Archive for August, 2011
|It’s pasta AND eggs?|
The trick to this meal is how fast it has to be cooked. So you need to have everything ready when you start.
Begin by taking some eggs (half a dozen is enough for a pound of pasta, or, as I learned, four is not quite enough) and separating them.
|Three balls of sunshine and one massive disappointment|
Next take your ham product and cut or tear it into small strips.
Fry them. Fry them all!
The next few steps must happen in quick succession and require both hands so I have no pictures for them.
In rapid succession, while stirring and in this order add:
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
- Egg Whites
Serve right away because this will tend to congeal after a few minutes.
|Well worth the effort.|
Between getting home and going out, I had almost no time to cook today. So I took the moment when the rest of the house was silent and made myself a quick midnight snack: Bananas and Peanut Butter.
You will need a banana and some peanut butter
|Apparently I am incapable of spelling banana right the first time|
Cut up the banana and place it on a plate with a sizable dollop of peanut butter. Eat with fingers (and a handy napkin).
|This one required meticulous planning|
Tonight we will be making a red wine reduction with onions and mushrooms.
|Better than it looks|
I decided to try to make gnocchi as well, with limited success. You can find a better recipe than I could give you here.
|Mine ended up slightly less…coherent that I had hoped.|
But for this post, I want to focus on the sauce I made to go along with the my gnocchi of dubious consistency. To make this, you will need mushrooms, onions and a largish glass of red wine. Begin by sweating the mushrooms, by sauteing them in a dry sauce pot until they begin to produce liquid. It will honestly look like they are sweating. Its kinda cool to watch. The reason for doing this is that it facilitates the dispersal of the mushroom flavors into the rest of the dish.
|You can see the sweat much better in person|
Once the mushrooms are good and brown, add in a finely diced onion and mix it in. Now let it sit.
No seriously, don’t mess with it. Just add some healthy seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic and basil)
|So hard to resist stirring!|
Now add your glass of wine and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer until it is reduced to almost a paste.
|The wine is, of course, only ever used for cooking.|
Mix in your gnocchi and serve
This is a dip variation of the classic tuna melt sandwich
In order to make this delectable mixture, you will need two cans of oil based tuna, some tomato and Swiss cheese.
Drain the tuna and place it int a frying pan with some garlic to saute it a little bit
|There will be enough oil left in the cans to cook the fish.|
Chop up your tomatoes
|Nothing better than fresh Jersey Tomatoes in the summer|
Throw them in the pan along with the tuna and layer the Swiss on top. Turn off the heat and just let it sit until the cheese is fully melted and then dip away!
This is a simple appetizer that is easy to make
I lucked out and was able to get some prosciutto at a reasonable price, so I couldn’t resist trying this idea out on an especially hectic Wednesday when I left the house at 6am and get back at midnight.
For this you will need bread, prosciutto, strawberries and olive oil.
Put some olive oil in a dish
|Apologies for the pictures, I was too tired to set up even the half-assed lighting I usually have|
Crush in some strawberries and salt lightly
|Crushing the strawberries is a fantastic source of catharsis.|
Put some prosciutto on a chunk of bread with the dressing.
|Simple but delicious|
|This seriously isn’t even everything that got put in.|
Anyway, I added everything to a pot and set it to boil until I got too hungry to wait anymore, then I cooked in the dumplings in the soup.
|Easy but very thick.|
Make a sauce (puree in a pot with garlic, salt and pepper).
|Sauce in the making|
Chop up vegetables.
|Choppy chop chop|
Cook the chicken.
|Well seasoned, of course.|
And cut it up.
Add all of that to the sauce.
|An increasingly chunky sauce.|
Cook on low until the vegetables are soft, then put it on the crust and cover it with cheese.
|Almost a pizza. Almost.|
Follow the baking instructions on the crust container. Et voila! Pizza!
Take your veggies:
|Looking so fresh in the morning light|
And cut them up
|If anyone has a suggestion for tearless onion cutting, please share it. Please|
Cook them with garlic, salt and pepper
|Can I just start saying gsp? Would anyone understand what I mean? Probably not.|
Next take your eggs, about two for every person you will be cooking for.
|One of these things is not like the others.|
Beat them up a little. Just enough sos that they gets the message.
|And the moral is that we are all the same on the inside|
Add them to the vegetables, add more seasoning and scramble until cooked
Serve hot with sriracha sauce, hot sauce or ketchup. Or just plain
|Yet another thing that tasted better than it looks.|
Put a pot on for the ziti (ie boil water). I’ll wait until your finished.
Now it’s time to make the sauce. I have discovered that the trick to decent marinara sauce is to put a can of puree into a pot, add salt, pepper, basil, garlic and onion powder and just let it simmer for a while. Don’t touch it, no matter how hard that seems.
|Pictured: Sauce cooking without being harassed.|
While you are pretending that you don’t want to play with the sauce, you can distract yourself by cooking the beef. Because of the high fat content of the level of ground beef I use (read: cheap) there was enough fat just in there that I didn’t even need to use oil or butter.
|Kinda gross when you think about it|
Cook it until it looks done.
|Brown and yummy|
Add the meat to the sauce and mix it in. I did everything in my power to avoid getting the fat that got cooked out into the sauce, however it will be more flavorful if you don’t
Dump in the container of ricotta and mix it in thoroughly
|It should be the color of baby food when you’re done|
Go ahead and let that simmer until the pasta is cooked. When you are ready to add it, take a glass pan (or if you are smart and don’t care about the environment, a tin foil pan that can be thrown out when you are done) and coat the bottom with sauce and then dump your pasta on top.
Pour the rest of your sauce over the remaining pasta and mix in so that all of the pasta is coated in cheesy, meaty goodness.
|Above: Cheesy meaty goodness|
Cover with a thick coating of shredded mozzarella and bake on 450 until the cheese is browned
Serve piping hot.
Ok. Whatever you do, don’t follow this recipe. I was thoroughly unsatisfied with the result, however, it is what I made so post I must.
First some explanation. When altering a baking recipe (Not advised! The margins of error in baking are very small.) to add cocoa powder, you must add more butter, baking soda and sugar to compensate for the drying and acerbic aspects of the cocoa.
|I did not add enough of any of them, apparently|
Anyway, follow the instructions under the lid of the oatmeal.
Cream together (meaning, mix until creamy) softened butter and your sugars.
|This might be too creamy|
Beat in eggs.
|Two of them.|
Add your powders, replacing a quarter cup of flour with cocoa powder
Pour in oats,
Ball into one inch masses and place on a cookie sheet.
I got bored after one sheet so I made a sheet cake out of the rest
While those are baking, you can clean up the inevitable mess.
|Cocoa powder everywhere!|
I made a peanut butter sauce for my bars
|And by that, I mean I melted some peanut butter.|
And poured it over the completed bars
Add some sugar over the tops of the cookies to try to make up for the fact that I added no where near enough the first time.
Seriously, don’t try this
|Although the bars aren’t awful frozen.|