Thursday, February 11, 2016

FANTASTIC DAY-AHEAD LASAGNA

Bake the day ahead, until bubbly but not browned, and refrigerate.
It will cut firmly the next day, and the flavor will also be better
AND
You won't have to make it on the day of your dinner event



INGREDIENTS

1 Pound box of Lasagna Noodles
I medium Onion, minced
3 large cloves garlic, minced 
3 T olive oil
1 pound Italian Sausage, or Ground Beef (or mixed)
45 oz jar (or 2 pounds of homemade) Marinara Sauce
24 oz, cottage cheese
1 egg
Italian Seasoning 
1t. Salt and 1/2t. Pepper
5 to 8 oz. real parmesan cheese
24 oz. bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese (You may not use all.)


INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees
Boil Lasagna Noodles until al dente (almost done).
Cook Minced Onion in Skillet with a couple of Tablespoons of Olive Oil, just until translucent.
Add Minced Garlic just until aromatic.  DO NOT brown.
Add one Half pound Sausage & one Half pound lean Ground Beef and brown.
(You may prefer all sausage or all ground beef.)
Add 24 oz of Marinara Sauce, to the skillet,
(Spread approximately 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a sprayed 13X9 casserole.)
Mix 24oz. Cottage Cheese with 1 scrambled egg and 2 T. Italian Seasoning, Salt & Pepper.


START LAYERING :D

1. (First Layer ~ approx. 5) Lasagna Noodles ~ overlapping, over half of each, lengthwise
2. (HALF of the) Meat Sauce
3. (HALF of the) Cottage Cheese Mixture
4. (Half of the) Real Parmesan Cheese
5. (Approximately 1/3 of bag) Mozzarella cheese to visibly cover everything; pat down with hands for next layer).

(REPEAT)

Top with a third layer of overlapping noodles .
Spread with enough Marinara Sauce to cover the noodles.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake 20"
Remove aluminum foil, and spread a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese to cover all sauce.  
Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.
Place foil back onto casserole & back 10".
Take out of over.
Cool completely.
Then refrigerate for next day.

To Heat/Bake again until brown and bubbly:
Bring to room temperature and oven to 375 degrees.
Cover with foil, bake 20", cut into center and check.
You could also bake in individual casseroles.













CUCUMBER WRAPPED SALAD



(Top view with drizzled olive oil & balsamic reduction )
~
INSTRUCTIONS
Shave the cucumber with a mandolin slicer, discarding the first shave (outer peel).
Shave two lengths of the cucumber, approx 1/8th" thick.
Form a ring, by overlapping the pieces.
Secure with a baby carrot that you partially sliced (so it is like a "close pin").
Cover the baby carrot(s) with the lettuce and other inside salad ingredients.
I used red leaf lettuce, including it's green pieces, miniature sweet yellow bell pepper  (julienned) shaved baby carrots (on the mandolin slicer), grape tomatoes, olive oil and a balsamic reduction.

For the rose, I cut a slice of a red onion.
Discarded the outer rings, and adjusted the inner rings.

If you repost this or make a video, please give me credit for the onion rose.
Thank you!