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rotuts

Lasagna baked in bainmarie style ?

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Ive been folioing this show :

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/158158-bonacinis-italy/

 

in an early episode the Chef makes Lasagna , but bakes it in the oven Bainmarie style "

 

for review purposes :

 

LS.thumb.jpg.9cef96db832c8b4ea8fb0cd91cb26ffe.jpg

 

1352785384_LS2.thumb.jpg.da13f2584ce954cf3a6ada6e374e534f.jpg

 

LS3.thumb.jpg.fb8375b4810d438939e7c6db7da35647.jpg1609615380_LS4.thumb.jpg.0824f9825c1adaf4940663e43255365d.jpg

 

 

does anyone use this method ?    is it that much better than a conventional baking ?

 


Edited by rotuts (log)
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Does the chef explain why he does it that way? I imagine it would keep the edges from browning and getting crusty. In my case it might also make cleanup easier, since spills would go into the water instead of onto a dry pan. ;) I hadn't heard of this method before. I'll be interested to read what others say.

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he says the bain-marie set up

 

" guarantees good gentle even cooking "

 

BTW  he did not mention the oven temp nor time.

 

there were no spills when taken out of the oven

 

but who knows how much editing these shows actually get.

 

here is one last pic of the lasagna on a dish :

 

L1.jpg.f38692e6e7705183a1d76f26d837f826.jpg

 

this BTW is a béchamel lasagna w mushrooms and pancetta   no other meat  and no red sauce.  the pasta is home-made of course.

 

also of note , if you look at the pic on the L , the pasta for the bottom and maybe a layer to two goes up the side of the pan

 

L2.thumb.jpg.1eb5524a45890625cc7ca4d4217c9755.jpg

 

then trimmed .   the scraps are used further along

 

so its sort of a " Lasagna Pie " in that sense 

 

its been a while for me , but I am and used to be a massive béchamel fan.    and he used a hint of freshly grated nutmeg in the

 

bechamel .

 

its a bit too bad that this show , if you like " Italian " is not more redly available.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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7 hours ago, rotuts said:

in an early episode the Chef makes Lasagna , but bakes it in the oven Bainmarie style "

 

Never heard such a thing during my whole life. It would be considered a crime here, because:

 

3 hours ago, Smithy said:

I imagine it would keep the edges from browning and getting crusty.

 

That's the most coveted part in every lasagna worth of its name!

 

Bottura even made a dish called "La parte croccante della lasagna" ("the crunchy part of lasagna"). More infos here:

http://www.nytimes.com/video/t-magazine/100000004708074/massimo-bottura.html

 

 

 

Teo

 

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@teonzo

 

thank you for your input.

 

I do enjoy crunchy parts of layered pasta items

 

and other pastas baked dishes

 

the NYTimes vid did not work for me

 

ans I am a subsctiber

 

Ill try my best tomorrow

 

thanks for your ideas

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2 hours ago, teonzo said:

 

Never heard such a thing during my whole life. It would be considered a crime here, because:

 

 

That's the most coveted part in every lasagna worth of its name!

 

Bottura even made a dish called "La parte croccante della lasagna" ("the crunchy part of lasagna"). More infos here:

http://www.nytimes.com/video/t-magazine/100000004708074/massimo-bottura.html

 

 

 

Teo

 

 

Love the crispy edges

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The chef is Canadian.  I enjoy him on Master Chef Canada. A bit fussy, but a good guy. Ate in one of his restaurants....nice meal. 

 

I could see see this as a restaurant method to guarantee reproducible results. But how tricky is lasagna?

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I'm also of the lover of crispy edges on baked pasta dishes camp. Lasagna, kugel, baked rigatoni or penne. Come on y'all, that is this best feature!

 

I don't like a water bath for cheesecakes either, because I'm a fan of the caramelized flavor that can be achieved without them.

 

However that is just me and my preferences, so you folks who want to put stuff in water baths just keep on doin' what you think is the best way, and if you like that best after trying the better way :ph34r: then more power to ya!

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I hope I did not sound disrepectful to the chef, if that's the case then I apologize.

