Cooking Lasagna with NCIS LA Star Peter Cambor

Ever since I met the NCIS LA star Peter Cambor, he has been talking about how great his duck lasagna is.  Finally, after hearing about it for a year, I told him I couldn’t stand the talk anymore.  The only way for me to verify if this duck lasagna was worth the talk was if he was cooking lasagna for myself and my fiancee.  Well, all I can say is, the duck lasagna was worth the wait.

Making lasagna, more specifically duck lasagna, is not easy.  It’s a nine-hour process and that is if you are an expert duck lasagna chef as Peter Cambor is.  For our special dinner, the NCIS LA star worked two days cooking lasagna.  And the crazy thing is, after all the work you still throw out the duck!

First and foremost, the lasagna noodles that Peter made by hand were incredible.  When thinking about cooking lasagna, duck lasagna is probably one of the hardest lasagnas to make.  Not only did he make the lightest, tastiest noodles I have ever eaten but also in the process of making lasagna it took Peter a full day just to cook down the duck.   The essence of the duck is what the recipe calls for including a few other ingredients such as onions, carrots and cheese.

Not being a fan of lasagna, and of course would never even give a thought to making lasagna, all I can say is my initial portion size was more than six ounces and then I ate a second and third serving.  Of course, I am on a diet so I had to stop after my third helping but to be honest, I just couldn’t get enough!

Besides cooking lasagna, the NCIS LA star served two great bottles of red wine and wonderful cheeses as an appetizer, including a truffle cheese that I also couldn’t get enough of.   Caesar salad was courtesy of me (the recipe can be found on page 90 in Budget Bash) and dessert, well let’s just say it was Whole Foods who was the hired pastry chef.

As I mention in my book, Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget, you don’t always have to make everything from scratch, and sometimes it is best to know when to supplement your dinner party with store-bought food items.  Of course, our meal was casual and I brought them over in the box, but if you make a beautiful presentation, most times guests will be so impressed that you just don’t have to fess up where everything comes from.

Another fun and unexpected part of the dinner party hosted by Peter Cambor was the hors d’ouevres that were served outside in the garden around an open fire.  What a lovely way to start an evening and catch up with what is going on in everyone’s life.  In fact, if you have an outdoor fire pit, then a great party theme you can use can be, From the Garden to the Table.  You can work this dinner two ways, either grill everything (fire) or serve a vegetarian meal (garden).

The new season of NCIS LA starts Tuesday, September 21st with a two-hour episode (although I don’t think cooking lasagna, more specifically, duck lasagna will be featured).  However, I hope you picked up on a few ideas and if you ever get the desire to cook duck lasagna, just be sure like the actor Peter Cambor you commit fully with the nine-hour process! Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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