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lasagna emergency

so my brother is asking me to cook lasagna for a dinner where he will proipose to his gf and have her parents there

so i wanna make it nice,

the recipes are not so much the problem as opposed to the hardware.

i never eat italian or lasagna out so i dont know how its served but ididnt want to make one giant lasagna and then plate on indivudual plates..

I wanted to bake a mini lasagna for everyone ( group of 10)

what hardware have you seen or can you recommend? I was thinking cast iron skillet? but porcelain would be cheaper.

thanks in advance

and if you want to offer up a lasagna recipe please do so- would love to hear.

thanks

patrick

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  1. I imagined small rectangular casseroles, but can't find any..... Did find this though:

    http://www.emilehenryusa.com/Casserol...

    Other colors are a bit less expensive. Good luck, and you are a very nice sibling.

    1. Crate and Barrel has individual casseroles that would probably work.

      These are classic white and are $7. http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family....

      These are more rustic and are $4. If your first thought was cast iron perhaps these would work for you. http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family....

      But why are you discounting serving from a large casserole? If you let it sit a half hour after coming out of the oven it will be stable emough to cut and plate. You can cut portions from the center and serve them on a portion of sauce with fresh basil. Simple and classic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rainey

        You'd think Crate and Barrel would know to call them gratin dishes, not au gratin.

      2. Yes patrick, you are a great sister (lol)

        Do a test run, a nice thing about lasagana is that after it's done, you can freeze it and reheat it later, it's almost as good. I'd not do that for the main event, but you can play around and not waste food.

        no recipe but tips:
        -if the lasagana noodles say cook for 10 minutes, cook them for 6-7. You want them undercooked but soft, almost but not quite aldente. Otherwise you risk them turning to mush while you bake em. Dont trust a recipe that calls for fully cooking them first.

        -Extra cheese on top, get them fully cooked (if you can) about 10 minutes before serving time. Then, 5 minutes before serving, broil them on low to get the cheese brown and bubbly and dripping down the sides of the individual servings. Do not get distracted at this step, watch them like a hawk. Dark brown is great, black is right out!

        -garnish should be fresh-grated parmisian. Not pre-grated store bought stuff, grate it yourself. Pregrated has fillers in it and is often lower quality. A sprig of fresh oregano on each one would also be pretty.

        -for the meat, using a combination of italian sausage (caseless) and ground lamb is my personal favorite.

        -if your recipe calls for dried herbs, and you decide to go with fresh you need more, double the quanity.

        -If you are making the sauce (and you should) canned tomatoes are vastly better than unripe store bought tomatoes. Fire roasted canned tomatoes are really good, mmm!Ripe storebought (or better yet, garden) tomatoes are great if you can find them, but for lasagana I'd really use canned-whole-peeled tomatoes.

        Whatever container you use, make sure you have a plate to hold each one, don't want burnt fingers. Also, remember the rule of eating that says smaller portions taste better. So smaller containers are better than bigger ones, and then you make some extra and let people have another one or 2 if they like. Absense makes the heart fonder and whatnot :)

        Caesar salad is the perfect salad to go with it, and pretty quick/easy. Storebought garlic croutons, fresh parmisian cheese and roasted garlic cloves are my favorite toppings. Make sure the dressing has enough anchovies :)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Botch

          thanks all

          for the record.. i am a boy! haha

          i didnt want to make a giant casserole /lasgana because his gf's parents have had that and so have mine

          i wantto do something different even if its just lasagna

          you know kind of give the occasion a little more elegance even though the food is a comfort food.

          add a lil more wow factor to the food.

          thanks for the links.. looks like these are all round.. kind of a pain to shape the lasagna to that .. right? anyone tried?

          also these are all safe to bake in?

          thanks again

          1. re: lestblight

            Just had another thought... Mini bread pans. You would plate the lasagnas without the baking dish, perhaps pour a little sauce down on the plate before putting the lasagna down. You wouldn't have to fill them to the top, just to the appropriate level.

            http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metalli...

            1. re: lestblight

              Take a look at these square ones: http://www.organize.com/glasslock-2-c...

              I bought the 18 piece set of different sizes at Costco last winter. They are heavy, tempered glass like Pyrex, so I was surprised when I got them home and saw in the small print that they are not labeled for oven use. I decided to try, and they have been fine over repeated use. I place them on a sheet pan for baking, and leave them on the pan once out of the oven, until cool enough to handle. I suspect that the issue is the same as Pyrex in recent years - no longer made of borosilicate, it is more prone to thermal shock shattering than old-school Pyrex. So with all glass baking dishes, I use a metal tray under them and am careful never to put a hot glass dish on a cold and/or wet surface. I have even used the Snapware in the toaster oven, where it's much closer to the heating element, and it has emerged unscathed. Bonus to buying these is that you'll then have handy lidded containers for storage and microwaving (lids not to be nuked).

          2. You could use won ton wrappers for lasagna noodles if you don't want to make a big one. I'd do it in ramekins. They're pretty inexpensive at World Market, or were the last time I looked.

            http://www.ehow.com/how_13908_make-ly...

            I know the link says lemonade but it is for wonton lasagna. If you don't want to go the won ton wrapper route (try saying that three times fast), you could boil lasagna noodles and cut to size.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chowser

              One more thought--you could do it in extra large muffin tins, well oiled, and turn them out. I'd put a parchment circle on the bottom first.

            2. Patrick, you may want to try a lasagna made with a bechamel sauce instead of the standard American riccotta cheese filling. The bechamel makes a much lighter lasagna. I have only made it with homemade pasta sheets (rolled to a 5 on my Atlas) so I don't know if store bought would be too thick. Basically, you just layer the noodles between a meat ragu alternating with a thick bechamel (I usually use some fresh grated cheese in the white sauce). I put bread crumb on the bottom of the pan. You can add and egg if you prefer more custard like to bechamel. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before cutting open. You can layer some spinach/chard in too if you like. Gives a very different texture than "typical" lasagna.

              1 Reply
              1. re: coo

                Is your meat ragu in tomato sauce, or is this a white lasagna?