Friday, January 9, 2015

Accidental Kitchen Success!

Cheers to late Friday nights! season...especially away game nights.

I hate going to bed when Tom's not here, so winter brings a lot of late nights for me.  Jude went down at 8:00 which meant a 90s chick flick and some quiet time for me!

So tonight we're discussing what happened at dinner time.

Over Christmas, when we were in Calmar with Tom's family, I made a very simple garlic cheese bread recipe that turned out pretty nice.  It's so easy it's ridiculous.  You can thank my best friend Martha Stewart for the recipe.

1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
4 cloves garlic minced (or microplaned which I prefer)
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or just oregano, and fresh if you can get it)

Mix everything and spread onto thin, diagonally cut baguette slices.  Broil until brown and bubbly.

A few days later, I decided I wanted to make a variation of this recipe for the New Years party at our friends' house.  First I added chopped green and kalamata olives, with some of the lovely brine from the jar of kalamatas.  Then I threw in some roasted red peppers, which made the mixture a pretty shade of pink.  Lastly I decided more parmesan cheese was a good idea.  The result, when broiled to a nice toasty brown on a baguette, was nice.  It was a good punch of salt, tasting really good with a glass of wine.  I might add some fresh rosemary next time and roast the garlic instead of adding it raw.

Fast-forward...I still had the leftover cream cheese mixture in my fridge (I doubled the recipe) with no intent of making more cheesy toasty things with it.  So, I decided to make it into a pasta recipe.  

*Forgive me for having no pictures.  Please take my word for it; it's delicious.*

I used linguini which worked perfectly.  The only other pasta shape I would use for this is farfalle.  Because I love it.  No other reason.

I prepared the pasta.  I always throw in 2 T sea salt and subtract at least 2 minutes off the recommended cooking time, by the way.  I want al dente.  No, I NEED al dente.  Overcooked pasta is worthless and must not be risked.

After it was done I took out some pasta water, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup, and kept it on the side.  The leftover cream cheese mixture went into the hot pot, and so did the pasta water and linguini.   I let it melt, then I added some Sauvignon Blanc (1/2 cup maybe?) and turned up the heat for approximately 30 seconds -- or however long it took my weird electric stove to actually convey heat -- and the results were fabulous.  I remarked to my mom and dad, who were there for a short Jude visit, that it could use some shrimp.  Or even better, seared scallops and a sharp hit of lemon.  If it had lobster on the side I might die.  It was good stuff.

I hope you find joy this cold, cold month.  Hang in there and remember these two promises:

1.  Mercies are new every morning.  Look out your window in the early hours.  Winter mornings are beautiful.
2.  Chocolate tastes better in the winter
3.  Spring will come.

That's three, I'm told.  Did you know that I had to re-take freshman algebra?

Have a fantastic weekend!  Love, Betsy