Sunday, February 26, 2012

Florentine Lasagna Rolls

1 lb ricotta cheese
1 cup bechamel sauce (recipe to follow)
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained completely
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg

Bechamel Sauce:
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons flour

1 lb. lasagna noodles
4 cups tomato sauce (I just made a quick one with canned sauce and add some garlic and sauted it for a half hour)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you are making everything else.

In a small sauce pan eat the oil up for the bechamel sauce.  Once it is hot, whisk in the flour until it is thick.  Then add the milk and stir vigorously. Turn the heat to medium and allow the sauce to thicken for about 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Defrost the spinach in the microwave.  Once it is completely defrosted, put it in a kitchen towel and squeeze it and drain it completely.  It should be completely dry. 

In a large bowl stir the ricotta cheese, drained spinach, bechamel sauce, egg, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Be light on the salt as the cheese is very salty. 

Once the water has boiled, salt the water and put the lasagna noodles in being careful not to break them.  Cook them based n the package directions, usually abut 14 minutes.  Once they are cooked, drain the noodles and allow them to cool for a few minutes.  Try to separate them without burning yourself and lay them over the sides of the pan.

In a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, lay the sauce on the bottom just to cover.  Take one lasagna noodle and place it flat on cutting board.  Put about 1-2 tablespoons of filling on one end and roll it to the other.  Place it in the pan.  Do this with every other lasagna noodle.  Once they have all been made and are in the pan.  Cover the top with the rest of the sauce.

Bake covered for 40 minutes.  Uncover the lasagna and sprinkle some mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the top if desired.  Put back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until top is golden.  Serve and enjoy!

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 c. unsifted flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. buttermilk or milk
1 lg. egg
1 orange
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Grease baking sheet. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In small bowl combine milk, egg and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Then add in the cranberries. Zest the entire orange and add the zest to the batter, reserving the rest of the orange for later.  Dough will be sticky and elastic.  Using a large tablespoons, drop spoonfulls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.
While the scones are baking, you can make the glaze, in a bowl stir the juice of one orange and gradually add powdered sugar to it until it becomes a little runny, but not too liquidy.  If it is too liquidy add more powdered sugar.  Once the scones have come out of the oven let them cool completely before drizzing the glaze on.  Once they are cool spoon the glaze over the top and allow to set a little before serving.  Serve and enjoy!
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spinach Ricotta Flatbread

1 pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Roll dough out extremely thin.  About 1/8 inch thick.  You should almost be able to see through it.  I used a rolling pin and then stretched it further with my hands.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil, red pepper flakes, basil, and garlic cloves until the garlic begins to turn brown.  This will take about 5-10 minutes.  Don't let the garlic burn.

Lightly spray a nonstick baking sheet.  Put the dough on the sheet.  Bake the dough in the oven for about 3 minutes or until the top turns golden.  Then flip it over and bake for another 2 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and brushed the crust with the olive oil mixture.  Spread the ricotta cheese over the top and then sprinkle with parmesan.  Return to the oven for about 3 minutes.  Then sprinkle the top with the fresh spinach leaves and bake for another 5 minutes or until spinach begins to wilt.  Cut and enjoy!

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