Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Repost: More holiday recipes -- a twist on banana bread and a yummy lasagna

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.


Dec. 7, 2011

Still trying to come up with what to serve for holiday dinners? Like my co-blogger Lisa Cianci, who posted a recipe for a white garlic lasagna I plan to try next week, I also have some suggestions.

I hope you enjoy banana-cranberry-bourbon bread and butternut sage lasagna as much as my family does.

Sometime in late 2009, a woman I'd started following on Twitter posted a link to a banana-cranberry-bourbon bread recipe on her website that she'd adapted, tried and found to be delicious. I baked it that night, and it has since become a holiday-season staple in my household.

BANANA CRANBERRY BOURBON BREAD

3 to 4 ripe, smashed bananas

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

1 1/2 cup of flour

1 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350. Mix butter into smashed bananas and then mix in sugar and all of your wet ingredients, followed by the spices. Add flour, salt, baking soda. Stir in cranberries. Pour into greased 4"x8" loaf pan. Bake for an hour. Cool, remove from pan and serve.

Another recipe we enjoy at this time of year is butternut sage lasagna (actually, my daughter and I eat it, but my husband's not especially fond of butternut squash). It's also something that might work as an entree if you have vegetarians joining you for one of the major holiday meals.

BUTTERNUT SAGE LASAGNA

1 butternut squash, no more than 4 pounds

1 bunch fresh sage

about 4 oz. mascarpone

5 oz amaretti cookies (I've also been known to substitute butter cookies with a splash of bourbon or rum)

salt, pepper

1 stick butter plus 2 Tablespoons

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 tspn nutmeg

oven ready lasagna sheets (9 oz. package)

8 ounces grated fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast squash about 2 hours until it's soft. When it's ready, remove it from the oven, cut it open and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Put the flesh of the squash into a bowl, mash it well and add the chopped sage, mascarpone and amaretti/cookie crumbs.

While squash is roasting: heat a stick of butter in a saucepan until it begins to brown. Turn it off, stir in about 4 leaves of sage, let sit for 2-3 minutes, then strain the liquid into a bowl. Also, chop the majority of the remaining sage leaves and crush the amaretti or cookies until you end up with about a cup of crumbs.

Make a bechamel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and then whiting in flour until it's smooth. Don't let it brown. Whisk in the milk, about two tablespoons of sage browned butter, some salt and the nutmeg.

Assembly: Pour about a tablespoon of browned butter into 3-quart dish and swirl to coat. Put a layer of noodles down, then half of the squash mixture. Put another layer of noodles and 3/4 of the fontina. Another layer of noodles, what's left of the squash mixture, another layer of noodles, b├ęchamel sauce and then the last of the fontina. If you've got any sage leaves left over, chop them and put them on the top of the dish. Likewise, drizzle any brown butter you still have over the top of the dish.

Bake 30 minutes or until bubbling.

Enjoy!

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