(Glorified) Shit from my Fridge: Fall Deelights

Editrix’ note:  In editing this post, I realized that, though the recipe KK shares with us here is indeed lovely and pretty real, the ingredients are maybe not shit the average gra (lady or dude– boys can be gras too) has lying around in her fridge at any given time.  HOWEVER:  Every gra’s gotta throw together a piece de resistance once in a while and I think the beauty of some of Kristy’s creations is that they are sort of elegant but deceptively simple (as long as you’ve got little time this time around to supplement the shit from your fridge with truffle oil and golden raisins).

As I mentioned in my inaugural post, one of the most obvious changes in my living-with-a-dude diet has been the fact that MEAT makes an appearance in almost every dinner concoction.  Don’t get me wrong: I am down with the people and enjoy the occasional hunk-o-beef… I just worry that eating it every day will make me less of a lady and lead to purchasing Kraft singles and claiming they are real cheese.  

Last Saturday Mike was out of town for a football game so I decided to reclaim my inner lady by hosting a girl’s night at the house and whipping up a vegetarian delight.  Like many gras, I derive great pleasure from my relationship with seasonal ingredients, and as I made my way into Trader Joe’s, I heard the Chairman’s voice in my head (because my life is one long Iron Chef episode; didn’t you know?) proclaim:  Battle Squash!
On Friday at lunch I enjoyed Lean Cuisine’s (I know, shut up) rendition of butternut squash ravioli and, while it wasn’t terrible for a Lean Cuisine, I knew that I could do worlds better.  Not finding myself in the mood to make ravioli I decided on a lasagna format, incorporating ingredients that would complement the squash without overpowering it.  (Despite its sometimes ungainly shape, squash is a delicate petal and we must respect it.)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups evaporated milk (fat-free is nice, but then again so is regular.  You make the call.)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup grated parmigiano (for the love of God, please use the real stuff)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • a few drops of truffle oil (optional but AMAZING if you can find/afford it)
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente (since you’ll be baking them in goo later)
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled & cooked.  (Trader Giotto’s has butternut squash in its produce section, all cut up into chunks in 16 oz. packages.  Delight!  Throw it in a 400 degree oven for half an hour and they’ll be ready to go.)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 of those mini boxes of golden raisins
  • a couple spoonfuls of pine nuts
Preheat your oven to 350.  Put milk in a saucepan over low heat and slowly whisk in the garlic and flour.  Stir until it starts to thicken to a sauce-like consistency (about 15 minutes).  Add the ricotta and stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and add parmigiano, salt & pepper, and truffle oil.
Spread 1/4 cup of the cheese sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 pan (this will be a very thin layer).  Top that with three lasagna noodles, followed by half the squash, and another 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella and one mini box of raisins.  Then do that whole dance again for another layer.  Cover with the last three noodles (you might want to smash the whole thing down a little at this point) and the remaining cheese sauce.  Sprinkle with the pine nuts and 1/2 cup of mozzarella.
Bake until the top is bubbling around the edges and is a little bit brown– this was about 30 minutes for me.
In the spirit of the season, I also put together a little boozy apple cider:  a gallon of apple cider in a pot on the stove with cinnamon sticks, brown sugar (about 1/2 cup for a gallon of cider) and a spice ball or cheese cloth full of allspice, nutmeg and cloves.  Splash a bit (or a lot) of spiced rum, bourbon or (gra favorite) applejack whiskey into the bottom of a mug, ladle the cider on top, and sip.  Heartily.
I realized that one of the best side-effects of this meal was how fantastic my house smelled afterward.  Kind of like a far superior (not to mention 100% homemade) version of the cloying/nauseating tripe that Bath & Body Works attempts this time of year.  

Comments

  1. Being one of the lucky ones to sample Kristy’s creations… I must say that the lasagna was absolutely delish (even though I think I remember that she forgot to set the timer – !!!), but my favorite thing had to be her boozy apple cider!!! I am still having day dreams about that cider!

Tell me what you think...

%d bloggers like this: