Simply Laura Episode Review
Episode Synopsis: Laura walked us through all the dishes that she served throughout game night, which is a family affair that she and Joe, her husband, host once a month.
The Recipes: Short Rib and Béchamel Lasagna; Spicy Beer Mussels; Antipasti Platter; and, for dessert, White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce.
My Thoughts: She started with the dessert first. Now, once again, I have never had panna cotta before, so I’m not 100 percent sure how it tastes, but it sure looked good and I love white chocolate, so I think this would be something that I’d enjoy.
Next, was the Short Rib and Béchamel Lasagna. First, she seasoned both sides of the short ribs, then she seared them on both sides as well. She also cooked some bacon before she cooked the chopped up onions, carrots and garlic. After that, she added tomato paste and a little bit of red wine and beef broth. Lastly, before popping everything into the oven for about 2-3 hours, she added some rosemary and the seared short ribs. That looked yummy too, but I know that this is supposed to be a lasagna, so I knew that this dish wasn’t complete.
After taking the short ribs out of the oven and the pan, she fishing out all the extra oil from the vegetables and got started with making the béchamel sauce, but before we get into that, I’m going to try to close this dish. She shredded the cooked short ribs and added them to the cooked vegetables, so that will act as the meat layer of the lasagna dish.
According to Laura, béchamel is “just a classic white cream sauce.” Of course, I’ve never had it, but that’s okay. I look forward to trying it one day. This sauce involves a lot of dairy products, so it’ll definitely be something that I’ll be trying on my own since most of family avoids consuming dairy products. They don’t think dairy is healthy.
All she did was melt some butter in a sauce pan, add equal parts flour to create a roux and, after she let it cook for a minute, she added four cups of whole milk and let it simmer for a couple minutes. After it thickened, she added a little nutmeg, pepper, salt and a lot of cheese (shredded Italian blend and some freshly graded parmesan). She stirred it up and BAM! You’ve got your sauce.
From here, she goes to assemble the lasagna: béchamel sauce, noodles and the short rib mixture. Add the béchamel sauce again and sprinkle the Italian blend and parmesan cheeses on top. Repeat those and your last layer should be noodles. Pop it in the oven to cook for an hour, covered, and then take it out and sprinkle some cheese on top. Put it back in the oven, uncovered, for a couple minutes to create that crispy layer of cheese.
Next up, is the mussels. Papa Sal is back and he is helping Laura prepare them. I’ve actually had this dish before (FINALLY!), so I know that it’s not too complicated. I’m not going to go into detail about how she prepared them, so you should watch the episode to see how the mussels were prepared. After the mussels, Laura had her friends help her assemble the Antipasti Platter, which I’ve also had before. I just never called it that. This is also simple because it’s just a meat and cheese platter. It’s supposed to hold you over until the main dish is ready.
By this point, it’s the end of the episode and Laura, her friends and her father are putting the final touches on all of her dishes. Everything looked delicious!
Conclusion: I really enjoyed this episode. Some of the dishes took a couple of hours to prepare, but, as long as they taste good, I wouldn’t care. There is not one chef or adventurous foodie in my family, so all the recipes that I am most familiar with are dishes that I’ve been eating since childhood. That’s explains why I like hearing about or, better yet, trying new dishes. I love experiencing new things and watching Laura and other cooking shows help me experience or, at least, hear about new dishes.
Anyway, I enjoyed this episode and I hope that you did as well. Sorry that this was so long. I just try to provide as much detail as I can in these posts.
Simply Laura airs on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on the Cooking Channel.
A Little Extra: I thought this was funny: as I was editing this post and rereading it to myself, out loud, all I heard in the background was my mom saying, “Mmm, that sounds good!”