Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mushroom Lasagne - 2 - $ - V

I have taken a leaf out of the brave and fabulous Iron Chef Shellie's book in order to bring you a recipe that didn't quite work.

I figure that the sharing element of this blog should extend to what not to do, as well as what works well. So I hope you will please indulge me whilst I tell you how this recipe didn't work; in order to bring you one that will.

Porcinis before...

It's probably best to start at the beginning, and that would be that I have been quite disappointed with the last few issues of a certain Australian food magazine. They seem really repetitive, uninspiring and at times, down right boring. It's a real shame because I have often used the recipes from past issues in the Cookbook Challenge.
Today I attempted two recipes from the June and May issues, because for the first time this year I felt inspired to give some of the mag's recipes a try. Unfortunately, one was an epic fail and one was OK - only because I managed to rescue it. As I was yelling in the kitchen with only the pets for an audience, I really did wonder if anyone at said magazine has actually been testing the recipes before publication?

Porcinis after

The following ingredients and method are minus the water that the original recipe says to use for the sauce. Against my better judgement I did add it, and then strained the mushies afterward when I realised what a wrong turn I had taken following the instructions to the letter. I also don't think you need the litre of milk suggested for the bechamel sauce, 500ml is well enough.
I've taken the liberty of changing loads of quantities without mentioning them at all, in order for you to not even go there - ergo your lasagne should be perfection!
(Also, don't burn your tea towel like I did trying to cook two brand new, pear-shaped-headed-meals, at the same time.)

Another tea towel bites the dust

Ingredients - will make one 30cm square baking dish

10gm dried porcini mushrooms
2tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500gm Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
500ml passata
1 large ball of buffalo mozzarella, finely sliced
fresh lasagne sheets - I bought two from the market, just tell you pasta person you need two sheets and the size of your dish
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
Parmesan cheese

Whole lotta 'shrooms

You need to make a bechamel sauce to go with, so you can read how to do that over here. You need about 1 1/2 times the quantity of that recipe. Add a pinch of nutmeg just to jazz it up a little bit.

Better luck next time...

Preheat oven to 180C degrees and grease the baking dish.
Soak the dried porcinis in 1/2 cup of boiling water for at least 10 minutes. If they are very big, you can chop them up once they are rehydrated.
At the same time, heat the oil in a large pan and fry off the onion for 5-6 minutes over a medium heat. Once they are soft add the garlic and the Swiss brown mushies and cook stirring for 10 minutes until they are soft.
Add the porcinis and the water they were soaking in and cook for a few more minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in the passata, reduce a little and set aside.
Make the bechamel according to these instructions (remembering to increase the amount as mentioned above).
To construct the lasagne, use half the mushroom sauce to cover the bottom of the baking dish, (don't forget to remove the herbs) then top with some bechamel and then add a layer of half the mozzarella. Cover with one sheet of pasta. Repeat the process and then for the final layer just use bechamel and grate parmesan over the top.
Cover the lasagne loosely with aluminium foil and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and then cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let the lasagne rest for a few minutes before attempting to cut and serve.


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