Sunday, April 23, 2006

European Fare

Yesterday's lunch was a simple affair of beef lasagna, something which I've made previously. Just made some modifications to the bolognaise sauce that's all.

I also attempted something new - French Baguette. After baking breads for so long, this is the first time I'm making baguettes. This recipe is taken from the book Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille, and posted by a KC member who so kindly posted and tried the recipe when I asked if anyone has tried baking baguettes. The recipe uses only four ingredients, as with any traditional french baguette recipe - flour, water, salt and yeast. But it called for a total of 4 risings which is meant to achieve the chewy, 'holey' crumb and deep flavour of a true artisan bread. Take a look here.

Here is my baguette.

Overall taste is good, the interior is chewy and the crust crispy. It went very well dipped into balsamic vinegar and olive oil. But I have a lot to improve on. The dough is very sticky, as a result, it's really difficult to knead and that's why the interior is not quite what I expected. But at least I got started on this, more experimentations to come.

Recipe for Beef Lasagna

Bolognese sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
300g minced beef topside
125g canned tomato paste
2 pcs peeled tomato (whole canned), chopped
200 ml water
1 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 springs thyme, leaves only

Heat up olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until fragrant. Add in beef and stir fry until cooked, breaking up the large pieces. Add in tomato paste, tomato, water and the herbs. Lower heat and simmer until sauce thickens. Set aside to cool.

Bechamel sauce (recipe taken from here, I made only half recipe)
38g butter
19g plain flour
½ can evaporated milk
90ml water
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in flour to mix. Gradually add evaporated milk, followed by water, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, until mixture comes just to a boil. Press a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface and set aside to cool.

180g shredded mozzarella(use more if you like it cheesy)

8 sheets lagsana – boil as per package instructions, let sheets cool.

Assembly – I use a 7-inch square glass pan
1) Spread a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan. Layer lasagna sheets on it, trimming the sheets to fit. Spread a layer of meat sauce, followed by béchamel, then cheese. Repeat for another 3 layers: lasagna – meat – béchamel – cheese.
2) Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake in a pre-heated 190C oven for 20 mins until cheese is bubbling. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 5-10 mins until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 mins before serving*
* This standing time lets the lasagna ‘settle’. I’m not sure if this helps it to cut nicely, but so far I’ve done that and it cuts nicely.


Little Corner of Mine said...

Yum...I love lasagna!! But have yet to make it myself since most of the ingredients have to be bought, not in my pantry leh. Lazy excuse again!

Tazz said...

I have not tried lasagna before, think must be very delicious. :( Does it taste like pizza?

the baker said...

your baugette looks really good! could I get the recipe from you if possible?

Unknown said...

Ching, lazy lazy ya ;p

Eve, lasagna refers to sheets of pasta. It does not taste like pizza, coz no bread involved. By layering them alternately with bolognaise sauce, cream sauce and cheese, that's where you get the medley of flavours. How about giving it a try? I know Tazz is always game to try new things ;p

^cherie said...

Angie, any chance of posting your to-die-for lasagne recipe? ;)

I've made them before in the past but it gets really wobbly + it doesn't stay in shape after it is done although it tastes fab. Any idea?

Unknown said...

Cherie, no prob. I'll do it over the weekend :)
I'v made twice, it stays in shape though. Did you let it stand for 10 minutes after it's out of the oven, before cutting?

^cherie said...

Er, no..hb likes it really hot :P

And it's not only wobbly, it's watery too! I seriously have no idea where the water comes from because before adding the beef with tomato sauce, i make sure it's on the dry side.

Thanks in advance Angie, for the recipe..:)

jadepearl said...

Lasagna? Heavenly...yummy!!!
I have seen some ppl eating lasagna with bread...hmm, maybe it would taste real good with your baguette!!!