Yesterday was a holiday; and I was in my Garfield mode (lazy, hungry bone mode). My hands are itching to try out another dish again. So I made a pan of Lasagna. I searched for a recipe (acccording to my judgement). I found my cursor hovering over the landing page of Food Network (one of my favorite channels–I could watch cooking shows whole day).. and I was staring at Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Lasagna Recipe. Okay, how ultimate could you get? Just reviewing the ingredients overwhelmed me… ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, red wine, ground beef, and all those pricey ingredients…but what the heck, it’s a holiday, anyway…so…I squeezed my eyes shut when I paid the bill. 🙂 But heck, I want to try and see if the rave reviews are all worth it.
Since the reviews mentioned that they tweaked the recipe to suit their style, I tweaked my mine too, but most of the procedure were followed faithfully. Ricotta cheese was replaced by cream cheese since there are no more Ricotta cheese in the shelves (I was ecstatic to find a tub of Hacienda Macalauan’s Ricotta Cheese this weekend, our local market is improving!). The meat ingredients were placed by half and half ground pork and beef (to lessen the cost). And I bought a hungarian sausage (despite my mom’s disapproval) for the flavor kick.
Review of the recipe:
I found the process tedious (of course, it’s Lasagna–what do you expect), though I felt a kind of happy pressure (if these two can be indeed put together) when cooking this. I have done a number of lasagna versions, but this is the first time for me to do a wine reduction technique (cooking using a red wine and waiting for the liquid to be reduced in half). I don’t know if it helped bring out the flavor of the meat, because I think it did. But then, my hungarian sausage lost its flavor. I should have place the hungarian sausage last. And the outcome was bland (to me, at least). I didn’t like tasting meat with a little pasta sauce. The tomatoes didn’t help, I needed to add spaghetti sauce (sweet style); just to bring out the flavor of the sauce. Plus, the cheeses used were bland. Or maybe, I am not used to eating less flavorful dish. There’s the Asian in me. A friend suggested I can use cheddar cheese. I thought, Yeah, why haven’t I thought about that? I was preoccupied with these bland, expensive cheeses. But don’t get me wrong. I love mozarella, I love parmesan. It’s just that, to me it didn’t work well. But well, for my family’s hungry tummy, I think it did find a satisfying burp after finishing off a slice of it. Yes, the good thing about this recipe is that, because it is THE Ultimate Lasagna, a slice should be enough to fill you up. Another bonus is that, I was able to do the wine reduction technique! yey! 🙂 🙂 To me, it’s a feat already. But the mission for MY Ultimate Lasagna version is still out there…waiting to be explored.
Rating: 3 out of 5