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Help w/ dinner menu for 18 on Sunday 8/22!


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Help w/ dinner menu for 18 on Sunday 8/22!

dinneronsundays | Aug 15, 2010 09:13 AM

Thanks to all those respondents who contributed to my Sunday dinner post previously. My roast chickens, spaghetti w/ lemon sauce and spinach w/ almonds and raisins was a huge hit! Nobody could believe that I am a beginner. Chowhound is my secret weapon! Ha!

So I have taken on a new challenge: I have decided to cook Pastitsio, a Greek-inspired lasagna, for roughly 18 people on Sunday 8/22(that's next week), and I need your help in calculating ingredient proportions, determining prep times and work, and basically any ideas on how to make this easier on me.

The recipe that I will be using comes from Ina Garten...it serves 8 people..Here it is(the questions that I have follows the recipe):

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup red wine

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1-1/2 teaspoon strong ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 can crushed tomatoes in their juice (28 ounces)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan, divided in half
2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 pound pasta (macaroni-style, not spaghetti-style)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat; add onion and saute for 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium, add meat, and cook for 10 minutes; add wine, cook for 2 minutes; add garlic, cinnamon, oregano, and thyme, cooking for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper; bring just to simmer; cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes; set aside.

2. Heat milk and cream over medium-low heat until just simmering.

3. In separate pan, melt butter, then whisk in flour; cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly; add hot milk and cream; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, whisking frequently, until smooth and thick; remove from heat and add nutmeg, salt, pepper, half the Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of meat sauce; let cool for 5-10 minutes, then whisk in yogurt and eggs

4. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions

5. Combine drained pasta with meat sauce, add to large casserole dish; pour cheese sauce evenly over top; sprinkle with remaining half of Parmesan.

6. Bake for 1 hour, then let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

1) I will need to double the recipe. Will I have to double each and every ingredient, including those in the bechamel sauce?

2) The original recipe calls for ground lamb and grond beef, is it ok to use only ground turkey(ps. that's what will be provided)?

3) I only have pre-packaged grated Parmesan from the supermarket; it's labeled "real Parmesan". Is that satisfactory?

4) I don't have red wine, what can I substitute for it to maintain the flavor?

5) Ina used shells on her show, I only have elbow macaroni? Is that OK and how many #'s?

6) What can I make ahead, even the previous day?

7) Any tips for the bechamel sauce? How not to make the eggs scramble?

8) Ina served a watermelon, feta and arugula salad, citrus vinaigrette with this. I can get watermelon and romaine lettuce, no arugula or feta? How can I modify or re-create something similar?

9) Any ideas for a quick and easy dessert?

Thanks again for all your help!

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