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Month: February 2019

Family Lasagna

2.5-3 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage or ground pork
2 cups chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce
3 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 carton (2 lbs.) Ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano

8 oz. Lasagna noodles, no-bake or cooked and well drained
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook ground beef, pork, onions, and garlic in heavy Dutch oven until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain off excess fat.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, 3 Tblsp. parsley flakes, 2 Tblsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. oregano and 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for one hour or until sauce resembles good thick spaghetti sauce; stirring occasionally. Half of the sauce will go in the lasagna, and the other half reserved for serving.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, the egg, 1 Tblsp. parsley flakes, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. oregano.

In a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread enough sauce to cover the bottom. Layer noodles, sauce, mozzarella cheese, and cottage cheese in layers (repeat these layers 2-3 times) reserving enough sauce for a thin top layer. Spread sauce over top, sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese. Bake uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes or until cheese is bubbly in center. Let stand for 10-15 minutes after removing from oven. Serves 8.

Chicken Spiedies

3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
6 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

6 skewers
6 Italian-style hoagie buns

Combine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, garlic, sugar, oregano, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in a blender. Puree until liquefied, about 30 seconds.

Place chicken thighs in a large resealable plastic bag, pour in marinade and massage to coat. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Remove chicken and place on the skewers. Season with salt. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced slightly, about 2 minutes.

Place skewers on the preheated grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turn and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 5 to 6 more minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Remove from grill and rest the meat for a few minutes.

Toast hoagie rolls and spread each with some of the reserved marinade. Place a skewer on each roll and carefully remove the skewer, leaving the chicken in the bun.


8 ½ ounces (1 1/4 cups) green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
Salt and pepper
1 ¼ cups basmati rice

2 pounds yellow onions, halved and sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons salt
1½ cups vegetable oil

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Bring lentils, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and set aside. While lentils cook, place rice in medium bowl and cover by 2 inches with hot tap water; let stand for 15 minutes.

Toss onions and salt together in a large bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, and dry well.

Heat onions and oil in Dutch oven over high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain onions in a colander set in large bowl, reserving the oil. Transfer the onions to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Set oil aside.

Using your hands, gently swish rice grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off the water, leaving rice in the bowl. Add cold tap water to rice and pour off the water. Repeat adding and pouring off cold tap water 4 to 5 times, until water runs almost clear. Drain rice in a fine-mesh strainer.

Heat reserved onion oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in a Dutch oven over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of rice begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Stir in lentils, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is absorbed about 12 minutes.

Off heat, remove lid, fold dish towel in half, and place over pot; replace lid. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff rice and lentils with fork and stir in cilantro and half of crispy onions. Transfer to serving platter, top with remaining crispy onions, and serve.