Thursday, August 20, 2009

Experimental Cookery 'Tuesday' #49: Lasagne

One of the key outcomes of the Experimental Cookery thing is that I have been converted from using pre-processed versions of some of my favourites. When it comes to curries, chilli, and even burgers, I'm going to start making them from scratch. However, I wasn't quite converted with the fajitas - they were just too much hassle for not enough of an improvement.

And so we come to my #1 favourite: lasagne. This actually became installed as my favourite food during my stint in Yeovil, when it was one of a very small number of foods I didn't have the facility to cook myself (and one that I absolutely refused to go for the pre-processed alternative for). As such, it was something I couldn't easily have.

The selection of vegetables in the lasagne was certainly surprising. I might even say strange. Out went the mushrooms, and in came carrots and celery. As I said, strange. Still, it cooked up easily enough, being essentially the same as the Bolognese sauce from a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, there was a disaster to come...

The problem came with the blanching of the pasta sheets, which prompted them to all stick together in a horribly pasta-y mess that proved entirely impossible to separate. I have since determined that this was a completely unnecessary step (given that I had to substitute some of the now-useless pasta sheets with some unblanched ones), but it was extremely annoying at the time.

Also, Jamie's recipe calls for many more layers of pasta sheets than I am used to. This is fine, except that my lasagne dish just isn't big enough to accomodate so many layers. Fortunately, I had already weighed this up before I created a huge mess, and so only created a medium mess.

Still, never mind. It was all done, and assembled, and placed in the oven, and duly cooked. The key question, really, was as it always had been: what was the outcome?

Well, it was most definately a lasagne. It also seemed somewhat closer to the lasagne I've had in restaurants, which tends to be not quite so rigidly layered as the ones I have cooked previously (although that was somewhat by my design). However, it was not a significant improvement over what has gone before. This lasagne, at least, was insufficient to convert me away from using the jars of red and white sauce. Perhaps some other recipe will do that job better.

Still, the lasagne was good enough to count as a 'win', and so brings the score for this chapter to 6-0. The next recipe in the book is "Good Old Chilli Con Carne", which I have already tackled. After that we have a mince and onion pie. However, I might not get to that next week - I have run out of freezer tubs, and indeed space to store foods, and so may not be well placed to cook up the pie without it going to waste. Such are the perils of having a freezer filled to overflowing with delicious home-cooked foods.

Incidentally, I also picked up a copy of "Jamie's Italy" yesterday, as it was on special offer and I had had my eye on it for some time. However, I think I'll just dip in and out of that one, rather than following it in any sort of a sequence.

1 comment:

julietbec said...

Chris makes a delicious vegetarian lasagne. He's making it for me next Saturday (as a prize because I beat him at badminton).
Yum yum