Apr 26, 2006

Make-Ahead Recipes

I made a couple of new dishes this week that were marvelously easy because I was able to prep them ahead of time. The first was Cooking Light's Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms, which is a slow-cooker recipe. The night before I wanted to make it, I prepared all of the ingredients and layered them in the crock, then refrigerated it overnight. I started the cooking about six hours before I wanted to eat and the dish turned out beautifully. Marc said it was my best lasagna ever, and he was especially happy that it didn't become liquidy when heated for lunch the next day.

The second recipe I made this past week was Cooking Light's Bacon, Gruyere and Ham Strata. The recipe itself calls for the strata mixture to soak overnight, so two nights before I wanted to serve it for dinner, I cooked the bacon, shredded the cheese, diced the ham, and toasted the bread. Then, the night before, I combined the ingredients according to the recipe, omitting the green onions (which I hate), shredded a bag of baby spinach to add the next day, and soaked the mixture in a bowl instead of the baking dish so I could more easily add the spinach. On the day I served the dish, I added the spinach to the bread mixture, then spread it a 13x9x2 dish (instead of an 8x8, which was too small) and baked the dish according to the directions. It came out quite well and Alex ate some of it.

Note: The April CookingLight.com access code is CHEESECAKE and the May code is MINT.

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