Simply I always wonder where is the sense in trying to show the traditional dishes of a country (or even single regions, like in this case) and then straying from them. If someone wants to stray and be creative then he is totally free and welcome to do so (I must be honest and say I tried radicchio and orange years ago and loved it). But if someone wants to show the real traditions of a region, then he had better to check if what he is going to do is really traditional.

But this is a really delicate subject that always arises lots of contradictions. Here in Italy we are really affectionate and proud of our traditions (read "stubborn and closed minded"), if someone from Veneto watched a show that says radicchio and orange salad is traditional, then the lighter comment would be "this crazy foreigner". Not to say that we never make such errors, if you stop the average Italian and ask him/her to describe French cuisine then most probably you will hear such abominities that will give you goosebumps, and France is a neighbouring country, not on the other side of the world (if you ask about Chinese or Japanese cuisine then prepare for a heart attack). There are a lot of distortions about our own traditions too. If you pick up another random Italian and ask him/her "how old must a dish be to be considered traditional?" then the answer will be "centuries", then you ask "is tiramisu the perfect example of traditional Italian dessert?" and the answer will be "ABSOLUTELY YES!". Too bad tiramisu was created around 50 years ago and it took about 10 years to reach the status of super traditional dessert (no internet meant that informations spread in different ways, you had no way to check if what you were being told was really true).

 

 

 

Teo

 

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While we are being heretical, I'd like to put in a plug for the "no boil" lasagna sheets. They are thinner and lack the (stupid) rippled edge of the traditional (in US anyway) dried lasagna.

 

Much easier to work with and results in a more stable (ie not likely to fall apart when cut) product.

 

The Barilla ones I use say to bake for 30 minutes...no way...it takes an hour or so to get t he center softened and cooked at 390F. 

 

And it can't be a dry-ish lasagna. There must be liquid to rehydrate the pasta. Unless you soak them for 30 minutes first. Which seems like boiling traditional lasagna, but you still have a much nicer lasagna and a much easier pasta to work with.

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Ive been using No-Boil  ever since It became difficult to buy locally really fresh lasagna noodles 

 

they work well , as @gfweb  suggests , if you understand the lasagna has to be on the wetter side.

 

I haven't ever pre-soaked them in warm water , but Ill keep that in mind.  Ive always found pre-cooking lasagna noodles

 

a real PITA.   many times Ive not made lasagna in the past because of this.

 

on a ATK show some time ago , they suggested one could soak regularlaasagna noodles in warm water for a period of time

 

and use them after that.  ive never tried that.

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43 minutes ago, gfweb said:

While we are being heretical, I'd like to put in a plug for the "no boil" lasagna sheets. They are thinner and lack the (stupid) rippled edge of the traditional (in US anyway) dried lasagna.

 

We have used the no-cook lasagna sheets before. They come out OK. Recently we found the Rana Lasagne sheets that I like even better. No-boil and cooks up faster. You still need to use a sauce with more liquid but I'll be using these whenever I want to make lasagna.

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Well, this might sound a little silly, but - with the no-boil lasagna noodles -- I've found you can put the lasagna dish together an hour or two ahead of time (up to 24 hours )  - let it rest in the fridge then bake as directed and the noodles will be as they should ... ymmv ... gives it that "wetting" time. 

 

I've also tried it with no boil noodles 24 hours ahead - also works. Weird - but works. 

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@dans

 

thanks you for the tip on the Rana Lasagna sheets

 

Ive never heard of them but they are available locality !

 

always sorting new ( eventually ) on eG !

 

thanks again.

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I should scream "anathemaaaaaa", but I won't since you are buying Rana products.

Some curiosities.

Giovanni Rana is the one who invented the automated machines to form tortellini. He started making handmade tortellini and selling them with his wife. He understood that there were huge potential sales if he got able to form tortellini with a machine instead of using his hands (price would lower, requests would rise). Many industries tried to create such a machine before him, with no results. He had the correct idea for the mechanics, told it to some engineers, they designed the machine, he got it built, then started increasing his production. Step by step he built an empire thanks to his intuition (having no competition at the beginning helped a lot, of course). If you can find industrial tortellini it's thanks to him.

In the 90's he became a celebrity in Italy. He was the first owner to appear in the promotional videos for his own products. Usually commercial videos for food products starred the "dream family", composed by actors/models. He insisted on his idea and risked a lot of money, making a big campaign with promotional videos where he was the star. Success was huge and he got invited to a lot of talk shows, becoming a celebrity known by every single person here.

