Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cooking with Fatty Episode 3: Lasagna

Welcome to this new Cooking with Fatty series(:

Let's travel back to a month ago (September 2014) when the Fatty and I first attempted to cook. A little different from the sugar-y stuff my blog has been about, this series will show you guys some real cooking fun I've been having.

Brief recap
Episode 1: Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki was a dish both the Fatty and I really enjoy and often get at night markets. In case you don't know, Okonomiyaki is a Japanese omelette/pancake made with eggs, nagaimo, all purpose flour, cabbage, pork belly, green onions, dashi stock, bonito flakes, anori, and okonomi sauce! All ingredients easily accessible at Japanese/Asian supermarkets. We got a general idea from a couple recipes online and pretty much just winged it. We eyeballed most of the ingredients to get the texture we wanted. After we got the base down, we experimented with different toppings and flavors. All turned out better than expected.

Taste: 4.5 stars out of 5
Okonomiyaki sauce gave it that distinct unique flavor
Texture: 4.5 stars out of 5
Light, fluffy yet held its shape when flipping; would slice cabbage thinner next time.

Different variations next: cheese, mochi, kimchi

Episode 2: Oyakodon

To us, Oyakodon is a very comforting Japanese classic dish. It is simply diced chicken with a fluffy egg onion mixture over rice. It's so much more simple to cook than I imagined. Cook everything in the broth and serve over rice! Ingredients include chicken thigh, eggs, onions, dashi stock, mirin, soy sauce, green onions, bonito flakes and anori. We pick this dish as our second project mainly because we wanted to use up what we bought for Okonomiyaki making. It turned out delicious! Very clean and healthy.

Taste: 4 stars out of 5
Would use a little more salt and seasoning.
Texture: 5 stars out of 5
The eggs were cooked perfectly!

Episode 3: Lasagna

Switching up from the Japanese cooking, we decided to try out Italian (my favorite cuisine btw)! Tbh, the lasagna is our best dish yet out of the three. There's absolutely no flaws to pick at, and omg.. I am craving some as I type this now. Let's break down on how this is made! Since we pretty much have nothing Italian-y at home, we went shopping at Trader Joe's for all our ingredients.

The whole process took FOUR hours! First two hours was dedicated to making the perfect meat sauce we had. Our meat sauce consisted of extra lean ground beef, hot pork sausage, red bed peppers, crimini mushrooms, onions, garlic and tomato basil marinara sauce (and seasoning!). Browned everything, evaporated the juices, added marinara sauce, and simmered for two hours.

meat and veggies

with sauce!
slowly simmering (:

meat sauce ready to go!
Before the meat sauce was done, we prepped our cheese mixture which had ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, and one egg (and seasoning!).

Then come the best part- putting everything together! We accidentally bought no boil/ oven ready lasagna sheets and had no idea how to work with them. We broke them up into little pieces to fit our oval pans. Fortunately, it all turned out well. If you'd like to save some time in boiling and draining the pasta, don't be afraid to try these out.

fitting pasta sheets like puzzle pieces
Then after the final layer, we topped it with a generous layer of shredded mozzarella cheese!

After 40 minutes covered in the oven at 375F, we finished it off with 10 minutes broiling to get the cheese all nice and toasty!

Final + a side of roasted brussel sprouts
Alongside our delicious lasagna, I also made some quick and simple roasted brussel sprouts. Tossed in black pepper, cayenne, salt and olive oil and baked at 425F for 20 minutes! Dinner served!

Taste: 5 stars out of 5
Flavorful with a spicy kick from the hot sausage and cayenne. Cheese/grease did not overwhelm the dish.
Texture: 4.9 stars out of 5
Not too cheesy just the way I like it. Pasta cooked to slightly al dente.

Until next time. Happy eating.

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