November 14, 2007

Slow Food???

If you aren’t familiar with the Slow Food movement then you should be. This movement has caught on across the nation. The main point of Slow Food is educating people about their food choices. So that people know where their food comes from, how it was produced and supporting local producers.

From the organization’s website:

Living the slow life with food as the focus is as rewarding as it is easy, and it can be done daily by each one of us. Ultimately, it is about pleasure and taste, knowledge and choice. Once we begin to take an interest in the enjoyment of food, and in finding out where our food comes from, we can begin to see the effects of these choices. When we shorten the distance—both literal and figurative—that our food travels to get to us, we are participating in the Slow Food movement. Slow Food is about coming together as a food community—connecting producers and co-producers, coming together on the farm, in the market, and at the table—to create and enjoy food that is good, clean and fair.

Slow Food is also simply about taking the time to slow down and to enjoy life with family and friends. Every day can be enriched by doing something slow - making pasta from scratch one night, seductively squeezing your own orange juice from the fresh fruit, lingering over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese - even deciding to eat lunch sitting down instead of standing up. For example, here in the Slow Food USA office, we take a moment to eat lunch together every day!

If you have some time and you are interested in the organization…I highly
suggest wondering on over to the Slow
Food Blog as well.

This is a recipe I pulled off the Slow Food Kansas City website which ended
up being a great quick meal. This recipe is a spin on one of my favorite foods:

Mike's Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms,
3 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry vermouth

Béchamel sauce
4 1/2
tablespoons butter
4 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 1/2 cups of
whole milk
2 1/2 Parmesan Cheese
Ground nutmeg
1 9oz pkg. oven ready
lasagna noodles
1 lb whole milk mozzarella cheese

For filling:
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté until mushrooms release juices and begin to brown, about 7 minutes. Add artichokes and vermouth. Cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

For béchamel sauce:
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens and lightly coats spoon, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg.

Spread 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over bottom of 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Top with enough
noodles to cover bottom of dish. Spread 1/4 of artichoke mixture over. Spoon 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over. Top béchamel with1/4 mozzarella.

Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with enough noodles to cover. Repeat layering 3 more times, finishing with layer of noodles, then remaining béchamel.

Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.) Cover with foil and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350F .Bake Lasagna covered with foil 1 hour (or 1 hour and 15 minutes if chilled). Remove foil. Increase temperature to 450F.Bake lasagna until golden on top, about 10 minutes longer.

Makes 8 servings.

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