I'm not a fan of industrial products, but I must give kudos to him for his integrity: he always kept high quality standards for his products, always refused to sell his business (he got many big offers). One of the few industrialists it's impossible to say a bad word about.

Another food curiosity: he was born in Cologna Veneta, a small village near Verona, famous for the mandorlato, a kind of hard (really hard, beware your teeth!) nougat / torrone, made with honey, sugar, egg whites and almonds. The peculiarities of mandorlato are its hardness, the use of only almonds as inclusion (no other nuts or dried fruits or whatever, only peeled almonds), the high ratio of almonds in the batter. Mandorlato is a mandatory gift during Christmas season here in Veneto.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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well

 

after the Huff and Puff passes on

 

True , authentic , peninsular Italian food

 

has no tomatoes

 

imported front the Americas ?

 

see ?

 

so sad,

 

no tomatoes in Authentic Penisualr Italian food

 

 

the point is :  pesto has pine nuts in it

 

because they didn't import them from Chna

 

they picked them up from their own ground or the locals forest

 

I don't care for pin nuts , so I can't make Pesto.

 

@teonzo

 

you have a lot to say about cooking,

 

cooking now  is not cooking in Italy before there were Tomatoes ?

 

No ?

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22 hours ago, rotuts said:

the NYTimes vid did not work for me

 

ans I am a subsctiber

That is one of my pet peeves. Some of the recipes are only available online with an additional subscription. In my mind, a subscription to the NYT should include everything. I wonder if the unavailable-online recipes are in the print versions?

 

As to the concept itself, I guess it works if you want something a little soft and creamy. I personally prefer my  lasagna bolognese a little firmer than that, nice and bubbly and crusty. And you can make pesto with walnuts. In fact many people prefer it even if pine nuts weren't crazy expensive in comparison. A friend who started a brew pup/pizzaria in our small town in Colorado used walnuts exclusively in his pesto more for the taste than the cost.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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@Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

Ive always make my pesto w walnuts.

 

the issue w the NYTime is probably my broser

 

an older on on an iMac that need to be updates

 

I can see the vids after going to NYTimes from there

 

thanks for suggesting Pesto might be made w walnuts

 

Id forgotten.

 


Edited by rotuts (log)

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@teonzo Ha. The old guy in the TV commercials is Rana himself, cool.  Apt name...he looks a little batrachian.

 

I tried his mushroom tortellini. Pasta was OK but the filling was mushroom flecked breadcrumbs.  I bet he wouldn't sell that in Italy.

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@gfweb

 

thanks.

 

I went to the Rana web site

 

and thought about those tortellini.

 

I stick w finding and trying the pasta sheets

 

BTW

 

you haven't tried the Marinara Sauce ?   the Meat Sauce ?  the Alfredo Sauce ?

 

No ?

 

Rats.

 

looks like Rana thinks that's all I need to make a complete lasagna.

 

Ill let you look into it and report back,

 

Why ?

 

its Tax Season Here.

 

no amount of MR might help.

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

@teonzo

 

you have a lot to say about cooking,

 

cooking now  is not cooking in Italy before there were Tomatoes ?

 

No ?

 

I'm not the usual Italian when the discussion goes about food traditions. Tomato is the usual example I make when discussing with the extremists: when someone says something like "ethnic restaurants should be banned in every city" (which is way too frequent, it sounds obscene to me) I reply with "and we should enforce pizza to be made only with the tomato varieties described by Pliny the Elder". Unfortunately most of them don't catch the joke.

I think that traditional food is what you find in most home cooking in a region / area in that time, nothing more and nothing less. It can be something recent, something really old, something made only with local products or with imported stuff. The caloric intake of my grandfathers consisted mainly (I'd say over 50%) of polenta (corn was imported from America), potatoes (same) and clinton (a wine made from American vines, Vitis riparia x Vitis labrusca, most farmers drank way more than 1 liter per day). Those 3 were the main staples from 1900 (I suppose even before, I'm referring what my grandmothers told me) to 1950. When people here start claiming we should protect our traditions, I always point out that if our ancestors made so then they would have starved to death, not much sense in choosing to die for preserving your food traditions.

