Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homemade EVERYTHING?

Well, not quite.  I could have made the pasta from scratch, for instance, but I didn’t.  I could have grown the spinach and tomatoes from  scratch, or at least, made my own sauce, but I didn’t.  Maybe this summer – it sounds like a great challenge.

As it was, this was just plain BEAUTIFUL lasagna.  With homemade mozzarella – tasty, though not mind-blowing.  It grated pretty nicely, though it was softer and stickier than regular block mozzarella.  I froze it for a bit and it grated slightly better, though still on the mushy side.  One pound of cheese was the batch I made on Sunday, and another pound was fresh today.  I think we used about 1/4 of the new pound, leaving 3/4 of a pound still in the fridge.  Yummy!  And it’s getting easier and easier to get the cheese just right… patience seems to be the key.  Here’s a tutorial that is VERY explicit, step-by-step, and helpful with the handholding I need as a beginner!

(I’m tagging this post “crafts”, because why CAN’T cheesemaking be a craft???)

The ricotta is also homemade.  I used the rest of the “Nozzarella” from Sunday, a failed mozzarella which over the last 2 days had hardened into a rich, creamy, delicious cheese somewhere halfway between mozzarella and mascarpone.  I almost couldn’t stop eating it to toss it in the blender with some steamed spinach… but eventually, I did and the result, combined with a bit of salt plus the whey ricotta from Sunday and today (I was patient with boiling and cooling the whey and got a TON of ricotta today!), was utterly heavenly.

The third picture shows them all going together in the pan:

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Oh, did I mention fresh all-sourdough rye bread courtesy of Breadtopia???

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Mmm… what a feast to get us through a chilly(ish) winter evening!  The motivation for this was that I promised to bring lasagna to a friend who had a baby last week… I love bringing lasagna because I always do two, it takes almost zero extra effort, and we get to EAT lasagna, which is really my favourite part.

Perhaps this will lift me out of the supper-making doldrums I’ve been in lately…?