Pasta Carbonara

I like to think of pasta carbonara as a kind of macaroni omelet.  Yes it is as delicious as it sounds.


It’s pasta AND eggs?
This recipe has been a family favorite for years.  My mother has perfected it to an art. However this was my first experience making it. 
To make it you will need some pig product (ham, prosciutto, speck, taylor, etc.), eggs, grated cheese and cooked spaghetti. Make sure that you cook the pasta in advance because the recipe really cannot progress past step one if you are waiting on the pasta.

The trick to this meal is how fast it has to be cooked. So you need to have everything ready when you start.

Begin by taking some eggs (half a dozen is enough for a pound of pasta, or, as I learned, four is not quite enough) and separating them.

Three balls of sunshine and one massive disappointment

Next take your ham product and cut or tear it into small strips.

Fry them. Fry them all!

Mwahahahaha!

Ahem.

The next few steps must happen in quick succession and require both hands so I have no pictures for them.

Sorry.

In rapid succession, while stirring and in this order add:

  1. Pasta
  2. Oil
  3. Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
  4. Egg Whites
  5. Cheese
Let that cook while stirring constantly. Once the egg whites are fully cooked, add the yolks and mix in thoroughly. Once they are cooked, take the pan off the burner immediately.
Whew!

Serve right away because this will tend to congeal after a few minutes.

Well worth the effort.

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Midnight Snack

Between getting home and going out, I had almost no time to cook today.  So I took the moment when the rest of the house was silent and made myself a quick midnight snack: Bananas and Peanut Butter.

You will need a banana and some peanut butter

Apparently I am incapable of spelling banana right the first time

Cut up the banana and place it on a plate with a sizable dollop of peanut butter. Eat with fingers (and a handy napkin).

This one required meticulous planning

Gnocchi in a Red Wine Reduction

Tonight we will be making a red wine reduction with onions and mushrooms.

Better than it looks

I decided to try to make gnocchi as well, with limited success. You can find a better recipe than I could give you here.

Mine ended up slightly less…coherent that I had hoped.

But for this post, I want to focus on the sauce I made to go along with the my gnocchi of dubious consistency. To make this, you will need mushrooms, onions and a largish glass of red wine.  Begin by sweating the mushrooms, by sauteing them in a dry sauce pot until they begin to produce liquid. It will honestly look like they are sweating.  Its kinda cool to watch. The reason for doing this is that it facilitates the dispersal of the mushroom flavors into the rest of the dish.

You can see the sweat much better in person

Once the mushrooms are good and brown, add in a finely diced onion and mix it in. Now let it sit.

No seriously, don’t mess with it. Just add some healthy seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic and basil)

So hard to resist stirring!

 Now add your glass of wine and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer until it is reduced to almost a paste.

The wine is, of course, only ever used for cooking.

 Mix in your gnocchi and serve

Tuna Melt Dip

This is a dip variation of the classic tuna melt sandwich

In order to make this delectable mixture, you will need two cans of oil based tuna, some tomato and Swiss cheese.

 Drain the tuna and place it int a frying pan with some garlic to saute it a little bit

There will be enough oil left in the cans to cook the fish.

 Chop up your tomatoes

Nothing better than fresh Jersey Tomatoes in the summer 

Throw them in the pan along with the tuna and layer the Swiss on top. Turn off the heat and just let it sit until the cheese is fully melted and then dip away!

Prosciutto with Strawberry and Olive Oil Dressing

This is a simple appetizer that is easy to make

I lucked out and was able to get some prosciutto at a reasonable price, so I couldn’t resist trying this idea out on an especially hectic Wednesday when I left the house at 6am and get back at midnight.

For this you will need bread, prosciutto, strawberries and olive oil.

Put some olive oil in a dish

Apologies for the pictures, I was too tired to set up even the half-assed lighting I usually have

Crush in some strawberries  and salt lightly

Crushing the strawberries is a fantastic source of catharsis.

Put some prosciutto on a chunk of bread with the dressing.

Simple but delicious

Clean Out the Freezer Asian Stew

Well, today was originally going to be a dumpling soup. It quickly became a clean out the freezer soup and then it became too thick to be called a soup. Thus, a stew. I honestly don’t remember everything that got put into it but it included dumplings, peas, carrot, celery, mushrooms, a green that may have been kale, a turnip, and ginger.
This seriously isn’t even everything that got put in.

 Anyway, I added everything to a pot and set it to boil until I got too hungry to wait anymore, then I cooked in the dumplings in the soup.

Easy but very thick.

Deep Dish Pizza

Here we have a recipe for an overly topped, fork required pizza. 
You will need a precooked pizza crust, a can of tomato puree, a pepper, an onion, chicken and Mexican four cheese mix.

Make a sauce (puree in a pot with garlic, salt and pepper).

Sauce in the making

 Chop up vegetables.

Choppy chop chop

 Cook the chicken.

Well seasoned, of course.

 And cut it up.

Add all of that to the sauce.

An increasingly chunky sauce.

Cook on low until the vegetables are soft, then put it on the crust and cover it with cheese.

Almost a pizza. Almost.

Follow the baking instructions on the crust container. Et voila! Pizza! 

Magically