Monday, May 24, 2010

Mushroom Madness

I always think that I am going to have trouble finding new recipes to try, and then I turn around and completely shock myself when I realize that I have recipes saved from 3 years ago that I still haven't had the time to make. This recipe is one that I saved in my Food Network Recipe folder almost 3 years ago when I first started to take a heavy interest in cooking. And for some unknown reason I still haven't given it the time of day. Well it has been neglected long enough and I can't believe I waited so long. This recipe is a must for a mushroom lover, which I most assuredly am!

Portobello Mushroom Lasagna
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

  • Kosher salt
  • Good olive oil
  • 3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup freshly ground Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.

For the white sauce, bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour

and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once.

Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg,

and cook over medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.

Separate the mushroom stems from the caps and discard the stems. Slice the caps 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and they release some of their juices.

If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Toss occasionally to make sure the mushrooms cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set all the mushrooms aside.

To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish.

Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms, slices of fresh mozzarella and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan.

Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.

My Adapted Printable Recipe

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Boys of Summer

I moved back home to New Orleans for a bunch of reasons, but by far the most pressing was family. I hated being away from their daily activities, holiday celebrations and milestone events and I missed them terribly every day I was gone for the last three years. For me, being back is all about moments like this one captured below.

These are my oldest nephews at their first baseball game together and it was awesome. My sister did a great job capturing every moment of the big game with her camera, but nothing is a fitting substitute for being there in person. This is for sure an event I would not have been in attendance for while I was living in D.C. and one I am elated I got to witness in person. Seeing the excitement on their faces during the pre-game warm up, the anxious nerves they both expressed as the game started, and their proud grins as they ran to greet us after the game was over was priceless. I am so happy to be home and even happier to get to be part of these special moments again!

Macaroni Salad
Adapted from Paula Deen

  • 2 cups cooked large elbow macaroni
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pimento
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Whisk together the mayo, mustard, lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Mix all the rest of the ingredients together except for the macaroni in a large bowl.

After all the ingredients are incorporated, add the macaroni and combine.

Cover and put into the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cookie Comeback

I apologize for my little blogging hiatus. I have been swamped the last couple of weeks with a week long conference for work, moving across the country back to New Orleans (yippee) and getting settled once I got here. I promise to be more on my game in the coming weeks. Forgive my neglect and enjoy the following recipe. I don't even like coconut and I found these cookies divine!

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2010

  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Arrange coconut in a single layer in a small baking pan. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside to cool.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl;

beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in vanilla and egg.

Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.

Stir in toasted coconut and chocolate,

until incorporated.

4. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray or a silicone baking mat.

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe