"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This Sunday was nice and busy but since Tucker is gone I will write the blog. Today is Fathers day so I made a simple roman dish that consisted of pancetta, egg fettucini, and romano pecorino cheese. It was a satisfying meal for the entire family (that's excluding Tucker because he is off lounging on the Costa Rican beach). And we had a delicious Spring salad from the garden with arugula and a little bit of bronze fennel which gave it a hint of licorice. As today is Fathers day, the family ate well all day - from peach pies to pancakes to pancetta. Yeah, lots of p's. Swim team starts tomorrow and that means early mornings then a harsh workout. Hmmm sounds fun, right? Well inspiring for sure, but fun? No way! Though one man's trash is another mans treasure, some times. Next Sunday I will have to cook again. Hurrah! more work for me, no I really meant it this time and come to think of it, I meant it last time too -- hard work really pays off. So now it all comes to this the blog, has come to seem like one of Aesop's tales, with a good ending and a boring moral. Dang, I knew I shouldn't have started to talk about swim team. Back to the food. I got my recipe, PASTA ALLA GRICIA from Mark Bitman, a favorite of the family on the New York Times website. Happy Fathers day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bien Viajes!

Costa Rica
     If you didn't already know, on Wednesday I'm leaving for Costa Rica for two weeks.  I'm going down with twelve other kids from my school's Spanish class.  I'm sure I'm going to have lots of fun, we're going zip-lining, white water rafting, and we're spending a weekend on the Caribbean side.  Oh... there's also a home stay.  I was wondering what Costa Rican food was like, so I decided to make two Costa Rican recipes for dinner tonight.  The first is a green mango salad, and the second is a tilapia recipe with oranges and limes.
     We're getting started late, because Dad and Cy were off at a birthday party, and I was having trouble getting started without Dad.  Luckily, they're back now and we're off to a roaring start.  The mango salad is simply sitting, and the tilapia is sitting in it's marinade.  Dinner is going to be a little late tonight.
     The tilapia is well on it's way.  On the stove top is a mixture that includes, among other things, oranges, tomatoes, beans, onions, garlic, and cayenne pepper.  It's a strange selection these Costa Ricans dreamed up.  Definitely not  a combination I would have thought would go together.  Food is very interesting.
      The tilapia is now being layered almost casserole style with rice on the bottom, the tomato/bean/orange mixture, tilapia, and the marinade on the top.  Then we bake it for twenty minutes.
     Like Italian and Spanish food, Costa Rican cuisine appears to be derived by mixing up whatever happens to be in the garden and seeing what happens.  In those latitudes, before the world changing invention of the supermarket, you probably could get fish from fishmongers, and had a tomato plant, orange tree, rice paddies and a few beans from your backyard.  It's time for us to eat.

     The tilapia was excellent, most tilapia recipes aren't that great, but this one was excellent.  The rice and beans layered below the fish were what really made it good.  But as a side dish, the mango was straight up weird.  It looked like mango, which is generally sweet and soft.  But this recipe called for green mangoes. These mangoes was crunchy and, adding insult to injury, it was salty and sour.  It seemed more like pickles than mangoes. The first of many new and unfamiliar experiences that await me!! With this dinner under my belt, I can't wait to go to Costa Rica!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weather Is Not Very Merciful

      Yesterday it felt like summer had finally arrived. It was sweltering outside, and by late afternoon I had fled to the basement with a book. When we went out for dinner our car told us that it was 86º outside (thats Fahrenheit if your wondering). Today however we are not so lucky. It's cloudy, and only made it to 70º. Despite all appearances, (including the heading at the to of this post, it's not June 5th.  Despite this strange time paradox, Cy's still going to grill.
     Cy's making burgers, and there is some sort of plan for an extravagant salad.  On the grill right now are garlic shoots. that have been covered in olive oil and vinegar.  Maggie is trying to burn her dog nose on the grill's black metal cylinder.  When she, strangest of dogs, succeeds, you can hear the sizzle from inside.
     The cooking time of fire is amazing.  Not moments ago Dad put the burgers on, now Cy is hurrying out with a metal spatula and cheese.  Cy is now slicing tomatoes and Pickles.  With the amazing speed of the grill dinner is ready.

     As always with burgers, dinner was excellent.  The garlic shoots where a little heavily charred for my tastes, thought the pea shoots in the salad were excellent.  One of my favorite things in salad is summer fruit, in this case it was nectarines.  Summer, I think, is teasing us this year with cloudy, but warm, days, and days fit for water fights and summer fruit.  We are at the mercy of the weather, and the weather is not very merciful.