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Dover Post
  • Valentine’s Day meals cooked with love

  • For many, Valentine’s Day is about lavish date nights that center around champagne, Godiva and roses, but Valentine’s Day is, in theory, about celebrating love. What better way to show someone you love them than by cooking for them? After all, the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach.
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  • For many, Valentine’s Day is about lavish date nights that center around champagne, Godiva and roses, but Valentine’s Day is, in theory, about celebrating love. What better way to show someone you love them than by cooking for them? After all, the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach.
    Valentine’s Day seems like a perfect excuse to make your significant other breakfast in bed, which is why I’m sharing my recipe for Nutella French toast. This dish is quick and easy. This dish is great on its own, but a few sliced strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream could never hurt, plus the fruit and cream only serve to make the presentation that much more impressive.
    There are only a few dishes on Earth that better express love than lasagna. It’s warm and comforting, and it takes a lot of effort to make. The recipe I’m sharing is called Monster Lasagna because it probably weighs about five pounds when all’s said and done. When I make this, my 9-by-13-inch baking dish is almost overflowing, so I bake it with a cookie sheet underneath just in case it bubbles over.
    This recipe is honestly the result of me not being able to find a lasagna recipe that satisfied my needs. I wanted a sausage lasagna with ricotta filling made with oven ready noodles. I couldn’t find a recipe for that so I wrote my own.
    So many lasagna recipes that I’ve found lately call for cottage cheese, rather than ricotta, and I do not understand why. Yes, cottage cheese may be lower in fat, but really lasagna is not the application where you worry about calories. If you’re eating something that contains two pounds of sausage and four cups of mozzarella cheese you may as well throw caution to the wind and go with ricotta, especially because cottage cheese is kind of gross, but I digress.
    Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate, but I have chosen to break the mold. I felt like an Italian dish like lasagna needed and Italian dessert to follow, so I decided to put my own spin on the tiramisu and make it more of a cinnamon sugar dessert. If you’ve never heard of Biscoff cookies, you’re missing out. They’re cookies that have a crispy texture similar to short bread, but have a cinnamon-sugar taste. I think they make a good vehicle for tiramisu, rather than the traditional lady fingers. The cinnamon spice Kahlua  the cookies are soaked in just reinforce that cinnamon flavor profile.
     
    NUTELLA FRENCH TOAST
    Page 2 of 3 - 8 slices bread
    1/2 cup Nutella
    4 eggs
    1/4 cup milk
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
    Take two slices of bread and spread them with a quarter of the Nutella.  Make a sandwich with your two slices of bread, and repeat with the rest of the bread. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Dip both sides of your sandwich into the egg mixtures and place in a lightly buttered pan over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Serve with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Serves two.
     
    MONSTER LASAGNA
    Sauce:
    2 pounds Italian sausage
    1 onion, diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons oregano
    1 tablespoon basil
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
    1 12 oz. can tomato paste
     
    Ricotta filling:
    32 oz. ricotta cheese
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 teaspoon parsley
    ½ teaspoon basil
    2 eggs
    1 cup parmesan cheese
     
    4 cups mozzarella cheese
    12 lasagna noodles
     
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot over medium heat, brown the sausage with the onion and garlic. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in the spices. Fill the tomato paste can with water, and pour the water into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 40 to 45 minutes until thick. Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the ricotta filling. When the sauce is cooked, pour just enough to cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with a layer of noodles. Top the noodles with half of the ricotta filling, one-third of the sauce, and a layer of mozzarella. Repeat that process once. Top the second layer with the remaining noodles and sauce. Top with mozzarella. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover the lasagna and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until lasagna is bubbling. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serves six.
     
    BISCOFF TIRAMISU
    5 egg yolks
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 cups cream
    2 8 oz. containers mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
    2 packs Biscoff cookies
    1/4 cup Kahlua
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (for cinnamon-sugar mixture)
    1 tablespoon sugar (for cinnamon-sugar mixture)
     
    Fill a pot with approximately an inch of water and bring it to a boil. Off the heat, whisk the egg yolk and 1/4 cup sugar until pale and thick. Reduce the boiling water to a simmer. Pour the whisked yolk and sugar into a glass bowl and place it over the pot, ensuring the bottom of the bowl is not touching the surface of the water. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Remove the bowl from the water and allow to cool for about 45 minutes.
    Page 3 of 3 - In the meantime, whip 1 cup cream and 1/4 cup of sugar in a stand mixer until the cream is stiff. Once the egg yolks are cool, fold the mascarpone and the egg yolks into the whipped cream. Chill the mixture for two hours. Once the filling has chilled, place a layer of Biscoff cookies vertically in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Using a spoon, soak each cookie in a little Kahlua. Top the cookies with half the mascarpone filling; repeat once. Top the second layer with Biscoff cookies, but lay them horizontally (there will be some space between the cookies). Soak the cookies in the remaining Kahlua. In a stand mixer, whip 1 cup cream and the last 1/4 cup sugar until stiff. Top the tiramisu with the whipped cream. Chill for at least two hours or up to eight hours. When ready to serve, top the tiramisu with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serves eight.
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