Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waffling Leftovers: Lasagna

Well, this is a bit odd. I was looking through my blog archives, and discovered that I had an unpublished review about waffling lasagna.  I was confused, because, well, I had a memory of publishing a review about waffling lasagna, and it was a great success.  And this post was not really a strong success story.

It turns out, I had the idea to waffle lasagna long ago.  I wrote it up, in January 2015.  It didn't work. And then, a year later, I tried it again, entirely forgetting about my unsuccessful experiment (which, is a good thing, since, the second time, it worked great).

I'm publishing this "update", of an old review, just for completeness. It turns out, lasagna doesn't always waffle great, which, to be honest, surprises me (although my technique was different both times).   So, I guess, your milage my vary?

Old Review, from January, 2015 ...

A co-worker put the idea of waffling my lasagna into my head, I actually didn't consider this myself, which is a bit shocking.

It worked, but, I wouldn't do it again, lasagna is one item that reheats just as good as it is originally, if not better, so there is no need to try to improve on it.
Before: Leftover Lasagna
I started with cold, solid chunks of lasagna.  Not very appealing.
I decided to separate the layers, and create a lasagna sandwich, to make sure I had mostly noodles for the outside layers, with the cheese and filling inside, to prevent too much sticking or falling apart.
Almost Ready!
The sizzling sounds were promising, but when I opened the lid after a few minutes it was a horrible mess; it separated in the middle, and the top and bottom both stuck to the waffle iron lid.  I knew from my pizza experiments though that the secret is just to wait longer, and when I checked a few minutes later, as pictured about, it was almost ready.

One issue though, the pool of oil surrounding it wasn't exactly appealing ...
The end result was about what I expected.  The noodle layer outside got super crispy.  The cheese and filling were melty inside, and crispy in the bits that oozed out.

This *should* have been absolutely amazing right?  The best part of lasagna is the crunchy edge pieces, and this was lots of crunchy.  But it turns out, I just prefer basic ooey gooey lasagna.  Don't get me wrong, this was good, and a success, but this is one item that I'll stick with the classic reheating technique.  I think one issue was the oil that all ran out.  While this version was perhaps "healthier" than standard reheated lasagna since the oil was removed, it turns out, that is what makes the cheese so delicious.  I wonder if I needed to use a lower temperature setting to prevent the separation?  Or try to seal the cheese in more?  Although I liked the cheesy bits than ran out ...

Original Review, February 2016

As I mentioned in my Waffling Leftovers introductory post, I'm quasi obsessed with taking leftovers and putting them into my waffle iron as the reheating technique.  Some are successes, some are not.  Either way, it is always fun.

But this one, is a success story.  If you are a "crispy edge" lover of lasagna, I highly recommend waffling your leftover lasagna!
The Original: Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna (right).
One Friday evening, my group at work had an amazing lasagna prepared for us for "Comfort Foods Friday".

The pasta was layered with roasted butternut squash slices, it was seasoned beautifully with sage and thyme, the entire thing just screamed "fall!"  There were soft cloves of crazy flavorful confit garlic.  And then of course, the decadence: creamy mascarpone, Point Reyes blue cheese, and mozzarella.

It was delicious, and I loved the crispy bits along the exterior the most.
Leftover Lasagna.
There was a lot left over.  I gleefully packed some up to take home and eat over the weekend.  Lasagna always keeps well, and often, even tastes better the next day.  And it did.  Saturday night, I had a slice heated up traditionally, in the oven.

But I couldn't step thinking about the crispy edges.  And I know one way to maximize crispy bits ... waffling!

So Sunday night, into the waffle iron it went.
Halfway Done ...
After a few minutes, I opened the waffle maker to check on it.  Uh-oh.  It was stuck to both the top and bottom grills, and separated in the middle where the butternut squash slices were.

But my experience has taught me one thing when waffling: if it is sticking, just, let it go longer.  This *usually* is the answer (unless of course you end up burning it).
A few more minutes, and I opened the waffle iron up again.  This time, it slid out easily.

So, the answer to the burning question: Will it waffle?


It worked just as I expected.  The noodles on top and bottom came out perfectly crispy.  Inside stayed moist.  Some cheese ran out, which turned into crispy bits of fried cheese.

Total and complete success, and there is nothing I would change.


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