Monday, September 29, 2008

pasta with zucchini and goat cheese

Ah, pasta with zucchini and some kind of melty cheese. For awhile there in college I ate nothing but pasta with zucchini. I thought that was just what mostly vegetarian adults were supposed to live on (right?) but then I saw a whole RECIPE for the stupid thing in my guilty pleasure to end all guilty pleasures real simple magazine and I realized that maybe this is novel to some people. So I tried their version... and the addition of pasta water to cheese is gross: why bother?!

weeknight pasta

1 box pasta
2 zucchini
1 box boursin
1 clove minced garlic

Chop up the zucchini into sturdy semicircles. Fry it up over pretty high heat in olive oil, add garlic when the zucchini is getting a little brown (shouldn't be mushy, though).

Cook the pasta. I like a toothsome style like rigatoni.

While the pasta is still hot and a little wet, mix it up with most of the (goat) cheese (although something about boursin is just so goddamn delicious). If you want to get all real simple magazine about it, throw in some of the reserved pasta water.

Throw in the zucchini and crumble some more cheese on top......

Canned-pasta-sauce-phobe heaven, plus you can live off the leftovers all week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

butterscotch pudding

after a dicey run-in with some old tomato sauce, make your own pudding is making pudding!

after a hard-hitting nostalgia for the butterscotch pudding at community food and juice brought me back from boston to nyc (uh, that and unemployment), last night the craving returned. at 9 pm in ct. all the grocery stores are closed, folks.

fortunately, butterscotch pudding is so damn easy. the only thing remotely tricky is that i needed some fattier milk (heavy cream), and i found some at the gas station. win! while this recipe can't beat the outrageous pudding at community food & juice, it also doesn't cost EIGHT DOLLARS.

UPDATE: Made a second batch after an extremely painful kitchenless, butterscotchless week in Boston. Don't give me that Penuche crap. No go.

butterscotch pudding
(adapted from david lebovitz)

4 tbs butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp (sea) salt
3 tbs cornstarch
2 1/2 c whole milk (or not-- I did 2/3 2 percent and 1/3 heavy cream. didn't bother to multiply out how much fat that is, but i think it's fattier than whole milk, thereby making this pudding more delicious. but if you actually buy whole milk, why mess?)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Melt the butter. Don't let it burn or even get foamy. Now add the sugar and salt and mix it up nice. Remove from heat. Don't let it get the sugar get all crusty and hard or else you will end up trying to squish the clumps out, not so good if this pudding is for sharing. BUT THE PUDDING TURNED OUT OK! go team.

Mix 1/4 cup milk slowly into the cornstarch (like with a whisk)... you want it to be really silky. Having made lumpy chocolate pudding, let me tell you that nobody wants lumpy pudding. Do this step right.

Marvel as the mixture goes through the ooblek phase. Do some online research about badass superfluids. Watch them go! Look ma, no friction! Uh, where were we?

Then whisk in the eggs. Make sure that these are really well-mixed too. Little egg clumps will cook, and then you will be grossed out by your pudding, which would be a tragedy. Blend now, smile later.

Now put the rest of the milk into the sugar mix, then the eggy milk. Blend like hell! Whisk! Now put it back over heat. Whisk some more! You will be glad you got this "exercise" when you rapidly eat half this pudding.

Eventually it will boil. I was expecting it to take about as long as water, which is dumb because its pudding. So yeah-- don't panic, just whisk. Once it's boiling, lower the heat a little and keep whisking until it's pudding consistency.

Now pour into your cutest ramekins/demitasse cups/wine glasses and chill for an hour or so.

Go watch all the superfluid helium videos on youtube... by the time you're done, the pudding will be, too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

bougie kitchen pizza

well team!

time to start a cooking blog after sitting around reading them all day. this blog will teach you to be the laziest "foodie" ever. or possibly the most ambitious lazy cook ever. like that episode of ali g, about the world's shortest giant... nevermind.

today's first entry: bougie kitchen pizza

the original plan was salad, then we realized that it was only 5:30. later, realized that the salad greens were bad, the mushrooms were bad, cheese was bad. corona for dinner? maybe. but not today.

good thing i moved back to the suburbs: this bougie kitchen is seriously well equipped. you can make a damn good bougie kitchen pizza with only ingredients found in your typical bougie kitchen, but you can, you know, use fresh ingredients too.

bougie kitchen pizza

--frozen pizza dough (or, if you live in an urban area (sigh) go to the pizza place on your block and ask for dough)
--half an onion, fried all translucent-like
--handful of olives, chopped
--handful of sundried tomatoes, chopped

--handful of roasted red peppers, chopped
--handful (or two) of the gnarly cheese remains hanging out in the cheese drawer. gnarly old goat cheese is best.

preheat yer oven to 400 degrees.

spread out the dough. you probably only need half the ball. if you cleaned the floor recently toss it in the air and say something in fake italian-- mamma mia! cappuccino!

put in on the back of an upsidedown baking sheet. if you are in a polenta-making phase, put some corn meal on there. yeah.

topping time! again, bougie pizza (tm) consists of only the finest canned antipasto goodies, but the BEST BEST incarnation of this pizza consists of sauteed farmer's market mushrooms, goat cheese, and rosemary.

sprinkle on some cheese, if you've got it.

good work. pop it in the oven, 20 minutes later you will feel way more culinary than you actually are.