Monday, May 24, 2010

Bucatini all'Amartriciana

I read somewhere while I was pregnant for the little man that if you eat a variey of foods that the child will be less picky and I believe it!   Unlike when I was younger and pregnant for my daughter where I ate nothing but pizza, burgers, sub, and roast chicken (really healthy I know) this time around I ate every flavor under the sun, and to my hearburn level detriment a lot of spicy food.  A whole lot of Indian, and Thai, and my husbands cooking which would not be complete without cayenne, chili powder, or a chile of some kind.  I pick on him relentlessly about it and he gets offended, yet 9 times out of 10 if he's cooking it, it's spicy.  Good, but hot stuff.

Which then lead us to dishes that are surprisingly spicy, like this one.  I mean it's pasta, how often have you eaten spicy pasta?  I don't think I've ever really had spicy pasta.  Until now. 

As I loaded up my plate and the mini-plate with the pasta, fresh bread and a side of veggies (also a side of berries, and such for the Fruit Bat Baby), I handed over his plate while finishing up something at the counter.  Batty dug right in finishing off his pasta with fist fulls of berries in between.  I dutifully gave him another serving of pasta and handed it over while I prepped another batch of berries, cherries, and grapes for him.  Only without the berries to cut the burn we had a small whimpering situation.  I gave him his berries, took a big ole bite of my own pasta while inpolitely asking wth a mouth full of food "What's he matter bud?"  He didn't have to answer.  When that sauce hit the back of my throat I understood just fine.  Yawzah! Bread, milk, more pasta.  Yum! The baby loved it as well as long as he had his fruit chasers. 

It was great as is, we even had a seven year old eat some of the leftovers with no problems, but if your children (or yourselves God forbid) are not into spicy food, you could dial down the red pepper to maybe 1/3 of what the recipe calls for, but just understand you will be out done by a 2 year old that insisted on "More hot pasta please."

Bucatni all'Amatriciana
Mario Batali (Food and Wine)


1/2 pound thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
12 ounces prepared tomato sauce (homemade, or preservative-free jarred if you want to cut some time)
Kosher salt
1 pound *bucatini
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving


In a large, deep skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Return the pancetta to the skillet. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt and simmer until very thick, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce along with the parsley and the reserved cooking water and stir over moderately high heat until the pasta is evenly coated, 2 minutes. Serve the pasta in bowls, passing the cheese at the table.
*Buccatini is a thicker, hollow, version of spaghetti.  If you cannot find it, you could easily substitute  regular spaghetti, but I wouldn't recommend angel hair, this is some hearty pasta.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chorizo Goat Cheese Rolls

I thought I had posted these already, but apparently I have not.  These are a must have recipe for BBQs and all sorts of gatherings.  They are very fast, require few ingredients, and you can make them ahead of time and throw them into a preheated oven when guests first arrive.  And if you're me you can forget about them until they  have cooked a full 10 minutes longer than they were suppose to and they will forgive you and still be delicious!

Goat Cheese and Chorizo Rolls
Hmmmm... Not sure.  Foodnetwork or Food and Wine... I think, leaning towards Food and Wine but don't quote me on that


8 ounces soft goat cheese
1 cup chopped dry chorizo
1 ½ tablespoons minced chives
Salt and pepper
Phyllo dough
Melted butter


Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. In a bowl, blend goat cheese, chopped chorizo, and minced chives; season with salt and pepper. Brush one 12 by 16 inch sheet of phyllo with melted butter. Top with 2 more phyllo sheets, buttering lightly; cut the phyllo into 6 rectangles. Place a tablespoon of filling at the base of each rectangle and roll up the phyllo, folding in the sides. Set the rolls on baking sheets. Repeat twice more to make 18 rolls total. Brush the rolls with butter; bake for 10 minutes, until golden. Serve.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution

Remember a while back I said how there were waves in the blog world.  That all of sudden everyone felt the need to make baked eggs, or custards, or polenta pancakes all at the same time?  Well the same is true about Jaime Oliver thanks to his new show  show food revolution which I beieve is now done, but was new when I started this post. 

