September 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
Cacio y pepe
Cacio y pepe is a comfort meal, but also a happy meal, a lazy meal, a girlfriend meal, or a meal for one. It is so simple- success is based on both method and quality of ingredients.
Wendy (who really needs no introduction if you’ve met her once) has a weak spot for anything involving carbs and cheese. I love her for it. She told me about this dish she ate almost every night when she was in Italy and we endeavored to re-create it together.
A few notes- do as I say and not as I do and get everything prepared before you start cooking the pasta. Find the right cheese- try a cheese shop, the deli on Granville Island, Whole Foods, or a decent grocery store. Measure the ingredients the first few times to get a feel for what the ratios should be. And be careful if you’re planning on saving some for leftovers- it’s impossible to resist and really much better fresh.
6 ounces pasta (I use spaghetti)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (good quality pepper actually makes a difference)
3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Season it with salt – it should be a bit saltier than the ocean (I’ve always wondered exactly how salty it’s supposed to be). Take out a large mug and place near the pot so you don’t forget to reserve the pasta water.
Grate the Granda Padano and the Pecorino into separate bowls.
Add pasta to the water and cook until two minutes before tender. Reserve about a cup of water, then drain the pasta in a colander.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy pan over medium heat. Add pepper and cook about 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to your heavy pan and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, gently stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove the pan from heat and add Pecorino, again stirring and tossing until cheese melts, the sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.
May 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
We all need a little ray of sunshine right now. Salmon with mango will do it. The good news? It only takes 20 minutes.
Wild Salmon with Mango Salsa and Brown Rice
This doesn’t even really need a recipe- make it once and you’ll know how you like it. Everything can be made ahead of time, or prepared in under 20 minutes. It’s colourful and healthy and an easy go-to meal.
What you’ll need to do:
Turn on the oven to 350
Mix up a marinade:
Miso paste, one large spoonful
Sesame Oil, a few drops
Soya Sauce, a few drops
Rice wine vinegar, a few drops
Brown sugar, around a tsp
Put the marinade on your salmon fillets- if you have time, bring salmon to room temperature with the marinade for 10 minutes. If not, just put them in the oven. Set a timer to check at 10 minutes.
Put on some brown rice (I use the 10 or 20 minute par-boiled version- the nutritional information is the same and I just don’t have an hour to make rice!)
Mix up some Mango Salsa
1 alafuto mango, dice it up (any mango will do, but alafutos are so sweet and flavourful)
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 of a red onion, finely diced (optional)
Handful of cilantro, chopped roughly (to taste)
Good sea salt and pepper
Check your salmon. You want to take it out when it’s not quite opaque- it’ll keep cooking when it’s out of the oven and you want it to be moist!
Put brown rice on plate. Place salmon on rice. Place mango salsa on salmon. Eat and enjoy!