Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bachelor Livin' 101

Some of my single guy friends eat some whack food. When I go over and see their freezers crammed full of hotpockets, microwave burritos and pizza it makes me crazy. It offends me in some deep way that I know is unwarranted but I can't help myself. I want to shake them by their transfat laden shoulders and say, "man, you do not have to eat this way!" This recipe is nothing fancy but it's simple, satisfying and even my kitchen-challenged amigos could make it. It's sort of a staple for me. Make it once and you'll be having it for the rest of your life.

pasta with broccoli sauce

Ingredients:
thin linguini or spaghetti
a big head of broccoli
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt
crushed red pepper (saved from your last pizza delivery)
parmesan cheese

Get your pasta water boiling in a big pot with a huge pinch of salt. Cut your broccoli into florets. Shave those stems and chop them up. They have a lot of flavor we like to use. Sautee 3 cloves of garlic with a pinch of red pepper and some salt  in 1/2 a cup of olive oil in a saucepan until the garlic starts looking golden. Take the saucepan off the burner and add 3 cups of water. Drop your pasta in your separate pasta pot.  Return the oil + water saucepan to burner and bring back to a boil. Let this bubble for a minute then add your broccoli. Cook over medium low heat until the broccoli is done to your liking. Re-season with more salt & red pepper to taste. Add the broccoli and sauce to your drained pasta. If your broccoli sauce isn't juicy enough, add some pasta water to it before you dump it. Load on the parmesan cheese. And voila, dinner is served! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blind Lemon Biscuits

Watching my savings shrink and shrink and shrink has caused me to listen to The Blues lately. This AM, I woke up and as usal felt sorry for myself ad put on some  Blind Lemon Jefferson   (He taught Leadbelly how to play blues. BL's a man who's life is a mystery but left 110 priceless recordings which are like the foundation of modern blues and therefore tiny bands like The Rolling Stones Led Zeppelin). I love BL: He's the man. He makes me feel nostalgic and proud to be an American. He also makes me depressed to the point where I want to shoot myself in the eye with a dart gun. So once I was done weeping all over my kitchen floor, I got powerful hungry. I figured that Biscuits are pretty much the ultimate poor man's food so I whipped up a batch of "Blind Lemon Biscuits."  I think if ole Lemon were alive, he might write a song about them. But unfortunately he's history. Just like our savings accounts.

Blind Lemon Biscuits

2 cups flour
5 Tbs butter
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lemon  (just a touch)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450. Grease a pie tin. Mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or use two forks like my grandma used to. The mixture should be coarse and pebbly. Using the spoon, slowly stir in a half the buttermilk, then the lemon, then the rest of the buttermilk until the mixture just leaves the side of your bowl. It should be sticky but not soggy. Flour your hands generously and scoop out about a 1/4 cup into your hands and GENTLY form a ball. GENTLY place into your pie pan and pat the biscuit down to roughly a 1/2 inch or so. Repeat. Bake em until they're brown on top for 10-15 mins, depending on your oven. Serve with honey, butter, jam or mustard and ham. If you have chicory coffee in your cupboard, now's the time.