RECIPE: Meaty Lasagna

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS:
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1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.IMG_6679
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.IMG_6694
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.IMG_6700
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.IMG_6709

RECIPE: Oreo cheesecake

ingredients

Crust

  • 24 oreo cookies
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 9.7-ounce bar Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate,* chopped
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Scharffen Berger)
  • 4 large eggs

Topping

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 6 ounces Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate,* chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Bittersweet chocolate curls
  • *If unavailable, substitute another high-quality bittersweet chocolate.

preparation

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar.

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Add melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

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For filling:
Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in processor until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.

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For topping:
Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour. Do ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Top with chocolate curls. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Deep-Dark-Chocolate-Cheesecake-236209#ixzz2rf8bbgF7

RECIPE: NY Chicken and Rice

Adapted from SeriousEat’s Halal chicken and rice recipe:

Ingredients

  • For the chicken:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (6 to 8 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

 

  • For the rice:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Procedures

  1. For the chicken: Combine the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, and olive oil. Season the marinade to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the chicken in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag and add half of the marinade (reserve the remaining marinade in the refrigerator). Turn the chicken to coat, seal the bag, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours, turning occasionally to redistribute the marinade.

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  2. Remove the chicken from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Season with kosher salt and pepper, going heavy on the pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat until it is lightly smoking. Add the chicken pieces and cook without disturbing until they are lightly browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the center of each thigh registers 165°F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
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  4. Using a chef’s knife, roughly chop the chicken into 1/2- to 1/4-inch chunks. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the remaining marinade.
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  6. For the rice: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the turmeric and cumin and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes without disturbing. Remove from the heat and allow to rest until the water is completely absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

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  7. For the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt.

     

  8. To serve: To serve,pile the chicken on top of the rice. Top with the white sauce and hot sauce.

RECIPE: Chicken Pot Pie

thank you barefoot contessa for another awesome recipe!!

Ingredients

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
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In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent.

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Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
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For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour the filling into a 9 inch pie dish, and cover with the puff pastry. Then place it in the oven until the pastry is golden brown.

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RECIPE: Chicken and mushroom marsala

Ingredients

3 whole boneless chicken breasts with skin (about 2 1/2 pounds), halved (see Note)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin, any variety you like
1/2 cup dry Marsala
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (optional, for garnish)
8 oz of marscapone cheese
fresh fettucine pasta

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned.

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Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated.

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Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

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Boil hot water, olive oil and salt. Once boiling, ad fresh fettucine pasta until cooked al dente.

Simmer mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and mascarpone cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter and mascarpone is just incorporated. Spoon mushroom sauce around chicken and serve on top of the fettucine pasta.

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RECIPE: Lamb Gyro

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe:

Ingredients
For the Gyro Meat:
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
½ yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, sliced
3 ounces slab bacon (or 5 slices sliced bacon), cut into ½-inch pieces

Garlic naan
Tzatziki sauce
cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Make the Gyro Meat: In a medium bowl, combine the ground lamb, salt, pepper and oregano leaves with your hands, mixing until all of the seasonings have been evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
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2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place the lamb mixture in the bowl of a food processor and add the onion, garlic and bacon. Process until a smooth puree is formed, 30 seconds to 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

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3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. With moistened hands, shape the lamb mixture into a rectangle about 8 inches long and 5 inches wide. Bake until the center of the loaf reaches 155 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven.

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4. Adjust the oven rack to the highest position (1½ to 2 inches below broiler element) and preheat broiler. Slice the loaf of lamb meat crosswise into very thin pieces (they should be about ⅛-inch thick; no more than ¼-inch thick). Lay the strips on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil until edges are browned and crispy, 2 to 4 minutes.

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5. Serve the Gyros: bake the garlic naan, once warm, add slices of cheese of your choice (I did cheddar cuz I ran out of goat cheese), with slices of lamb meat on top with some tzatziki sauce.

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RECIPE: Chicken Tikka Masala

Adapted from Pioneer Woman’s good friend Pastor Ryan

Ingredients

  • 3 whole (to 4) Chicken Breasts
  •  Kosher Salt
  •  Ground Coriander
  •  Cumin, To Taste
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 piece (approximately 2 Inches) Chunk Fresh Ginger
  •  Garam Masala
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
  •  Sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice

Recipe:

Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with some kosher salt. Next sprinkle them on both sides with some coriander and cumin. Then coat the chicken breasts completely with the plain yogurt. Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and place it about 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes per side. Watch carefully so as not to totally char the chicken. It should have slightly blackened edges. Remove from oven.

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Next dice one large onion. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions and sauté until they are slightly browned. As the onions cook, mince your garlic. Next, cut off the outer skin and mince or grate a 1 by 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions. Also throw in about 1 tablespoon of salt.
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Next you are going to add about 3 tablespoons Garam Masala spice. And if you like it hot, this is also when you will add your hot chili peppers. Serranos work well. Now you are going to add your can of diced tomatoes. Continue cooking and stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add about 1 tablespoon sugar. Let this mixture simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.
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To a sauce pan on the stove top, add 2 cups Basmati rice, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon Ground Turmeric and 4 cups water. Cover the pan and walk away.
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After the Tikka Masala sauce has had a chance to simmer for a little bit, add in the 1 ½ cups of heavy cream. Now, chop up your chicken breasts into chunks and stir them into the Tikka Masala sauce. Serve the rice with the Chicken Tikka Masala over top with some delicious garlic naan on the side!

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RECIPE: Baked Turkey meatballs

Thank you Joy the Baker for another awesome recipe!

Baked Turkey Meatballs

makes 24 meatballs

adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Gourmet

Ingredients

6 slices italian or whole wheat bread, torn into medium chunks

2/3 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ground turkey

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

3 to 4 cups tomato-based pasta sauce

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, pour the milk over the bread crumbs.  Allow to soak for 5 minutes.
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In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the onions and cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
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Place the ground turkey in a large bowl.  Squeeze any excess milk from the bread.  Add the bread to the turkey and discard the milk.  Add the cooked onions and garlic.  Add the eggs, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, cheese, tomato paste, and parsley.  Use a wooden spoon to work all of the ingredients together.  You may need to get in there with your hands to thoroughly and evenly combine all of the ingredients.

In two 9×13-inch pans, spread about 2 cup of sauce (1 cup in each pan).  Shape together 24 meatballs.  Each meatball will be about 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture.
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Bake meatballs for 25 minutes, or until bubbling and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and serve with pasta, or just with sauce and a hearty green salad.  Meatballs will last up to 4 days well wrapped in the refrigerator.
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RECIPE: Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Cookies

Gotta credit Joy the Baker for this amazing recipe!

makes about 24 cookies

 

Print this Recipe!

 

1/2 cup (1 stick)  unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

smoked salt for topping

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.   Add the egg and beat in for about 1 minute.  Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
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In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the mixture all at once to the butter mixture.  Beat on low speed until just incorporated.  Finally mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

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Dollop or scoop cookie dough by the 2 tablespoonful onto prepared baking tins.  Leave about 2 inches of room between each cookie.  Sprinkle generously with smoked sea salt.

Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until just golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cookies will last, well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days… as if they’ll last that long.
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