Eggplant Lasagna Recipe Recipe

Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

04.07.14 by Jackie

If you're serving a large crowd and are short on time, here's an ideal dish to prepare. Lasagna is my go-to dish when we throw a party. I prepared the white sauce in advance and grilled the vegetables ahead of time as well. Since it's Meatless Monday, I kept the meal vegetarian, adding  only grilled eggplant.

The sauce is a combination of the white sauce, ricotta cheese, Asiago cheese, thyme and oregano. To ensure easy clean-up, I first greased a chafing dish with a thin layer of butter and spread flavorful tomato sauce on the bottom. I baked the lasagna in the morning and finished browning the top 30 minutes before the party started. Once my guests arrived, I lit the chafing dish  fuel. This method lets you serve a piping-hot, stress-free meal in virtually any setting. 

 


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Orange Flan Recipe Recipe

Orange Flan Recipe

04.04.14 by Jackie

It's already the weekend, and as usual, I'm sharing with you the sweets our family has been enjoying these days. Today, to prepare a dessert with ingredients that reflect the produce of this season--oranges--I made a flan flavored with white Port wine and orange zest. 

The secret to the dish lies in the trio combination of mascarpone cheese, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Baby Aria loved the creamy, velvety texture of the flan, but her favorite part was the delicious caramel sauce. I didn't need to ask her twice if she wanted dessert!


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Light Artichoke Pizza Recipe Recipe

Light Artichoke Pizza Recipe

04.03.14 by Jackie

My husband Lulu just bought the new Breville convection toaster oven. The first thing that came out of his mouth when we opened the box was, "We have to inaugurate the oven by using that pizza setting." The next day, I bought ready-made garlic and herb pizza dough and got very excited about trying our new machine.

It didn't take much time for me to come up with a pizza topping selection. It came naturally to make it fairly healthy: a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, a bit of aged Cheddar cheese, baby artichoke hearts, oil-cured black olives, roasted bell peppers and fresh sweet basil. I could have added pine nuts at the end but I wanted to avoid any nut allergies (one family member has them). Needless to say, the oven and pizza were a hit. It took 30 minutes to prepare and bake last night's meal: mission accomplished! 


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Black Mushroom Tofu Recipe Recipe

Black Mushroom Tofu Recipe

04.02.14 by Jackie

In Vietnamese, this tofu dish is called tàu hủ xào nấm đông cô. This particular variety of mushrooms is delicious. Once re-hydrated, they have a fleshy, plump and even meatier, chewier texture than fresh shiitake mushrooms.

The delicate part of this preparation lies in soaking the mushrooms. You could soak them in cold water overnight or, if pressed for time as I was, re-hydrate them in warm water for about 1 hour. I saved the flavor-packed soaking liquid and made a thick sauce to accompany the tofu. I don't prepare this dish very often because one of the ingredients can be a little pricey, but it is sooooo tasty!

In order not to serve a mostly colorless dish, I included bright green string beans. 


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Coq au Vin Recipe Recipe

Coq au Vin Recipe

04.01.14 by Jackie

Our family doesn't drink alcohol so the only time I cook with wine is after hosting a dinner party. I used leftover Cabernet Sauvignon wine and prepared coq au vin (chicken in wine sauce) for the occasion, except that instead of whole chickens I adapted the recipe with 9 pounds of chicken breasts.

The sauce was fairly standard; I used pearl onions, garlic, button mushrooms, turkey bacon, red wine, Cognac brandy, a bit of flour as the thickening agent and the  authentic, standard bouquet garni used in classic French dishes. The secret in this coq au vin sauce lies in the dark chocolate that's added once the dish is cooked.


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