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Sorry for the dearth of posts, y’all. I’ve been sick as a dog the past several days and nothing prevents me from cooking like the inability to taste anything. Here’s one thing I made Sunday, when I was starting to be able to breathe through my nose.

One thing that drives me nuts about all the food articles in the summer is that it seems like no one can write about anything but GRILLING. I get it, grilling is fun (or is it?), but for those of us who live in tiny apartments with no outdoor space much less a grill, it can be a bummer. I usuall skip all mention of grilled stuff, leaving me with potato salad recipe after potato salad recipe. And here I am, offering something grilled. Sort of.

I have this grill pan I got ages ago (cast iron) and I rarely use it. But I wanted to make a fruit salsa to go with my tostadas, and I realized I really, really like grilled fruit. You could easily not grill the fruit in this recipe and it would still be tasty.

I also cheated and bought pre-marinated chicken from Trader Joe’s — pollo asada — and used that here instead of marinating my own. It was super easy, I will say that. For a vegetarian version, I would just use some nice spicy black beans cooked with some onion and garlic.

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I made recipe cards for the competition again this time around, so here it is. Just because it lost doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty!

Ingredients

10 – 12 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 recipe tomato sauce (follows)
1 recipe fontina bechamel (follows)
1 1/2 lb. mozzarella, sliced or shredded
1 c. grated parmeggiano reggiano
1 1/2 c. fresh ricotta
Assembly

Preheat your oven to 375˚. Ladle a small amount of tomato sauce into a 13x9x2 pan and spread out to coat the bottom of the pan. Add one layer of lasagna noodles (3 – 4 noodles, overlapping slightly). Add a generous amount of tomato sauce. Top with 1/2 of the ricotta in dollops (it will melt and spread out as the lasagna cooks). Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella and grated parmeggiano. Add another layer of noodles, a thin layer of tomato sauce, and the fontina béchamel. Add the rest of the ricotta, 1/3 of the mozzarella and grated parmiggiano. Add one final layer of noodles and a generous amount of tomato sauce and then top with final 1/3 of mozzarella and parmiggiano. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until heated through and bubbling. Let cool for at least 5 – 10 minutes before digging in!

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Picture 2

September 13. The Bell House in Brooklyn. More cheese and beer than your little heart could ever desire. I’m competing with my Lasagna Cheese-o-Rama, so don’t you dare miss it!

Tickets will sell out before the day, so get them here:

The Food Experiments

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Check out my latest post on The Thrifty GourmetTomato Goat Cheese Tart

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I love making things that you wouldn’t necessarily think to make at home. Especially when they are dead simple, like this homemade ricotta. Super creamy, and perfect on pizza or in a dessert, this ricotta will definitely step up any dish. My next random homemade things just may be vanilla extract and ginger ale….so stay tuned.

Fresh Homemade Ricotta
via epicurious

1/2 gallon (2 quarts) whole milk
1 c. heavy cream
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt

Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.

Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.

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