This show couldn't have come at a better time for my family.  We have been using this year to get away from plastic, and packaging, and the chemicals and fats that pass for food these days.  I started this little project before I managed to sit down and watch the show (on-line), but watching the show really ramp up my motivation. 

The first to go was anything with high fructose corn syrup.  Here are the culprits in our house:

Getting rid of (most of) this stuff was easy.  That Grenadine and those cherries are from a Summer party last year (ewwww) to make Shirley temples.  The Lite syrup was from a diet attempt... it's nasty and thick and I use regular syrup anyway so that went.  The ketchup posed a larger problem.  My husband will not eat anything but Heinz ketchup.  I think I would have had to wrestle it away from him had I not found out that Heinz organic ketchup does not contain HFCS.  If you notice the salad dressings aren't even opened as I make our salad dressing anyway.  I must have bought them as a back up for something.  Who knows how long they've been in the door of the fridge.  The relish stayed.  I am not about to make homemade relish for the whole 5 times over the Summer that someone wants to put relish on a burger or dog this Summer.  And I don't consider one food that contains HFCS in a house a problem.  Oh it was also in my bread and bread crumbs which I switched out as well for Panko and Oorowroot, but those were found lrking the next day.

I thought there would be more items actually, but then like I said we've started moving away from processed foods at the new year.  See above for what a typially shopping trip yields.

So out went the bad stuff. It's quite easy to replace with fresh or organic.  You aren't going to find an organic version of HFCS so there you go.

Aside from removing chemically stuff we are trying to put better stuff into our bodies, and every (okay, almost every) morning starts with a glass of Keffir, and a glass of green juice.  Surprisingly a few people have already asked for the recipe so here we go.... so simple, and tastes pretty good.

Dr. Oz Green Drink Recipe


2 apples, cored
2 big handfuls of spinach
½ cup of parsley
1 celery stick
1 thumbnail length of ginger, peeled
1 lemon, peeled
1 medium cucumber, peeled


Read the instructions for your juicer.  The are all different and some can handle some things while others require special peeing, etc, Juice, stir serve

Serves 2

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh the joy of finals and Smitten Kitchen

If you've been paying attention you would know that it is finals week.  And while that wasa nightmare back as an undergraduate, as a graduate/working full-time/Mother and wife.... it's a little ridiculous.  I'm trying to be a more positive person so I will just say.... I am out of time. 

However I am still on my no processed foods kick and I don't think the family should go hungry just because I'm busy and neither should you.  PS... look at the food you get to eat when you give up frozen chicken nuggets and tater tots

Some kind of Spanish dish my husband made for us when I had class last Saturday... yum

Apples that are bigger than your head

Lumpias from the Farmer's Market, which I now will have to make after finals are over

Pico di Gallo, an accompaniment to the Carna Asada Tacos

Green Juice every morning for antioxidants and energy... it's actually pretty good... the baby likes it, bad photo but you get the idea... it's green

and finally..... the one meal I've actually made other than vats of green juice...

Shakshuka.... OMWord....

Shakshuka takes very little time to make, was a  big hit, was a little something different for brunch but could easily be a dinner egg dish, and was A- MAZING as almost all things Smitten Kitchen are.  I love that blog, I cook from it just about every week, but I didn't make this dish to actually blog it was just fantastic and the meal that sticks out for me from this week.  Please click this handy little link to bring you to the recipe.
Besides it's just fun to say.

So if you think eating all fresh food is really difficult take a look above while I smile and say... oh yeah... it's rough.

Deb from Smitten Kitchen says to serve this with pita... .which is easy for her to say, she lives in NYC.  You can get pita anywhere.  We live in the middle of nowhere with limited Greek and Middle Eastern places, and the husband couldn't find a decent pita (he's from Montreal, he knows his pita).  However, I did have this bread left over from the Farmer's Market the day before.  I toasted it lightly at 350, drizzled it lightly with olive oil, threw some ripped up golden oregano from my new planter courtesy of Nelly's Nest... which I would link here if my friend would get off her bum and make a link for her antique store, and then grated some fontina and threw it back in the oven... which I then promptly forgot I had made so you can see it's a little overcooked but still tasted fabulous... and now I can't image eatin the Shakshuka any other way.