Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mar 13th - Cypress and Deep Vegetarian Soy Lasagna

We went to Cypress today. It was not the original plan. The original plan was Whistler. We were supposed to meet up some people up there but they were leaving at 5h30 so we decided not to carpool. When the alarm went off at 6am, D hit snooze. When the alarm went off at 6h10am, D hit snooze. When the alarm went off at 6h20am, D rolled over and said, what are we doing? I said call the Whistler Snowline. We do this all the time. We put the mobile phone on speaker and listen, half comatose. They had forecast 1 ft of snow for today but in the end only got 2 inches. D was still exhausted from his week away and never really catching up this week. So we decided to skip it and try for Cypress in a few hours. At 9 we called the Cypress Snowline after breakfast. They got a foot and were only opening at 10am. Perfect.

There was alot of snow. Gone were the images of the brown, grassy Olympic days. Cypress was newly dressed with a deep provision of home fallen powder. Sadly the sky did not cooperate. It continued to snow all day and the fog clung to the side of the mountain forcibly. It was thick. I could not see more than 5 m in front of me. Normally, long for big stretches of lonely trails with no threat of collision. Not this day. Today, I was hunting for bright jackets or neon snowpants just to know that I was still on a trail and not going off an precipice. It was exhausting, gloriously exhausting.

On the way home, since we were on the North Shore, I suggested we go to Bosa Foods super market near Rupert and Grandview. We were like kids in a candy store. Cheeses, pastas, antipasti, and pannetone everywhere. It was fun but for the most part, we can get most of what we bought on Commercial, albeit in several separate shops for notably less money. Also, Bosa had virtually no produce. So on the way back home, we had to stop on Commercial for me to run in to get mushrooms and some other bits and pieces. I am apparently cooking tonight.

My lasagna pan is deep and I love it that way. You get all sorts of layers and it reminds me of restaurant lasagna with more than 3 layers of noodles. It is about 8x11" and 5" deep. The length is just about perfectly the length of a lasagna noodle but a bit too short at the bottom. Across it is 4 noodles but at the top nearly 5.

Deep Vegetarian Lasagna

(6-8 servings)
1-2 packages of dried, oven ready lasagna noodles
2 (680ml) tins of simple tomato sauce or tomato puree
1/2 tin of the above of water
2 lbs mozzarella grated
1/2 c grated Parmesan, the real stuff, I insist
1 pkg soy mince (340g)
1 bell pepper
12 button mushrooms, brushed and sliced
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
1/2 onion
3 scallions, mostly the white part
1 small chili
5 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1/2 T truffle oil (optional)

2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
2 small sprigs fresh thyme
2 small sprigs fresh oregano
1 small handful fresh parsley
This was about 2T chopped up from our window box. If you do not have a herbal window box, use 1 T of dried total of the above.

Preheat the oven to 375F with the rack 1 above the bottom level.

In a large skillet, heat 2 T of good olive oil. Add the onions, bell pepper, broccoli stems and mushrooms, sautee for 5 minutes until soft and the volume is reduce to nearly half. Add the soy mince and break up the chunks. Add the garlic, chili, minced and herbs minced. Sautee for 5 more minutes. Add the tomato sauce. Add water to the tins and swirl out the rest and to thin out the sauce. I do this because I do not boil the noodles. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place 1/2 c of plain sauce at the bottom of your pan. Add a layer of noodles. Ladle on the sauce and veg in an even layer but shallow. Add a good handful of cheese, about 1/2 c. Add another layer of noodle, sauce and veg and cheese. Repeat until you have filled the pan and the top the last layer with alot of cheese. I used over 1 c of cheese on the top so it's completely covered. Add the freshly grated Parmesan. If you do not have the real stuff, leave it out. Sprinkle on the the truffle oil. For this pan, it was 6 layers of noodles. MMMMMM

Tightly wrap with tinfoil. Place in the oven for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more. If the cheese has not started to brown slightly, turn the oven off and turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Take out of oven or turn off heat and leave door ajar. Let sit for 15 minutes. Serve with garlic bread or a small green salad. We have neither because we were fairly exhausted after snowboarding that we barely made sure to have all the ingredients.

If you are storing the rest, cover tightly in the pan with the same foil you used to bake it and place the whole dish in the fridge. If you plan to freeze it, I would recommend you wait until the next day after 1 night in the fridge. Slice into pieces before sealing in a plastic container.

So gooooood! YUMMO! We had this with a Carmen Winemaker's Reserve Red 2002. It was nicer after decanting.

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