January 27, 2010: Tonight, gtetra came over to work on his gaplant that has been nearing completion. I think he finished his painting work and next step will be the clear coat and decals. So just to placate the need to see the kit snapped together after the paint, he put the sucker together and I snapped a few pictures.
Ok, now on the real reason for this page. Lasagna. Last week, my friends and I went out to a nice Italian restaurant known for their lasagna. Online there is a recipe that someone posted claiming that it is the reciepe from said restaurant. Having never made lasagna in my life, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try my hand at it. So using the online reciepe as a guide, I'm going to add in my own bit of flavor to this and hopefully this turns out well. So part one will focus on the ragu portion of the lasagna; basically the meat for the dish.
The reciepe called for a half pound of chicken livers, half pound of beef, and a half pound of veal. The meats were taken out of their packaging and cut into workable chunks.
Then the meats were ground up using cleavers.
Next up are the aromatics; an onion, two stalks of celery, and carrots. They are finely chopped.
After chopping they are thrown into the pan with a stick of butter. I add in some fresh garlic. I also season the mixture with sea salt and pepper. This is allowed to cook for about 8 minutes.
With the aromatics cooked, the meats are thrown in and cooked throughly for about five minutes, stiring and breaking up the meat that clumps together. Everything is mixed at this point.
In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of water and a quarter cup of tomato paste together, then add the mixture to the cooking meat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat to medium low and let this simmer for five minutes. At this point, I decided to add a few table spoons of balsamic vingar, some thyme, orageno, and a few bay leaves as well as a small amount of salt and pepper.
Next add in a cup of dry red wine and bring it back to a boil. When the boil is reached, drop the temperature to low and let this simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated. This will take about an hour or so. Make sure the heat is low so that the ragu does not burn and stir every now and then.
The ragu is done. Add more salt and pepper according to taste to balance out the final flavoring. At this point, I removed it from the heat into a container to cool down before being stored in the refrigerator.
January 29, 2010: Lasagna Part Deux
After a day of work, friends invited themselves over as guinea pigs for the lasagna. First we start off form where we last left you, with part two of the lasagna, the béchamel. This is a white sauce that is the base for a ton of other sauces.
It starts off with your basic roux: flour and butter. The mixture of 5 table spoons of flour and 5 table spoons of butter is cooked and mixed together for about three minutes. Stir constantly so that the roux does not burn and ensure that all the flour is incorporated with the butter.
Then 2 and a half cups of whole milk is slowly added to the mixture and cooked for about 5 or so minutes. The cooking process will thicken up the sauce. At this point, the sauce is seasoned with some salt and pepper to taste. And the heat is turned off.
One and a half cup of paramesan cheese is grated, and also set aside with the ragu and béchamel.
The lasagna noodles are cooked until tender but firm to the bite. This will cut the cooking time for the lasagna down. Once the noodles reach the tender/firm stage, run them through cold water to completely stop the cooking process on the noodles. With the noodles ready, the lasagna is ready to come together. The oven is heated up to 400 degrees. The bottom of the lasagna pan is buttered, then the first layer of noodles is placed. Next is the béchamel, about a half cups' worth is placed over the noodles. A cup of the ragu is the next layer, followed by a quarter cup of the cheese. I added some mozzarella in adition to the paramesean. This layering is repeated another three times. with the last layer noodles and cheese at the top.
Into the oven the lasagna goes and for 30 minutes.
30 minutes later, the lasagna is taken out and left to rest for 10 minutes. At this point, I took some spinach leaves and deep fried them, then lightly salted them before plating. After resting, the lasagna is cut and plated with the fried spinach leaves.
A nice relaxing night after lasagna, with drinks and a bon fire. With the flash and then without the flash.
January 27, 2010: Lasagna part one: the ragu.
January 29, 2010: Lasagna part deux: everything else.