Thursday, May 4, 2017

Necessity Really is the Mother of Invention

A few days ago a friend reminded me of a recipe I had blogged about several years ago.  I had forgotten all about it.  It was called Crockpot Lasagna.

Not knowing what to make for dinner, I thought I would make the lasagna.  I was sure I had all the ingredients on hand.  I got out the crockpot and began.  I went to the freezer and got out a container of browned ground beef and unthawed it.  I went to the cupboard for a jar of spaghetti sauce.  There wasn't any so I settled for a jar of Butternut Squash pasta sauce.

I poured a cup of the sauce into the bottom of the pot.  The next step was to layer dry lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.  Then came the cottage cheese.  Oops!  No cottage cheese.  Well, that wasn't going to stop me.  I would just make some.  Making cottage cheese isn't that hard.  You heat a half gallon of milk to 120 degrees.  The recipe uses a gallon of milk, but I cut the recipe in half and used a half gallon. Slowly pour distilled vinegar into the milk and cover it with a lid for 30 minutes.  Then strain the whey out.  There is a lot of whey.  When the whey is out, rinse the vinegar out under cool water and drain.  You then add a little half and half with some sea salt to the curds to make it creamier.  Lightly stir and you have cottage cheese with no extra additives.  Here is the Alton Brown recipe I used.

I put the cottage cheese layer into the crockpot.  The next layer was shredded mozzarella cheese. This was getting ridiculous.  I didn't have any shredded mozzarella cheese either, but I did have some string cheese.  So I unwrapped twelve string cheese sticks and shredded them.  It worked fine.  I got about 3 1/2 cups of shredded cheese from twelve pieces of cheese.  The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cheese so I have some left over for something else.

I finished off the recipe and turned on the crockpot.  It actually turned out really well.  So necessity is the mother of invention even though I didn't invent anything but I did improvise.

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