Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend dump

Hi all, it's (can you contract it and has?) been a while. I've been under the weather in a very counter-gastronomical way. As we all know, olfaction is essential to the dining experience. Well, I have a sinus infection, which basically cuts that out all together. On top of that, the thing has crawled through my Eustachian tube into my ear and I've got a nasty case of otitis media, which as we all remember from our childhood, is a major appetite suppressant. Needless to say, I've had few encounters worth reporting in the past couple of weeks. Also, having disease so close to my brain makes me worry that I'll write things that are too loopy. Still, so that I'm not forgotten forever:

1. About once a month Z and I succumb to the urge to get Pillsbury pastries--either biscuits or croissants. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the ease, or maybe it's that obviously artificial buttery warm gooey chewy quality. In any case, when we do the latter, I like to place a little bit of cheddar in the triangles before I roll them up. Maybe you would too?

3. Warm Tasty Nuts. So, we needed to get some unsalted cashews a while back for a Chinese recipe we were cooking. As a result of this I discovered that unsalted cashews, by themselves, are terrible. The other day I hadn't eaten and my body wanted some kind of protein, but it also did not want to go outside. The solution was to roast my own cashews in some salt, paprika, and pepper. The result, as noted above, was some warm tasty nuts. They could have been better, and I'll mess around with the spices, but this is a fun thing to do that takes 3 minutes, seems like a fancy treat, and makes almost zero dishes (the small egg pan rinses pretty quickly)

2. Simple sauces. I liked those nuts so much that I decided to expand the idea to oil. I don't have any fancy glass bottles with spouts into which I can place things that I would like to infuse my table oils with, but I thought, heat speeds up molecule motion, maybe it'll speed up infusion. Well, no I didn't, I just typed it there, and I think it sounds kind of dumb. Anyway, I wanted to have a simple linguine with oil dish so I crushed some garlic (I didn't feel like chopping it) and threw it along with some red hot pepper flakes into a small pan with a bit of heated olive oil. After maybe 2-3 min. and a bit of stirring I poured just the oil over some pre-cooked noodles. It was a lot tastier than just plain oil!


Eric said...

That's a lie about the cashews: I actually prefer unsalted to salted. But RAW unsalted notes are terrible. Roasted, unsalted cashews (available at Trader Joe's) are a delicious alternative for those freaks like myself who aren't huge salt fans.

For roasting and seasoning your own nuts, I love this recipe--which apparently is originally from Union Square Cafe--that I've used from the Washington Post:

Eric said...

Also: by "chopping garlic," do you mean, like, with a knife? You should invest in a garlic press. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

k said...

eric, garlic presses are obnoxiously difficult to clean. do you know of a secret way around this!?

Eric said...

Yes, I use like a bristly dishwashing brush. Push the bristles through the holes of the press under running water and--voila!--all the garlic goop left behind in the press comes out.

CaseyMustPie said...

you can contract it and has