Monday, February 27, 2012

It's okay to fail sometimes...

...cause it's not always so bad.

I've tried a some new recipes in the past few days and it seems that they all had some type of failure associated with them. Some worse than others.

It all started with the lasagna.

Let me begin by saying, I make a mean lasagna. I know, it's a bold statement. But hey, it's true. Usually it takes about 3-4 hours total just to prep, letting all the tasty goodness of the sauce come together, adding extra cheese, taking care that the noodles are done just right. Mmmm, makes me smile just to think about it.

Sunday, however, was different. :-/

I decided to try the spaghetti sauce recipe from the Mario Batali cookbook as the base for my lasagna sauce. The sauce itself is very good. A little thyme, carrot, lots of tomatoes, meat, onion, deliciousness. In fact, I've actually started to use this as my main spaghetti sauce. And on Sunday I even added in a little left over fajita meat, some peppers from the garden, and a shallot, cause you know, why not.

See, it looks awesome.

The problem with this sauce is that it didn't turn out very saucy. In fact, when it was all finished there wasn't much liquid left at all. Perhaps I boiled it off too much, which is valid, but even to begin with, it wasn't as saucy as my normal lasagna sauce. To me this is what half killed it. I say half because the other problem, I discovered after baking, was too little cheese!

I remember being at the store thinking to myself, how much cheese should I buy. Always err on the side of too much! Especially when it comes to lasagna. This was such a rookie mistake; I only went for 2 cups, when really, it should have been 3-4.

So here was my final product.

Looks pretty good, huh? And really, it wasn't so bad. But not nearly as good as my go to lasagna. And after 3 hours of work, I was a bit disappointed. Too dry, not cheesy enough, just kinda "eh." But hey, it's lasagna, so we ate it.

Then today I had a great idea. As we were eating left overs, which should be even better the next day, but still were just kinda "eh," I got out the fork and just started hacking at it. And before long it looked like a little lasagna casserole on the plate. And you know what, it was better than it was in lasagna form. And, easier to add a bit extra sauce to.

So the moral of the story is this. When you're lasagna sucks, make a casserole! And really, it's probably not *that* bad after all.

A topic for a later discussion: What happens when your focaccia doesn't focaccia.

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