Friday, June 29, 2012

Gruyère, Cremini Mushroom, and Roasted Chicken Lasagna

S: Last night we had a couple of friends over for a little summer dinner party. And I did what you're never supposed to do when hosting a dinner. I gambled on UNTESTED recipes that looked delicious and amazing instead of going with a couple of kitchen standbys. YES. I am a throw-caution-to-the-wind kind of gal. And nothing went wrong! This is how you buck the system, people, one recipe at a time.

The final menu: a Gruyère, cremini mushroom, and roasted chicken lasagna; a blueberry, feta, and pecan salad with balsamic vinegar dressing; and white chocolate mousse with blackberries for dessert.

My pride and joy

The lasagna recipe is from Epi, and I made only a few adjustments. It was perfect in the way that only a creamy lasagna after a long day can be. The white chocolate mousse recipe is lifted from a Claire Robinson cookbook I got on sale at Anthropologie a few months ago called 5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant, and Irresistible Recipes. Yep, yep, and yep. It's the first recipe I've tried from it, and I won't stop, can't stop 'till I hit the last now.

We ended the night playing Facts in Five (the original category board game!) (which I found recently for ten dollars on our trip to Baltimore!) and drinking a nice rosè our friends had brought over.

The lasagna recipe with my comments in brackets is below.

Gruyère, Cremini Mushroom, and Roasted Chicken Lasagna

1 (10-ounce) package cremini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced [I used cremini.]
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine [A chardonnay from Whole Foods.]
1/2 roast chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded (about 2 1/4 cups)
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons thyme leaves [I used dried thyme and only 1 teaspoon.]
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano [Freshly grated regular parmesan works fine too.]
12 Barilla no-boil egg lasagne noodles (less than a 9-ounce package)
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 425° with rack in middle.
Cook mushrooms, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer briskly 2 minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl and stir in chicken. (Set aside saucepan.) 

Bring milk to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook roux, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Add hot milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Add thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve 1 cup sauce. Stir parmesan into sauce remaining in pan, then stir into mushroom filling. 

Pour half of reserved plain sauce into baking pan, spreading evenly to coat bottom. Add 3 lasagne sheets, overlapping slightly, and one third of mushroom filling, spreading evenly, then sprinkle one fourth of Gruyère over top. Repeat 2 times. Top with remaining 3 lasagne sheets and remaining plain sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyère. 

Cover with foil, tenting slightly to prevent foil from touching top of lasagne but sealing all around edge, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 10 minutes before serving. 

(Recipe reposted from Epicurious)

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