Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bechamel Sauce

This sauce is perfect for use in the Vegetarian Lasagna. It is great as a basic white sauce over pasta. Add grated cheese and turn this base sauce into a lovely cheese sauce.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all- purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 whole peeled onion
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
salt and white pepper to taste
nutmeg, to taste

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat; stir in flour. Cook 4 to 5 minutes; do not allow it to color. Remove from heat. In medium saucepan heat milk, onion, cloves and bay leaf over medium heat. When milk comes to a boil remove onion, cloves and bay leaf. Slowly add hot milk to butter-flour mixture, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until smooth and thickened. Stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Strain sauce through fine mesh strainer. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.
Yield: 4 cups

Vegetarian Lasagna

Recipe courtesy Carnival Cruise Ship.

12 lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cups spinach leaves
3/4 cup chopped onion
grated nutmeg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup bechamel sauce
6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
6 basil leaves

Cook lasagna according to the package directions; drain. Cool. Heat butter in large skillet; add garlic, cook until softened. Add mushrooms, spinach and onion. Cook until tender. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease individual molds; line with lasagna. Add layers of spinach, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Cover lightly with bechamel sauce; repeat. Cover tightly. Place molds in baking pan; pour 1 inch water into pan. Cover entire pan with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove molds from oven. Heat broiler. Add slices of fresh mozzarella cheese to each serving; broil until melted. Spoon tomato sauce onto serving plates; unmold lasagna. Garnish with basil.
6 servings

Clarified Butter

1 pound butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and skim the impurities on top. Using a ladle, remove the butterfat. Discard the water. Note: When you heat the butter, the water and most impurities will sink to the bottom, because they are heavier.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Break Up

I went to see the movie The Break Up today. I think it will do well, it was quite crowded at the 2 PM showing. In the beginning of the movie it is so sweet to see all the photographs of them when they are happy. From there well it holds on to the title. I do not want to ruin it for you. I think it is worth seeing. I enjoyed it and it was funny, although sarcastic. If you like Vince Vaughn or Jennifer Aniston than you will like it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Back Home!

Home from my vacation to Florida, Cayman Islands, Cozyumel, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico. I had a great time on the cruise. I am home now and not feeling very well.