Besides that, we are full of traditional dishes that are made with imported ingredients. Most spices are imported, can't imagine our food without black pepper. You can't talk about Venetian food and keep out baccalà (dried cod, imported from Norway). The list is really really long. If we try to find something that remained the same from the Apicius times, then we come empty handed. So being protective of our traditions is something I find really silly, since we (as Italians) are the first ones that did not respect them. There are various things that are marketed as traditional and can't possibly be. Recently a dish called "cinghiale in dolceforte" came to the mouth of many people, it's wild boar cooked in a sauce made with spices and cocoa, this dish is said to be "traditional in the Tuscany of the Middle Ages". Cocoa in the Middle Ages? Yeah, sure, imported by Columbus' grandpa.

Another thing I point out to the "tradition talebans" is the history of Venice. This city based its existence on open commerce, they welcomed people from abroad that carried their products. Most of the traditional dishes here are rooted in those trades, what's the sense in closing the possibilities to foreign influences when our history is based on that openness? Shakespeare wrote 2 works based in Venice, in one there is a main character that is Moor (not exactly Venetian), in the other there is a Jew (same). Marco Polo went to China, he was an alien to them and was treated like a superstar. When he came back to what is now considered Italy he got imprisoned immediately for being from a different region (big crime!). Trying to avoid foreign contamination is some of the most closed minded things ever in my not so humble opinion.

Having said that, I still think that to claim that some dish is traditional then that dish should be prepared in many homes of that place in that peculiar moment in time. I've never seen a radicchio and orange salad here, so I'll never say it's traditional, but I'm not opposed to it since I tried those 2 ingredients together by my own will years ago; at this moment in time that salad is not traditional here, in the future maybe (I'd be happy).

Tiramisu is the perfect example for my perspective. The version considered "classic" is documented to be created around the end of the 60's. It's made with savoiardi (called this way because they come from the Savoy region of France, not Italian), coffee (not Italian), mascarpone (only thing that can be said to be Italian) and cocoa powder (not Italian). At the beginning of the 80's it was in every home here and considered super traditional (I suppose this was due to the fact that it's both delicious and really easy to make and redo even in those years when recipes were passed by word of mouth). From non existent to super traditional in a matter of a dozen years, quite absurd for the ideas of every tradition taleban here, but none of them would claim tiramisu is not traditional.

Personally I would really love if people here would return to the openness of centuries ago. I would love to find a real Chinese restaurant, a real Ethiopian restaurant, a real Vietnamese restaurant and so on. I really envy you in the USA for this. I can't even find a good pastry shop with traditional Sicilian pastries (my favourite) because people are so narrow minded, and it's stuff from Sicily, not from Saturn.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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54 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Ha. The old guy in the TV commercials is Rana himself, cool.  Apt name...he looks a little batrachian.

 

Hahahaaha, yes, he looks like his name! I like him because he is really funny and positive, never a bad word from his mouth and always a genuine smile.

 

 

56 minutes ago, gfweb said:

I tried his mushroom tortellini. Pasta was OK but the filling was mushroom flecked breadcrumbs.  I bet he wouldn't sell that in Italy.

 

This is really sad to know, I'm sorry. Yes, if the tried that here he would be backlashed really hard.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo, 

I find the above to be one of the best reflections on how tradition could be considered that I have ever read.

 

Thank you!

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Thanks donk79!

 

I'll try to explain my point of view about these two topics (lasagna in bainmarie; radicchio and orange salad) in a more articulate way, since I'm passionate about them and we are in a discussion board of people that are passionate about food.

 

For me (and the vast majority of people here) lasagna is not a simple dish, it's a festive ritual. Unfortunately it's going lost with the younger generations (more on this later), but most people over 30 grew eating lasagna as a festive ritual. The family person (mother or grandmother) in charge of cooking was not able to prepare lasagna during normal days, it's time consuming and she was in charge of all the home chores. So making lasagna was a collective process, made when all the family was gathered together and could help (well, not all, it was rare for adult males to partecipate). All female members, children and teens helped making lasagna, in a way or another. Then it was put in the oven, while it was cooking people moved to prepare the table, continuing to chat and have fun. While it was cooking you started to feel those awesome smells from the oven, drooling in anticipation. Then came time to portion it and eat it. The corners were the most coveted portions, since they had the most crispy parts: if there were more than 4 children then you had to prepare yourself for a lot of screams and battles (which were not a bad thing, if what you are battling for is a piece of lasagna then life is great). Then came the eating and the cheers, making a huge family party during that festive day. Being invited by a friend to eat lasagna at his/her home was the biggest honor, it was like saying "you are part of our family".

