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Archive for June, 2011

Rhubarb Granita

Melting Rhubarb Granita

Rhubarb Granita – what a brilliant idea! I came across this recipe in a Danish magazine and being a big rhubarb fan and all, I immediately ran to the store to get rhubarb. And I was in luck, because fresh firm rhubarb (not limp please) are not that easy to find around here for some odd reason. So needless to say I was very pleased with my find. Thank you Harris Teeter.

The Rhubarb Granita turned out even better than I had imagined and I was really impressed with it. The combination of rhubarb and vanilla sugar makes for an amazing aroma when cooking it. It will perfume your entire house. Now, I did use the European style vanilla sugar but if you don’t have that you can use 1/2 of a vanilla bean instead. Or you can easily make your own vanilla sugar by tossing some empty vanilla pods into some sugar and store in a closed container and you’ll have flavorful and fragrant vanilla sugar in no time.

The Granita is super easy to make and take a look at that beautiful, brilliant, pink color, not to mention how delicious it taste. Oh and if you decide to enjoy it as a slushy drink, it taste fantastic with a splash of Tequila 🙂 Perfect for these hot summer days.

Ingredients:

2 medium Rhubarb (250 g)

2 cups water (5 dl)

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar (125 g)

1 tsp vanilla sugar or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean

a splash of Tequila – optional

Directions:

Clean and cut rhubarb into 1 inch pieces. Drop into cooking pot and add water, sugar and vanilla sugar. If using the seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean instead of vanilla sugar, toss in the empty vanilla pod into the pot while cooking for extra flavor. Cover with a lid and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Place a sieve over a small bowl and pour cooked rhubarb into the sieve and allow to drip off. Set aside Rhubarb liquid and let cool. After the liquid has cooled off, you can either poor it into a shallow dish, place in freezer for 3-4 hours and break up semi-frozen liquid with a fork every hour. Or if you have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the liquid in there according to the manufactures instructions. It took about 25-30 minutes in my ice cream maker. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Note – if serving as a slushy drink, a splash of Tequila works really well with the Rhubarb. Enjoy.

Rhubarb Granita

Vaniljesukker (Vanilla sugar)

Source: adapted from Familie Journal

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Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my son’s all-time favorite dishes, mine as well. But then again, I’ll eat any type of pasta, anytime. The thing about Lasagna is that it’s a time-consuming dish, so lately when I make it, I make two dishes and freeze one. You want to make sure you freeze the assembled Lasagna before it is baked. Then just thaw it in the refrigerator for a day before baking.

What I really like about Anne Burrell’s recipe is how the Basil is mixed in with the Ricotta cheese which gives it a wonderful flavor. In my opinion, the greatest thing about Lasagna is how versatile it is. You can make it a hundred different ways by substitute whatever type of vegetables and/or meats your heart desires. I don’t really think that I have made the same Lasagna twice because it is always a little different. A very helpful tip that Anne Burrell also gave on her show was to layer the lasagna noodles in a criss-cross fashion to help prevent the lasagna from gliding apart once it’s cut and to let it cool down for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting into. Fifteen minutes are an eternity when your hungry and it’s Lasagna your waiting for.

Ricotta Cheese with Basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Sausage and Spinach

 

Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano

 

Home-made Marinara

 Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage

12 oz mushrooms, sliced

a pinch crushed red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 oz fresh baby spinach

2 cups ricotta cheese

8-10 basil leaves, chopped

1 egg

2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided

your favorite home-made marinara sauce

16 oz package lasagna noodles

1 lb grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 7 minutes, drain and lay flat on a baking sheet, set aside.

Break apart Italian sausage and brown in pan, set aside. Add sliced mushrooms and crushed red pepper flakes to pan, season with salt and cook until soft. Add garlic and spinach and cook just until spinach is wilting. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a small bowl combine ricotta cheese, basil, egg and 1/2 the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix to combine and season with salt. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish add a couple of ladles of marinara sauce and spread evenly. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles over sauce. Top with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles in the opposite direction and top with sauce, 1/3 of mushroom mixture, mozzarella cheese and some of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat these layers until all ingredients are used up and the pan is full. Make sure that the top layer consist of marinara sauce topped with cheese.

Place dish on baking sheet, cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes of baking time to brown the top. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Lasagna

Source: adapted from Anne Burrell

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