My odd cleaning quirk…

April 19th, 2009

For some reason, I love to clean out the fridge… Gross, I know.  But I find something satisfying about going through and clearing out things that have gone bad.  Not that I enjoy throwing out food.  I do try my best to make sure I am not doing that but… there is just something about it that makes me feel productive.  Plus, it is a great way to take inventory of what you have and find some inspiration.  I’m sure many of you have a similar odd cleaning quirk.  My mother, for example, has to have clean floors, so she sweeps daily.  What is yours?

Tonight, I cleaned out the fridge.  I was hoping to find something fun to make for dinner but, instead, I was just faced with the fact that… I really need to go to the store.  So, I ordered in take-out (it has been raining all day) and sifted through my photo archives for something to post.  Lame, I know.  Exams are in two weeks so bare with me a little longer.

This recipe is from the Chicago Flower Show cooking demo put on by Jim Muldrow, chef/owner of Va Pensiero.  I made some alterations to the recipe.  He food processes half of the corn mixture to make it creamier and used bacon instead of ham.  I used what I had at home and it was delicious.  I think a visit to his restaurant may be in order this summer…

Creamed Corn-Ham Pasta
(adapted from Jim Muldrow, chef of Va Pensiero)

1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cup corn
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons of ham, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Add sweet corn and ham, saute for 5-7 minutes.
2. Add milk and heavy cream. Cook for 8 min or until slightly thickened (I threw in about a teaspoon of corn starch to help it thicken a bit).
3. Cook pasta, drain well and toss with the warm sauce.

P.S. Have you entered Cry Me an Onion Contest? You have until Thursday, so please enter!

Farfalle for my friend…

September 28th, 2008

So, here I am in a new city…living alone…and it is hard sometimes!  I miss having a roommate to hang out with and cook for…sure, I have my friends but there is something to be said for the impromptu dinner date with L.   Who is L you might ask? Well, L is my roommate, best friend, and official taste tester. We were thrown together freshman year of college as random roommates and just clicked. Over the years, we have shared a lot and she has helped me through many issues with school, boys and life. After college, she moved to DC, where I soon followed. That year, we did not live together but she started dating my neighbor so I still saw her quite frequently. She was the one I first tried my chocolate souffles on…as we sat there giggling with a bottle of champagne. Last year, we lived together again…as I was moving and everything, I ignored the fact that this was the end of us as roommates. We still talk weekly but I miss her. I was thinking about her today when I made this pasta.  She loves farfalle pasta!  The recipe is adapted from the September issue of Saveur, which came unexpectedly in the mail yesterday. If they want to send me a free magazine, I’ll take it!

Pasta with Tuna

1/2 pound of pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red crushed pepper
2 garlic clove, chopped
1 can of tuna
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon Parmesan

1. Make the pasta according to the directions, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic and red crushed peppers until the garlic is tender.
3. Heat the tuna until warmed through.
4. Add reserved pasta water and toss in the pasta.
5. Cook until the pasta sauce thickens.
6. Stir in the chives and sprinkle with the parmesan.

P.S.  A friend sent me links to this guy on youtube who gets really creative with vegetables.  It is worth checking out!

Confessions of a Food Blogger…

May 15th, 2008

My boyfriend jokingly commented that I’ve been eating like a five year old lately. So what if I have been making Kraft mac and cheese, ordering pizza and having peanut butter sandwiches? I am an adult and I can do what I want…Ginny whines, stomping her foot.

Yes, I know, I just wrote a post about trying to be more healthy but then I hit a few stressful days and found myself reaching for some quick comfort food. I had no inspiration to cook so I relied on some old favorites.

Before this short diet derailment, I had challenged myself by trying to make dinner without the use of olive oil or butter…yes, maybe, I should get a life but culinary games are so much fun. Recently, I made Allen of Eating Out Loud’s Citrus Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables served with seared scallops and some roasted salmon. It was absolutely fabulous! I highly recommend making it! This left me with some leftover red onion and asparagus. I decided to caramelize them with some balsamic and put it over my latest favorite find, Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend with Israeli Style Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans, and Red Quinoa. I am sending this over to Ruth’s Presto Pasta Night. Check it out for more great pasta ideas!

And please do not stop reading my blog because I eat Kraft mac and cheese occasionally. With the Spiderman shapes, how can you resist? We all have our secret anti-foodie pleasure. Actually, what is yours?

Balsamic Asparagus and Red Onion Pasta

1/2 bunch Asparagus (chopped into small 1 in pieces)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 pound of pasta

1. Spray frying pan with Pam and throw in the crushed red pepper.
2. Saute asparagus and red onion in the frying pan.
3. Mix in balsamic vinegar and cover with a lid to steam the vegetables. When they are tender and carmalized, remove from heat and mix with pasta.

P.S. I sprinkled some shredded mozzarella over it because I wanted something a little gooey. I wish I had some goat cheese instead as it would have added a good flavor to it. Michelle over at Tarheel Table just made a Pasta with grilled chicken and vegetables with a goat cheese sauce that would be great with something like this.