Most of us grew up this way. So we don't think about lasagna as a simple dish, we think about it as a ritual. It has not much sense for us asking why it smells so great while it cooks in the oven (nobody could care less about Maillard reactions), or if there are any ways to make it better. That was the ritual from many generations, a ritual that said "family party" in the best possible way. So seeing it made in a different way (cooked in a bainmarie or whatever) makes me shiver, not because of how it could change, but because this means stripping it away from all the festive ritual. Eating your piece was just a part of the pleasure, keeping the eating part and stripping away all the rest is like killing this dish for me.

When I went at university the refectory served lasagna each week. Nothing to say about the execution, the cook made it perfectly. But it did not feel like eating lasagna, it felt like eating a layered pasta dish. Same food group, much different feelings.

When I read about the Bottura dish I exclaimed "this is not right". I don't doubt that dish is super delicious, most probably in a blind taste I would say it's the best pasta dish ever. But it's stripped from all the festive feelings: when you eat it at his restaurant you are not partecipating in the family preparations, you are not there free to scream, laugh hard and make whatever jokes you want. No doubt it's a great dish, on an intellectual point of view I'm sure Bottura succeeded in making the "quintessential taste" of lasagna, but on an emotional level it feels like a soulless exercise. At least to me. If I will ever be lucky to go dining there, then for sure I'll ask to keep that dish out of my menu.

Eating lasagna is one of the fondest and most powerful food memories for almost all Italians. So changing it is not like changing a dish, like would be for pizza, tiramisu, spaghetti al pomodoro or whatelse, it's like changing a ritual that defined our family lives. It would struck a cord to which we are really really affectionate, touchy and protective.

Unfortunately all this ritual is going lost in the past years. Families are smaller and smaller. The Sunday gathering is falling apart (most people stopped going to visit their brothers/sisters, uncles, so on). Both parents work (which is a good thing, same rights for all sexes), this causes that a lot of people rely on ready made food (making Giovanni Rana happy) or simple and quick stuff. So the lasagna ritual is going lost and this is really sad for me. You can find great lasagna at restaurants, rotisseries and so on, but it just does not taste as good as the family one.

 

About salads, the concept of "insalata" ("salad" in Italian) is different from region to region. Here in Veneto the word "insalata" is used both for the side dish and for a vegetable (a kind of lettuce). So the quintessential insalata is just lettuce with some salt, vinegar and oil. We use the word insalata to describe a side dish that consists of raw vegetables which are seasoned with salt, vinegar and oil (olive oil is a recent use, up to few decades ago it was a luxury and most people never tasted it in Northern Italy). I mean vegetables in the common sense here (stuff used in savory applications), which includes fruits like tomatoes and cucumber. Adding fruit to an insalata is an alien concept here, nobody adds local fruits like cherries or peaches, the idea of adding oranges would not cross the mind of any native Veneto. We don't add nuts, dried fruits or seeds. We don't add cheese, only expection can be mozzarella, but it's a big stretch. We don't add cooked vegetables: no cooked broccoli / cauliflower, no cooked cabbages, no cooked artichokes (neither raw ones, raw artichokes are non existent here), no cooked anything.

So saying that radicchio and orange salad is traditional here is really far from reality, especially because it's a concept that is alien to our food habits (if you add walnuts to a salad you are considered weird). Things are pretty different in the other regions.

This to say that in this day it does not require much effort to check things like this one. Up to 20 years ago it was really difficult, almost impossible. Nowadays it just takes few minutes: just look for a local authority and ask for infos. I don't want to make it seems like the food shows produced by Italian televisions are better, far from it, they make much worse mistakes.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Great post. Thank you. Our traditional family dishes just do not taste the same outside the family kitchen.

 

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