The Best Meal for a Crowd December 09 2016
It is amazing how fast time flies between Thanksgiving and New Years. We have just over three weeks left to make the most of 2016! I don’t know about you but I have a lot of family get togethers between now and the end of the year. I always want to make sure everyone is well fed, but also want to enjoy their company. This recipe for vegetable lasagna is always a hit. The best part is it can be made ahead and just heated on the day. Serve with a salad and some fresh bread for a quick and easy meal.
What are your go-to recipes for a crowd? I am always looking for new ideas on how to keep a hungry crowd happy.
Vegetable Lasagna with Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
Makes 6-8 Servings
1 package(9 oz) lasagna noodles, oven ready
2 each green zucchini
2 each yellow squash
1 medium eggplant
1 – 10oz bag frozen spinach
16 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1 piece fresh mozzarella(about ½ pound)
1 –jar Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Slice zucchini, yellow squash & eggplant into ½ inch slices. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through.
- Defrost bag of spinach and ring out extra water. Mix all the spinach with the ricotta cheese.
- Slice the fresh mozzarella into ½ inch pieces.
- Now you are ready to build the lasagna
- Layer 1 – Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce (generously coat the bottom of the baking dish(9x13 pan approximately)
- Layer 2- lasagna noodles(break into pieces so they don’t overlap)
- Layer 3 – single layer of zucchini & yellow squash
- Layer 4- more Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Layer 5- noodles
- Layer 6 – Eggplant
- Layer 7 – fresh mozzarella
- Layer 8 – Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Layer 9 – ricotta & spinach
- Layer 10 – noodles
- Layer 11 – Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Layer 12 – shredded mozzarella
- Once the lasagna is assembled, cover with tin foil and bake in 350 degree F oven for 1 hour, take foil off for the last 10-15 minutes to make the cheese golden brown.
- If you’re making ahead. Let cool before placing in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350°F uncovered for 20-30 minutes until heated through.
Headed to the Shore July 29 2016
I cannot get enough of the grill in the summer, or year round for that matter. Unfortunately in my New York City apartment, we are only able to grill indoors which doesn’t have the same effect as using an outdoor grill. This weekend I am headed to the Jersey Shore and plan to spend lots of time at the beach and the pool. I’ll be firing up the grill for most of our meals, including this recipe for Beer Can Chicken. It is a fan-favorite with my family. A few tips before you begin:
- You can use any kind of beer you like, just make sure it is a normal size can. Save the tall boys for Beer Can Turkey or something like that.
- If you don’t like beer, use the canned beverage of your choice. I’ve made Coke Can Chicken and it tastes just as good.
- If you are using a charcoal grill, buy a charcoal chimney. They are worth their weight in gold, especially when you are trying to light a charcoal grill on a roof-top in London on a windy night!
1 Whole Roasting Chicken(3-4 lbs.)
1 Can of Beer
3 tablespoons La Boîte Ayala N. 16
Salt to taste
-Pre-heat the grill to medium-high (about 400°)
-Drink half of the can of beer
-To prepare the chicken, clean the cavity out by wiping with a paper towel & pat the skin dry. Rub the skin with a layer of olive oil and season with salt and La Boîte Ayala N. 16
-When grill is ready, carefully place the beer can in the chicken’s cavity and prop it up on the grill making a tri-pod with the 2 chicken legs and the beer can. Close the grill, being careful not to knock the chicken over.
-Let cook approximately one hour or until the juices run clear.
-Remove from the grill and allow to cool for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!
Follow the Directions July 15 2016
As a child, I was always told to follow the directions. This included everything from putting a toy together to making a pie. A recipe is sort of the culinary set of directions. You don’t always have to follow them, but if you are unsure about something they will lead you to the intended final product.
I’ve always loved to cook and as a teenager was always excited when my mother asked me to make dinner. That is until I heard, “The recipe is on the counter”. I was never one for recipes and always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. That explains why I was not a pastry person at the beginning of my food career. In baking and pastry there is a lot of chemistry involved and you MUST follow the recipe. I was more mature when I entered the world of chocolate, where there are lots of directions to follow. If a batch of truffles didn’t turn out or the chocolate didn’t temper correctly, I always knew where I went wrong because I still attempted to stray from the recipe.
This week I have been putting together some new furniture and have realized again the importance of following the directions. Especially when I had to take everything apart and start over because something was turned the wrong way! The recipes you find in our recipe box are there for those of you who like to follow the directions. If you are feeling more adventurous, go ahead and stray from what we’ve written… add some ingredients, take some out. If you wind up with something delicious, I hope you’ll share so the rest of us can enjoy it too!
Have a great weekend either following the directions or straying a bit, whichever suits you!