Thursday, May 1, 2008

good and easy

i'm currently trying to get a couple of large projects ready for their fast-approaching deadlines. yet, i don't want that to be an excuse to eat supremely poorly. well, at least not an excuse i want to use for this week anyway. sometimes when i know of impending deadlines ahead of time (as opposed to the ones that you find out about an hour or less before you have to pull some magic out of a hat..), i try to head off eating poorly with a little planning.

on wednesday night, i decided to make some larger than usual portions of dishes so that i could enjoy them as lunches and/or dinners for the rest of the week. some nights, reheating leftovers sounds absolutely wonderful, especially when i am having dinner at 10 o'clock and have no desire to do anything that takes more than 10 minutes.

earlier in the week, i had come across mark bittman's recipe for spagetti with fried eggs.

i was shocked that i have never tried this before as it sounded good and very easy. "good and very easy" are qualities that i like to keep an eye out for. in the spirit of home cooks everywhere, i didn't follow his recipe but was more inspired by it. i think mr. bittman would understand this as his recipe is an adaption from an arthur schwartz recipe.

this is something that i love about cooking....each chef or cook makes a version their own...who shares it with someone else....who in turn, makes it their own. all of these people, and sometimes generations of people, being linked because of their connection through a food. food as both an inspiration and as a legacy.

as a result of reading bittman's recipe, i decided to make a modified version of fried eggs and pasta dish using fresh porcini pasta, red pepper flakes, and arugula. as i started the water to boil for the porcini pasta, i warmed some extra virgin olive oil and plugra butter in a sauté pan...then add salt, sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes. once that was crackling and the garlic almost "blonded", i added two eggs and fried them until the whites were set. the pasta was almost done at this point as well. i then grabbed a bowl and added some arugula ...which i shred into smaller bites. when the pasta was done i put the pasta and eggs on top of the argula, added some parmesan, and tossed accordingly. it was supremely delicious and hearty.

another couple of dishes i made on wednesday evening were spicy braised purple kale and a roasted shittake mushroom wild rice pilaf. i think both of these dishes sound a lot more complicated than they really are. the braised kale was super easy as i just waited for the salted water to boil, added red pepper flakes, a couple of cloves of garlic, and the kale. for the pilaf, i took some roasted ca shiitake mushrooms and the oil i roasted them in....then added it to a to a pot with water and some wild rice melody mix (i.e., a mix of wild rice, brown short rice, brown long grain rice, etc.) that i buy from one of the bulk bins at berkeley bowl. i cooked it just like i would any rice. again, pretty simple.

i didn't take any pictures while i was doing this on wednesday night as the light was pretty dim. yet, i did take a picture of my lunch of leftovers today...

now doesn't that look pretty? you can also click on the picture to see a larger version. everything was hearty and flavorful. it is also something that i don't mind eating for a couple of days. it is nice to know that "good and easy" doesn't have to be an oxymoron.

No comments: