Tag Archives: pasta

The Next List (finally!)

“Ask not what you can do for your country.  Ask what’s for lunch.” – Orson Welles

I have once again been thwarted by distraction:  I had a cold, then I was busy at work, then one night I was sidetracked by “Gossip Girl” (I know…shameful.)  But, I have stalled long enough.

But I'm so distracted by the antics of Upper East Siders on the CW....

Last week I figured out that I was 31 weeks from my 31st birthday.  Being Type-A, I work well with even artificial deadlines, so it seemed fortuitous.  So here goes nothing (cracks knuckles).  Time to conquer another list of quintessential recipes….all of which are new to me.

Strap on your aprons, sharpen those spatulas….we’ve got one ambitious/delicious list in front of us.  Here they are, in the order God intended:

1. Saltimbocca- it means “jump in your mouth”.  Sold.

2. Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic- to keep the vampires at bay

3. Egg Drop Soup

4. Baked Alaska – I literally have no idea what this is

5. Calzones

6. Perogies – especially for my mom

7. Baba Au Rhum- “Rhum” = rum so it should be good

8. Pommes Annas- I think this is pretty much layer cake made out of potatoes and butter

9. Pasta Carbonara

10. Rack of Lamb- Valentine’s day dinner?

11. Beer- no really, I’m brewing beer.

12. Gnocchi- pasta made of clouds

13. Plum Pudding- suggested by my London-loving friend

14. Weiner Schnitzel- for the German in all of us

15. Croque Monsieur – or the egg-tastic Croque Madam

16. Homemade Sausage – I didn’t get a sausage stuffer for Christmas for nothing!

17. Eggplant Parmesan

18. Boef Bourguignon – per a request from a Francophile friend

19. English Muffins – my favorite

20. Steak Au Poivre – the Handsome Husband’s favorite

21. Ceviche – hopefully I will not poison anyone.

22. Pickles – totally trendy

23. Something “en flambé”- gather round while I light things on fire!

24. Pheasant- hunted and donated by a friend!

25. Classic Fish and Chips

26. Baklava – from another friend’s family recipe!

27. Crepes

28. Quail with Rose Petal Sauce – from the book “Like Water for Chocolate” 

29. Real macaroni and Cheese – the good stuff!

30. Summer Rolls- fresh and delicious

31. Chicken Kiev – for a “Mad Men” themed night, perhaps?!

Quite the list, huh?  I’m so excited to start cooking/burning/stuffing/eating.  In factI’ve already started!  Thanks for helping with all the ideas….now hit the gym, there is butter ahead.

xoxo The Flyover Foodie

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Pasta Bolognese

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

If you like carbs like I like carbs, you’re going to be hungry by the end of this post.  And it’s a little lengthy…so you might need a snack. Or a glass of wine. Or both.  I’ll wait a minute….

……

….All set?  Here we go:

FIRST: the dough.  Since I was making homemade pasta, I started the pasta before the sauce.  Homemade pasta needs time to rest and dry slightly after being formed and before being cooked.

I made my dough in a the food processor.  TO BE FAIR: I have seen many chefs do this.  AND- the processor even has a “Dough” button, so you kind of have to use it.  Your basic pasta dough is flour, eggs, a pinch of salt and a little drizzle of olive oil.

Dough formed into a ball post-processor

Next the dough gets kneaded by hand for about 5 minutes until its stretchy and shiny.   Cover with a bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.  Now roll out the dough to about 1/4-1/8 inch thickness.  Because I did not (yet!!) have a pasta roller,  I used a rolling pin and tried to get it as thin as possible.  Which took some work.  I told myself that having thicker pasta would just add to its charm.

Cutting the dough into tagliatelle

I cut the dough into wide strips which makes it, I think, tagliatelle.  Tagliatelle of random, inconsistent lengths, but tagliatelle nonetheless.  I separated the pieces and left them to dry on the counter while I made the sauce.  Other than the difficulty of rolling, this was pretty simple.

Drying tagliatelle. Charmingly rustic. Right?

NOW: hitting the sauce.

I used the basics of two different Italian recipes to make my Bolognese sauce.  First, this recipe from Mario Batali and this recipe as well.   By this point you’ve probably noticed that I almost always look at more than one recipe.  I like to find the commonalities that make a true Bolognese sauce versus the individual spin a chef may put on a recipe of their own.

In this case you find the common ingredients: bacon, red wine, onion, celery, carrots, ground meat.  And the basic steps: saute, sweat, deglaze, simmer.   Get it?

Start by sauteing and sweating the veggies:

Cooking the veggies til soft

Next add the meats and brown, then the milk:

Browned meat plus milk

Now you add tomatoes, wine, and cook for as long as you can stand it. I think I lasted a little over an hour, then it just smelled TOO GOOD.  You can also consult your sous chef, lingering veeeeerrrrry closely:

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