Friday, July 11, 2008

A Lover of All Things Food

I love food. I really always have. And I love it more now that I have more confidence in my cooking and baking skills. My husband and friends encourage me whenever they give me positive feedback about a dish or a pastry I've tried out. And I love the fact that, so far, my son likes 95% of the things I whip up for him.

Most of all, I looooooooooove pasta. They are filling, varied, delicious, and easy to make. You can create almost any kind of tasty pasta dish with just a few basic ingredients . Often, when I have some down time at home and I am hungry, I turn to pasta to fill me up. My current favorite Pasta dish has a taste of the local with a splash of Italy. I was inspired by a dish I say my friend Ren and her boyfriend Joff eating one working day while I was roaming the mall on my lunch break.

I call it Black Olives and Tuyo (not very fancy huh?)

Olive Oil
Black Olives, sliced
Pasta (Spaghetti or Fetuccine would do fine. I've only tried this with the ribbon pastas.)

In a non-stick pan, fry your tuyo in regular oil. When it is almost cooked, add Black olives and some Olive Oil. Turn off the heat and remove fish from the pan. Only use the meat of the fish but do not flake this too much as it is yummier with some chunks. Return to the pan with the oil and fish residue, no heat.
At the same time, boil some water in a pot. When boiling, add salt. Add pasta and cook al dente. Remove pasta and place in the pan with the fish meat and olives. Add a little more Olive Oil and heat through.

Serving size depends on how much you want to eat and proportions of the ingredients are according to personal taste. This is really yummy and easy to make.

Now, in the spirit of all things yummy, let me post 2 recipes that look really really good and, my favorite adjective when it comes to cooking- EASY as well.

I got this from Cooking with Amy, a really informative and interesting food blog.

Spaghetti with Walnuts and Anchovies (adapted from Adventures of an Italian Food Lover)
Serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as a first course

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3-4 filets of oil packed anchovies
2 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
pinch of chili flakes
3 Tablespoons minced parsley
8 ounces spaghetti

Heat the olive oil over low heat and cook the garlic until it softens and barely begins to color. Add the anchovies and mash until they dissolve into the oil. Add the walnuts, chili and parsley, stir and remove from the heat. Cook the pasta in boiling water until it is 3/4 of the way done.

Drain the pasta and reserve some cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce and cook over high heat, adding about 1/3 cup cooking water. Cook, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until the pasta is al dente.

Brie & Bacon Fettucine
serves 2 - 3 as a main dish or 4 as a starter

1/2 lb fettucine
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 strips of bacon, chopped
1/4 cup brie, rind removed
1/4 cup of pasta water (water the pasta has cooked in)
black pepper
parmesan cheese

In a large skillet saute the bacon and onion slowly over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp and onion is light brown. Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.

Take the pasta out of the water with tongs and place in the skillet with the onion and bacon. Add the brie. Toss with the pasta water. When the brie melts, add a good grind of black pepper and serve with a scant sprinkling of parmesan cheese on each serving.

I can't wait to try them out!!

As a bonus, I've included the recipe to my cocktail of the moment, the Mojito. I was inspired by Martini Moms. This drink doesn't really go with the Pasta recipes but it's a fabulous drink you can prepare anytime you need warmth and a buzz in a moment. Enjoy!

3 fresh mint sprigs
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz light white rum
club soda

In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with *chilled* club soda (or seltzer). Add a lime slice and the remaining mint, and serve.

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vicki said...

I'll look into this. I do enjoy baking. Thanks! =)