredients required:

1 tbsp olive oil
50g butter
1 bay leaf
rosemary sprig, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1 leeks, finely sliced 
40g plain flour
500ml milk
fresh nutmeg, for grating
75g cheddar, grated
30g parmesan, grated

And these were the instructions to make the sauce:

Heat 1 tbsp oil with the butter over a medium heat. Add the bay leaf, rosemary and finely sliced leek, season and cook for a few mins until the leek has softened
Tip the flour into the pan and cook for 1 min more until the roux smells nutty. Remove from the heat, slowly pour in the milk and whisking out any lumps. Return to the heat and whisk slowly until thick and smooth, about 5 mins. Season well with grated nutmeg, then add cheddar and Parmesan, cooking until they are melted. Set aside.

Next, it is time to make the leek and greens mixture that will make up most of the filling in the lasagne. Here are the ingredients needed:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ green chilli, sliced
400g mixed green leaves, such as kale, chard and spinach, roughly chopped
100ml dry white wine

I love garlic, so I actually used four garlic cloves instead of two. I could not find chard when I went shopping, so I had to be content with kale and spinach. The wine I chose was a sauvignon blanc.

Here is the method to combine the leek and greens mixture:

Heat 2 tbsp oil over a medium heat and fry the garlic and chilli for a couple of mins until aromatic.
Add the rest of the leeks, season and fry until softened.
Add the mixed greens and season a little more.
Cook the vegetables, stirring, until the greens have wilted, (about 4 mins), then pour in the wine and cook until it evaporates.

Now, I would recommend turning on your oven to pre-heat it. My oven heats up very quickly, but if you have one of those ovens that takes ages to get going, maybe you should turn it on before you do any of the above 😉

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6.

So now we come to the important part – assembling the lasagne! Here are the rest of the ingredients that will be needed for the lasagne:

Olive oil to grease the tin
100g walnuts
280g jar preserved artichoke hearts in oil, drained
100g ricotta
6 dried lasagne sheets

Here some photographs that I took while assembling the lasagne:

And these are the steps the recipe described for assembling the lasagne:

  • Oil a medium roasting tin (about 20cm square)
  • Tip half the greens into the tin.
  • Dot half the walnuts over the top, and nestle in a third of the artichoke hearts. Dot over half the ricotta.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the leek bechamel and pour over a third of it.
  • Top with three lasagne sheets to cover everything in a layer.
  • Repeat the process
  • Cover the top layer of lasagne sheets with the remaining bechamel and artichokes and then scatter over the remaining cheese.

Then of course we need to slip the lasagne into the oven and bake! In the meantime, you have the rest of that bottle of wine to keep you busy.

After 30-40 minutes, it should be golden and bubbling and looking delicious:

Et voila!

It will be scalding hot, so it needs to rest for a good ten minutes before you tuck into it.

For me a lasagne is not really complete without a salad and a hunk or garlic bread:


And of course, the rest of that wine!