Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Buffet Dinner

Halloween is a busy night at our house. With three young kids, and two older boys plus their friends -- not to mention a surprise guest or two -- I like to make up Halloween dinner ahead of time and just pop it in the oven that evening. I serve it up buffet style with bread, veggies. This year I'm making --
Portobello Mushroom Lasagna
(Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa)
FYI - Mushrooms are relatively high in protein, averaging about 20% of their dried mass. They contribute a wide range of essential amino acids, are low in fat (0.3 - 2.0%), high in fiber and provide several groups of vitamins, particularly thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, and ascorbic acid. While nutrients vary from one kind of mushroom to the next, many contain protein, vitamins A and C, B-vitamins and minerals including iron, selenium, potassium and phosphorus. Phytochemicals found in some mushrooms are being studied as possible cancer-fighting substances, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Kosher salt
Good olive oil
3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
4 cups whole milk
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms
1 cup freshly ground Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
For the white sauce, bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.
Since commercially-available mushrooms are grown in a sterile medium, invest in a soft mushroom brush and simply brush away any clinging growing medium rather than washing with water. If you must, wipe them with a damp paper towel. Separate the mushroom stems from the caps and discard the stems. Slice the caps 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and they release some of their juices. If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Toss occasionally to make sure the mushrooms cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set all the mushrooms aside.
To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.


Krissy said...

um. yummm! What time shall I be over ;)

Sabina said...

Happy Halloween Krissy!!

M.Kate said...

yummy!!! I have never made lasagne before and I love portobello mushrooms,this will be a great recipe to try!

M.Kate said...

yummy!!! I have never made lasagne before and I love portobello mushrooms,this will be a great recipe to try!

Ashley L. said...

oh wow. that sounds delicious!

Suzanne said...

We never got anything like that......we got sloppy joes and chips. I'm coming to your house.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Honeygo Beasley said...

Sabina, that sounds so delicious - thanks for sharing your recipe with us. I want to make it! I think I might use your recipe as inspiration and make it myself from scratch (that's how I cook - without recipes, aren't I bad????!).

notsocrafty.com said...

That looks good and I don't even like mushrooms. Love the decorations as well.

The Rauths said...

i just found your blog and love it! i made this recipe a few weeks ago and it is delicious!

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