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recipe | Gourmet Gastronomer

recipe

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A New Take on "Pasta Salad"

Tonight I created a light, Italian inspired dish perfect for a spring evening. It begins with a bed of fresh spinach topped with pasta, veggies, and two proteins. Much of the preparation lies in the dish's assembly, as the mushrooms, egg, and bacon need to be chopped and the garlic and pasta must be cooked (bacon should be pre-cooked.) Once ingredients are ready, all that remains is put together your salad.

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 cups fresh, washed spinach leaves
1 handful spaghetti noodles
2 crimini or white mushrooms
1 hardboiled egg
3 strips of bacon, baked or fried until crispy
3 whole cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tbsp. truffle oil
1 tbsp olive oil

Preparation:
To create the dish, you’ll be working on several things simultaneously. First, boil a large pot of water in which to cook the spaghetti, and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. As the water boils, peel garlic cloves and place them on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the cloves to create a package. Before closing the package, lightly drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil and salt. Add pasta to boiling water and sealed package of garlic to hot oven. Slice the mushrooms in half lengthwise and then chop into pieces down the width. Crumble cooked bacon into bits, and dice hardboiled egg.  When pasta and garlic cloves are tender (after about 15 minutes), remove garlic from the oven and drain pasta.  Chop garlic cloves into bits.

To assemble the salad, make a bed of spinach leaves and cover with pasta. Then top with mushrooms, egg, bacon, and garlic. To finish, drizzle with truffle oil, olive oil, and fresh ground black pepper.

The dish is best served cold, accompanied by a chilled glass of white wine. I recommend a pinot grigio.

Voilá!

Ham, Cheese, and Steamed Egg Croissant

Having breakfast today at Atlas Cafe because I am too lazy to make it myself. Luckily, they make the most delicious breakfast croisant sandwich. They steam their eggs, which is kind of like scrambled, but they are super fluffy. White cheddar cheese and black forest ham on a super flaky buttery croisant. Add some tapatio (hot sauce), salt, and pepper,and it is an unstoppable combo. I'd make this myself, but the recipe I found for croisants in the Tartine Cookbook is 5 pages long and takes at least two days.

Potato and Carrot Medley With Watercress

Another simple recipe using basic ingredients. I used a purple potato for this, which gave the dish a nice color, but you can pretty much use anything. This is actually way tastier than it looks. This is modified slightly from the Joy of Cooking. Boil:    3 medium potatoes, washed and cut into small pieces    3 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces Cook for about half an hour, or until the veggies are very soft. Drain them, and put them back in a pan over low heat.

Caramalized Onions

A very basic recipe, but delicious. Goes well on lots of dishes. I've cooked with onions for all sorts of things, but I never realized they could taste so good until I had this. Melt over the lowest possible possible heat:    1 tablespoon butter    1 tablespoon olive oil    salt Add:    1 onion, thinly sliced    salt Cook for one hour, stirring every once in a while. Keep the heat as low as possible for the entire hour.

A Nice Simple Breakfast

I never used to eat much breakfast as a kid. Sometimes I would have a bagel, or an English muffin, but usually I didn't even eat anything. Now I love it, and try to eat as big and well rounded one as I can. Today I had a kiwi, strawberry yogurt, rosemary scrambled eggs, and rosemary wheat bread with butter. Eggs were pretty simple.

Sauce Bechamel

As one of the four "Mother Sauces", I use this quite a bit. Â I use the recipe from the Joy of cook, although it can be modefied in quite a few ways. Combine in a small saucepan over very low heat:    1 1/4 cups milk    1/4 onion with 1 bay leaf stuck to it using 2 whole cloves    Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg Simmer gently for 15 minutes, and then discard the onion.
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