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posted: 4/5/2017 6:00 AM

Cook of the Week Amanda Nells' recipes

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  • Lasagna rollups and garlic bread with compound butter are a family favorite in made by Cook of the Week Amanda Nells' house.

      Lasagna rollups and garlic bread with compound butter are a family favorite in made by Cook of the Week Amanda Nells' house.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Cook of the Week Amanda Nells of Lindenhurst slices garlic bread with compound butter to add to a plate of her lasagna rollups.

      Cook of the Week Amanda Nells of Lindenhurst slices garlic bread with compound butter to add to a plate of her lasagna rollups.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Lasagna roll ups and garlic bread with compound butter made by Cook of the Week Amanda Nells of Lindenhurst.

      Lasagna roll ups and garlic bread with compound butter made by Cook of the Week Amanda Nells of Lindenhurst.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Cook of the Week Amanda Nells of Lindenhurst has a fondness for kitchen knives.

      Cook of the Week Amanda Nells of Lindenhurst has a fondness for kitchen knives.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 

Lasagna Roll ups

1-2 jar (32 ounce) of your favorite marinara gravy, depends on how saucy you like

1 16-ounce container ricotta cheese

1 large egg

2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

2½ cups freshly grated fresh mozzarella cheese, divided,

I freeze fresh mozzarella for about 30 minutes before I shred it.

¾ cup freshly, finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

1¼ teaspoon salt, divided

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoon of olive oil

12 uncooked lasagna noodles (Can be substituted with jumbo shells, manicotti or ribbons of zucchini)

1 box of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed all liquid out (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put fresh mozzarella in the freezer for about 30 minutes before grating. Use room temperature ricotta cheese and egg.

Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water along with 1 teaspoon salt till al dente according to directions listed on package. Once noodles are cooked, drain and line noodles in a single layer on waxed paper or cookie sheets brush with 2 tablespoon olive oil.

Prepare cheese mixture (I do this while pasta is cooking) stirring together ricotta cheese, egg, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper with a fork in a large mixing bowl until well combine. Stir in dried Italian herbs (and optional thawed, drained spinach). Add in 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese and ½ cup Parmesan cheese stir mixture until well combine.

Spread 1/3 cup of marinara evenly into a 13x9 inch baking dish. Spread ¼ cup cheese mixture evenly onto each cooked lasagna noodle (it will be a thin layer leaving 1 inch plain on the far side), then spread 1 heaping tablespoon sauce along the top of cheese covered noodle. Roll noodles up jellyroll style and arrange seam side down in baking dish. Cover rolled noodles with remaining marinara sauce then sprinkle remaining ½ cup Mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese evenly over roll-ups. Bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven. (We like the crispy ends, so we bake uncovered. If you do not like this, tent foil on the dish for 25 minutes and remove for the last 10 minutes.)

Makes 12 roll ups

Compound Butter for Garlic Bread

1 large head of garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon mixed dried Italian herbs

Salt and pepper

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

½ cup of fresh grated Parmesan

1 loaf a crusty baguette, cut in half length wise

Cut the top off the head of the garlic, exposing the cloves and drizzle with olive oil and generously season with salt & pepper.

Wrap the head of garlic in foil and place in a 375 oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

Turn oven up to 425

While garlic is cooling down. Put other ingredients in a mixing bowl. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, place the base of the head of the garlic in the palm of your hand and squeeze the cloves in the mixing bowl. Use your mixer to incorporate, do not over mix.

Spread evenly on the inside of the bread and place on cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes till desired crispness.

Form a log with left over mixture in plastic wrap. Wrap tight, trying to remove extra air and freeze till next use.

Makes enough butter for approximately 3 loaves of bread.

Coconut Macaroon

2½ cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 cup good quality dark chocolate

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly combine coconut, granulated sugar, egg whites, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl using your hands or a wooden spoon. Form 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time, press firmly to make little domes.

Transfer each dome to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake until edges are golden and are firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet on a wire rack at least 30 minutes.

In a glass wide mouth bowl melt the chocolate with the coconut oil. Either use a double boiler or microwave in 30 second increments mixing each interval. When chocolate is melted and shiny, dip the base of the macaroon in it and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to dry. Enjoy!

Store in an airtight container in for up to a week.

Makes approximately 16 macaroons.

Amanda Nells

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