Friday, October 17, 2008


Big weekend in the works....the step-son is in town, Charlotte is not going to Auburn and Mr. B is home after a long week in Deutchland....looks like I'll be cooking!

It's finally supposed to cool down a little here in the South, which put me in a Fall mood, so I whipped up some of Ina's Pear and Apple Crisp....which is in the oven right now (and smells devine)...and while I'm watching Gameday tomorrow morning, the plan is to make a couple of pans of lasagna.   Makes you want to come to my house, huh!!

Speaking of Gameday, the Bucknuts have a big one tomorrow in East Lansing.  Personally, I think we're gonna get our shizzle together and pull it out.  There's been way too much jaw-jacking to the press this week by some of the upper classmen....which needs to cease immediately.  Support your quarterback and worry about your own assignments.  I have a feeling Senator Sweater Vest has already nipped that in the bud.

Anyhoo....I'm looking forward to another rockin football Saturday!

Here are the recipes for the Crisp and the Lasagna....enjoy and GO BUCKS!

The Barefoot Contessa's Apple and Pear Crisp

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)...I used Gala...I never have learned what apples are for what dishes...whatev
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks.  Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

For the topping:
Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering completely.

Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly.  Serve warm.

This next one is from Barefoot Contessa Family Style and I usually take some liberties with this one.  The recipe calls for Turkey Sausage, but if I'm gonna make Lasagna....I'm gonna make Lasagna.  I supstitute a combination of hot Italian sausage, ground chuck and ground pork for the turkey.  If you prefer something with a little less calories, stick with the boring turkey.....see if I care!

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large (10-12 inch) skillet.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water.  Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes.   Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablepoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 x 12 x 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish.  Then add the layers as follows:  half the pasta, half the mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

This is a great recipe all on it's own, but often times, I use my favorite jar sauce instead of making my's basically just a time saver.

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