Sunday, March 21, 2010

Brocolli Lasagne and Tiramisu

Each month the FEA Board meets on a Tuesday evening and shares a meal before and during the meeting because they generally run long. Last month I was feeling terribly guilty about not offering to provide the evening meal and have only been on the Board a few months. Generally speaking, people usually bring chili, sandwiches, salads and yummy things. I was at a loss as to what to bring and suggested to the other member who I am coordinating with "Lasagna". I mean it's a relatively easy dish to make and everyone loves pasta. Then I thought of the Broccoli Lasagna recipe that I have been using for over 20 years. Broccoli, carrots and mushrooms! What a wonderful blend. I got this recipe from my good friend Sandy Ball when we worked together at Los Alamos National Laboratory way back in 1990. Her husband was allergic to tomatoes, didn't like garlic, and couldn't have the traditional dish. It's a truly good recipe but requires quite a bit of prep-work. You will make this one again and again. I promise! Even the most discriminating "Meat-Eater" will enjoy this dish. But just in case, I've also made the traditional meat one for those who must have their meat-fix.

Broccoli Lasagna
2 10 oz. cans condensed Cream of Broccoli soup
1 10 oz. package frozen, chopped broccoli
olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 large yellow onion, diced
3/4 lb. sliced mushrooms
12 lasagna noodles
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 large eggs

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine cream of broccoli soup and frozen broccoli. Heat until broccoli is thawed. In a 10" skillet over medium heat cook carrots and onion in 1 TBSP. olive oil until lightly browned. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1/4 cup water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until very tender. Remove contents to a bowl.

Using the same skillet over high heat cook mushrooms in 3 TBSP olive oil. Cook until lightly browned and liquid has evaporated. Stir in the carrot/onion mixture.

While the veggies are cooking, prepare noodles as directed (do nothing if you are using the no-boil noodles and move onto the next step).

In a bowl, mix the mozzarella, ricotta and eggs.

Preheat the oven to 375. In a 9 x 13 dish, spread 1 cup broccoli sauce, arrange 1/2 of the noodles over the sauce, top with 1/2 of the cheese mixture; then all the carrot mixture and 1/2 of the remaining sauce. Top with remaining noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce. Bake lasagna 45 minutes or until hot. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 10 servings. (No Kidding!)

Next up.....Tiramisu! I ask myself, "What the devil did you get yourself into?" So, I'm shopping for ingredients for the Broccoli Lasagna and think, "You can't have lasagna without garlic bread", so I stroll through the bakery and find but what.....LADYFINGERS! I must have been out of my mind when I instantly thought "Tiramisu for dessert!!! This will be perfect after lasagna!" I've only made it once before and do not know how it came out because it was gone before I could sample it. Who better to get the recipe from than Giada De Laurentiis? C'mon, she's beautiful, a chef and ITALIAN!

6 egg yolks
3 TBSP sugar
1 lb. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
2 tsp. dark rum (I don't drink rum, but the girl in the liquor dept. directed me to Myer's Dark Jamaican )
24 ladyfingers
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (I got nothing less than the best Ghiradelli)

In your KitchenAide large bowl or electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale--about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. Add 1 TBSP of espresso, mix until thoroughly combined.

In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum. Dip 12 ladyfingers into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfingers on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Break them in 1/2 if you have to in order to make them fit.

Spread evenly 1/2 of the mascarpone mix over the ladyfingers. Arrange the remaining 12 soaked ladyfingers on top and top that with the remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

Top with bittersweet chocolate shavings before serving.

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