Tag Archives: easy

To Pasta (1: Butter and Onions)

This post initially said Happy February, but now it’s March and I may as well be publishing it in April…where did the first quarter of the year go?! This is a quick dish my dad used to make at home.  It is still one of my favorite things to eat:

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Quick: Vermicelli and Clams

Clams

Sometimes you want to eat like it’s summer, even when it’s forty degrees outside. Continue reading

Meal: Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Mash and Eggplant

Thanksgiving is just around the weekend, and many poor souls out there have been turned from sweet potatoes (or improperly converted) by the old marshmallow-covered standby of Novembers past.  While it may have its charms, there is a place to balance between the cloyingly sweet traditional preparation of sweet potatoes, and the just-the-right-touch of sweet and salty coming together in good mashed sweet potatoes.  As versatile as any regular potato, sweet potatoes can be mandolined and laid out in a delicious gratin, sliced into medallions and sauteed or fried, roasted into sweet potato fries or tossed cold into a salad, and mixed with a wide variety of sweet and savory additions ranging from maple syrup to bacon.  They go extremely well with steak, sausage, chicken, pork, and, of course, turkey.

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Meal: Rigatone with Brussels Sprouts

So there’s a great place right in our neighborhood called Bocca Lupo, with nice tapas options, a great whiskey selection, and a DJ on the weekends.  We’ve been there a few times by ourselves or with friends and really enjoyed everything, except for one pasta dish that sounded great, but was almost unbelievably bad: a special pasta with brussels and guanciale in a cream sauce.  The sauce was described as light (it was heavy), the pasta was gummy, the guanciale was overly chewy, and the brussels were nonexistent.  Really one of the worst dishes I’ve ever been served.  However, the idea stuck with us and on Sunday, searching in vain for a supermarket or butcher’s shop to be open, we were left without any ideas for dinner.  Rachel suggested just going home, seeing what we could put together with what we had, naming the brussels, pasta, and soppressata as some things we had on hand.  Smart girl.

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Quickie: Vegetable Gravy

Great for an afternoon snack (and in no small way facilitated by my current spot — egg restaurant in williamsburg, bk) this veg. gravy is a good way to get you from a small breakfast to a late dinner.

We took whatever vegetables we had in the fridge, which included some leek, mushrooms, carrots, brussels sprouts, a little sundried tomato and spinach, and sauteed them together in a nice knob of butter.  When the veg got some color, we added about a tablespoon of flour and got it all incorporated, letting it sit on the heat for a minute, then pouring in a cup or so of milk.  We seasoned it with salt, a bunch of black pepper, and a little sriracha.  Let the pan sit on medium-high heat for a few minutes for the milk to reduce and thicken with the flour until you’ve got some tasty gravy.  We had a couple biscuits from the restaurant, you can find yours anywhere.

 

Biscuits and Gravy

Lefovers: Pork and Polenta

So of course, after making that ragu, we had leftovers, the most welcome and familiar culinary term for anyone living on a budget.  What to do?  Keeping it simple, we paired the pork with some polenta (with jalapenos and dried shiitakes) and sauteed spinach.  Easy and delicious.

Pork and Polenta

Pork and Polenta

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Ta-Da