Friday, October 24, 2008

tgi motherf**kin' f

i was so so soooo looking forward to about 7pm tonight when my night of autumnal/pre-winter bunkering down could begin in earnest.

the only thing getting me through an epic friday was being able to fully anticipate being in my flannel pjs, with warm soft-centred chocolate pudding cakes baking away in the oven, eating a giant bowl of tagliatelle with sauteed radicchio and bagna cauda, topped with a fried egg.

then we're going to watch "the wild chef" on the food network...which is becoming something of a friday night tradition 'round these parts. it's martin picard's (of montreal's wildly celebrated au pied du cochon) show, which sees him off in the wilds of quebec hunting and eating random game and fowl prepared a la campagne with rough chopped natural herbs and liberal doses of fat in a makeshift kitchen hauled from the city, or over a wood fire. it's not the best...his halting command of english really hampers the flow of the show and you can tell that he would be a much more genial and tv-worthy host in his native tongue, but there's something inexplicably alluring about cooking in the wild and it tugs at my culinary heartstrings.

while we're doing that, i'm going to finish working up my costume and perhaps start on the dotytron's or finish my stupid giant mittens so i can start a new knitting project and get a leg up on holiday knitting for gifts. i've lost my drive to knit recently...i'm uninspired by how giant and unwieldy the mittens are going to be and i'm disinclined to finish them...but since i'm such a dogged finisher, i won't let myself start something new til they're done...so the conflict between my OCD and my perfectionism is gumming up my motivation. the costume is turning out pretty cute though, if i do say so myself. handmade costumes really are the best.

the pasta tonight is one of my absolute favorites, and is based on a recipe from nancy silverton (i loves me some silverton). i pulled it from her book, "a twist of the wrist" (it's actually the cover recipe though mine won't be as pretty) which is about using some of the high quality canned and jarred and prepared goods available today to make fast and easy dinners. we all know how much i loves me some bagna cauda too. it's great to have some of it kicking around in the fridge to drizzle as a warm dressing on salads, or dress up a sandwich, protein, or simple steamed veggies. she provides a recipe for it, but i don't bother...it's so simple it's really to taste...i'll give my rough approximation at the end of the post.

here's a pic of my glorious panzerotto from last night to make your stomach growl:


here's a pic of tonight's dinner:



the dotytron made the warm chocolate pudding cakes (really easy, one bowl recipe). i topped it with a scoop of this mint ice cream i made in the summer with some of our bumper (accidental) mint crop.

there's also going to be a new installment 'round these parts. i call it: "a tale of two starters." i'm going to give a scaled-back version of nancy silverton's grape starter a try. the original version in "breads from la brea bakery" has you feeding that thing THREE TIMES A DAY for A MONTH. THREE TIMES A DAY!!! that's like having a biga baby! completely not feasible and way too labor intensive. i'm going to try daily feedings instead and i scaled back the proportions. she had you making almost 2lbs of starter, half of which was discarded each time you fed it. kind of wasteful.

here are the pics. this is day 1. tepid water, unbleached organic white bread flour, organic grapes smushed up in a cheesecloth bag.



the only thing i have to do for the next few days is make sure it's warm enough and just monitor it and let the microbial action and naturally occurring yeasts on the grapes and in the flour to ferment.


to hedge my bets, i made a more standard, restrained starter using just tepid water and whole wheat organic flour. this one should come along a little faster than the grape one. whole grains tend to have a little bit more microbes on 'em than white flour (so i've read).


with any luck, the next batch of no-knead bread will have some sourdough flavour and i can start expanding my bread horizons.

fin.
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bagna cauda

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 c. olive oil
1 T. (or thereabouts) oil-packed anchovies...i usually use about 6-10
10-12 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 lemon
black pepper

chop the anchovies and garlic pretty fine. add to a small pot or pan with the butter and the olive oil and heat on low heat until the garlic smells slightly fragrant and mixture is hot and bubbling. turn off the heat, add the zest of 1 lemon and squeeze in the juice of the lemon. season liberally with cracked black pepper.

- i store leftover of this in the fridge in a ramekin of glass container with a lid and re-warm and use as necessary.

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pasta with bagna cauda, radicchio, fried egg
adapted from nancy silverton's "a twist of the wrist"
- serves about 4

3 heads radicchio
chili paste or dried chilies (to taste)
1 lb. egg tagliatelle
1/4-1/2 c. prepared bagna cauda
4 eggs
pecorino romano or parmesan cheese for grating on top

- thinly slice radicchio and saute in a bit of olive oil and chili flakes/paste until wilted
- meanwhile, cook tagliatelle in a pot of boiling salted water
- when the pasta is cooked, toss with the wilted radicchio and bagna cauda and a little bit of the pasta cooking water to loosen. season with salt and black pepper to taste
- fry 4 eggs in olive oil (sunny side up)
- divide pasta between bowls, top with fried egg and grated cheese.

see! so easy!!!

1 comment:

kitsch:in:sync said...

can you please name your starters romulus and remus(since they'll soon both smell like they've been suckling wolf teet before creating the empire of rome[or, in this case, the sourdough equivalent])? i guess the more restrained one would be remus since romulus ends up killing remus when the latter encroaches on the former's territory.