Monday, September 23, 2013

Pasta with Wilted Anchovy-Radicchio and Fried Eggs

I've been eating so badly lately. After cooking my way through the perishables my family left behind (mostly cheese, eggs, milk and lemons, in case you were wondering), I got busy. At that point, I discovered that the take-out options on Cape Cod during the off season are terrible, so I ate all my cans beans. I didn't buy enough.

I wasn't planning on writing tonight, but I think I'm getting overly nervous about blogging. Also, dinner was delicious. I got this recipe from  from Ms. Wednesday, who got it from someone named Nancy Silverton. Both of them do this whole food thing professionally, and  it shows. Not only is the recipe undeniably awesome, but when I divided it by four (so I could cook for my lonesome) it still held up. Whoohoo!

You melt some anchovy fillets in some olive oil with garlic, then wilt in a couple raddichio leaves. Somewhere in here lemon zest, cheese and parsley get involved. This all gets eaten over pasta, with a really oily fried egg.

I forgot to take pictures during the process. I was hungry. I think you should read the recipe, then be sad you didn't let me cook you dinner, then write a grocery list. Tomorrow you should make this, because even though it doesn't taste like anchovies at all (sad!) I still approve.

One more thing- the original title for this recipe was "Pappardelle with Bagna Cuda, Wilted Raddichio and an Olive-Oil Fried Egg". I didn't have any pappardelle, and I didn't know what bagna cuda was until I googled it, so I've renamed it.

Some flat-ish pasta with a lot of things and an egg
Mildly adapted from Nancy Silverton via The Wednesday Chef

Note: this sounds WAY fussier when I'm writing instructions than it was... don't be put off.

15 anchovy filets
8 big garlic cloves, crushed
a handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
12 radicchio leaves, roughly chopped
zest and juice of half a lemon
half a pound of pasta, preferably pappardelle. I used fettucini because it's relatively fat, but many things would work here
4 large eggs
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, plus more if you're greedy like me
salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, anchovies and crushed garlic. Poke the anchovies with a fork and stir, until the anchovies dissolve and the garlic is softened. The anchovies won't dissolve completely, really, but they will break up into whisk-able, non-recognizable specks. This shouldn't take longer than five minutes. Stir in radicchio, parsley, lemon juice and zest, then turn off the heat. Transfer the whole mess to a large bowl, but don't clean the skillet.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.When the pasta is ready, drain it then immediately transfer to the bowl with the radicchio and anchovies. If the pasta's still a little wet, that's ok. Toss well.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat in that same skillet (see! I'm saving you dishes!) until it's good and jumpy (ie pretty damned hot). Break eggs into the skillet one at a time, waiting a moment after each so they don't all stick together. Cook until the edges are browned and the whites are set, but don't overcook- you want the yolks to be runny.

To finish, divide pasta into four bowls and then top with the cheese. Add one egg per plate. Eat and be merry! If your name is Becca, add more cheese and a ton of black pepper.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cocktail hour

Oh baby.

This cocktail came to me from buzzfeed via the facebook of someone I'm not friends with in real life. Don't judge me. I also took these photos with my iphone, because I've lost the cable that goes with my real camera.

Judgement aside, there was a carton of figs in my fridge (thanks, family!) and I wanted to celebrate my first week of living alone and decided to write about it. Drinking alone = disturbing. Drinking alone and blogging about it = totally legitimate.

You muddle some mint leaves, a fig, and some brown sugar and then add bourbon and top with ginger ale. No muddler or cocktail shaker? No problem!

Does anyone actually own a muddler? Anyways, this thing is CRAZY good- and I'm a girl who normally doesn't like that much extraneous stuff messing with my bourbon. I could keep writing about it, but I think I'll go make myself one instead.

Fig and Bourbon Fizz
Stolen from here

Note: I generally disapprove of ginger ale, because ginger beer is such a superior being. In this case, however the mildness of ginger ale is a good thing, because it allows the fig taste to really come through.

1 fresh fig
6 mint leaves
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 oz bourbon
4-8 oz ginger ale
lots of ice

In a cocktail shaker or weird plastic container, muddle fig, mint and sugar until you get a pulpy, gloppy mess. Add bourbon, then fill shaker with ice. Shake for at least 30 seconds, then strain into a glass filled with ice cubes. If you're me, this will require an actual strainer. Top with ginger ale.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Orzo salad with ALL THE GREEN THINGS!

As of 9:23 Monday morning, I am officially a hermit. So far I've moved all my shoes into my grandfather's closet (weird), eaten croutons dipped in salad dressing for lunch, and broken a glass jar trying to make iced tea. Fun fact: some things with handles should not be picked up by them. Lesson learned.

I started writing this post almost a month ago, when this place was sloppy with dogs and aunts and houseguests and happy. My cousin Grant was poking me in the arm repeatedly with a pencil, which it turns out is exactly the maximum amount of distraction I'm capable of tuning out while either typing or reading papers about eelgrass habitat. I'd made this salad twice in the previous week, because in addition to being fantastic it feeds a crowd. Sitting on the same couch minus the arm-poking cousin, I realized I should probably get this recipe up because  now that I'm alone, I'm not likely to make it again  soon. A pox on the unfreezability of salad!

This recipe and I go way back; it's adapted from something a friend found on Epicurious when we were in high-school and wanted dinner we could pack into tupperware and take on a weekend road trip to Santa Cruz. On another, unrelated road trip, I ended up eating the stuff using a mustard lid instead of a fork or a spoon. I'm not sure how we forgot utensils, but I distinctly remember the mustard lid. It was not effective.

I like it because it's green on green on green, and crunchy chewy delicious. I think the word toothsome might actually apply here. Every time I made it this summer, a real adult asked me for the recipe, and it actually gets better after a couple days in the fridge. So go! Make orzo salad while it still sort of seems like summer. I'm gonna go eat more croutons.

Orzo Salad with All the Green Things
Adapted from Bon Appetit via Epicurious

Notes: I generally treat the quantities below as guidelines- I buy a mid-sized fennel bulb and then just use all of it- so feel free to improvise. Additionally, I've found that sticking the log of goat cheese in the freezer for 5-10 minutes beforehand makes it easier to crumble.

1/2 tsp white pepper 
2/3 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large clove garlic

8 ounces green beans, trimmed
8 ounces orzo (1 1/4 cups)
2 cups unpeeled cucumber, in 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup diced fresh fennel bulb
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
8oz goat cheese

Bring  a pot of salted water to a boil, then blanch green beans to your desired level of crunchiness (I go with 3 minutes). Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a cutting board. Add orzo to the same water, and cook according to package directions.

Blend dill, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, white pepper, and garlic in a mini food-processor until smooth. Season with salt.

Cut green beans into 1 inch pieces, and place in a serving bowl. Add orzo, cucumber, and fennel, and then stir in dressing. When the whole thing is a rather uniform shade of green, add toasted pine nuts and crumble in goat cheese. Toss again, then eat happily.