Thursday, September 1, 2011

Italian Buffet for 40

I had the opportunity to cook for the wonderful teachers of First Baptist Church Preschool again recently. I decided to do an Italian buffet. Here are the recipes. Most are links to recipes on my blog, but some are links to other websites.

Caesar Salad

Focaccia Bread
I didn't make the onion/olive topping; instead, I drizzled the bread with olive oil and topped with rosemary, salt, pepper, and parmesan.

I made my spaghetti sauce to make a very traditional lasagna. I put sauce in the bottom of the 9x13 pan, layered four cooked lasagna noodles, then a mixture of ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. I topped this with more sauce and mozzarella cheese. I repeated the noodles/ricotta/sauce mozzarella layer. Finally, I ended with noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and more parmesan. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350.

Gnocchi with Ricotta and Spinach

Spaghettini with Pesto

Chicken Caprese
I didn't serve this over pasta. If you cook it closer to 30-40 minutes in the oven, the sauce will thicken up. I sliced the chicken breasts in half length-wise. Today's thick chicken breasts take forever to cook through, so I like to cut them thinner and cook them faster. Because I was catering, I brined the chicken breasts for about 1/2 an hour in salty water. This gives you a margin of cooking error - it's much harder to dry them out.

Mud Pie
This recipe was requested by the wonderful preschool director - it fit the retreat's theme of a coffee shop. I made it in springform pans, but you can easily make it in a 9x13 pan.

1 package Oreos, ground into crumbs in a food processor
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 jar hot fudge
1 half-gallon coffee ice cream
1 8 oz. container Cool Whip, thawed
chocolate bar shavings for garnish (optional)

Mix together ground Oreos and melted butter and press into bottom of pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.

Slightly soften ice cream and spread in pan. Refreeze.

Slightly warm hot fudge and spread over ice cream. Freeze.

Spread Cool Whip on top and shave a chocolate bar over the Cool Whip, if using.

Freeze until ready to serve.

1 comment:

Alison... said...

Did you provide all the dishes for the buffet? yikes!

I love lasagna... You've inspired me to make it!