White Lasagna

White Lasagna is a very rich and indulgent pasta dish with a rosemary, garlic and thyme infused bechamel sauce and lots of Fontina cheese. Serve with crumbled Italian sausage, pesto and sautéed wild mushrooms.

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White Lasagna
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of FoodandWine.com, December 2014)

Serves 10 – 12

1 1/2 boxes of no-boil lasagna noodles
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 gallon 2% milk
Kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups shredded Fontina cheese
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan

To make the bechamel: Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add onion, rosemary, thyme and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the onions are softened but not yet browned, about 6 minutes. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly, until the roux is light golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes total. Press the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Set aside and allow to cool at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350F.

To assemble the lasagna: Brush a deep 9-by-13 baking dish with oil; spread a layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Arrange a layer of pasta over the sauce. Spread another layer of sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle a quarter of each cheese over the sauce. Place another layer of pasta over the cheese. Repeat until all of the sauce and cheese is used with a layer of cheese on top of the lasagna. The lasagna can be assembled a day ahead of time and refrigerated for 24 hours.

Seal the lasagna tightly under aluminum foil. Bake covered for 1 hour. Remove the foil and place 6-inches below the broiler. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes until the top begins to brown taking care not to burn the top. Remove and let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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Beef Bulgogi – Korean Barbecue

Beef Bulgogi is a spicy-sweet Korean barbecue that can be served alone, over rice or as a taco. This same recipe can also be made with pork or chicken.

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Beef Bulgogi – Korean Barbecue
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of BonAppetit.com, November 2015)

Makes 6 – 8 servings

1 1/2 lbs. sirloin steak cut into stir-fry strips
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
4 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp grated peeled ginger
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
Vegetable oil
4 green onions, sliced crosswise on a bias, both green and white parts

Combine the steak and the marinade ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 8 hours before cooking. An hour before cooking remove from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Working in batches, and adding more oil along the way as needed, remove meat from the marinade and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, tossing occasionally until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with sliced green onions.

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Creamy Crab Dip

Creamy Crab Dip is a hot appetizer that will be the hit of any casual gathering or holiday party.

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Creamy Crab Dip
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

16 oz. crab meat
2 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
6 oz. mayonnaise
1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 large sweet onion, finely chopped
6 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
5-6 dashes of hot sauce, to taste
3 green onions, white parts finely chopped, green parts sliced crosswise and reserved for garnish

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the green onion garnish and pulse until smooth. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with the sliced green onion and serve with crackers, baked pita pieces, or crostini.

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