Friday, September 21, 2007

Who cooked dinner?

How do you get someone else to cook dinner? It's quite easy really........

I have it on very good authority (I won't divulge a name!) that I do not have an ideal kitchen for cooking. So when you start making dinner and you are chopping with the wrong knives on the wrong type of chopping board (despite having been told years earlier by same person that wooden boards harbour germs), you are trying to cook pasta in too small a pan, and you ask for advise on ingredients it's so much easier for the expert to take over and give you a cooking lesson. I know my place, I'm much better at keeping down the washing up and clearing the kitchen afterwards. As I explained, as far as Embee is concerned a meal should be thrown together in about half an hour!!! Oh I nearly forgot, you need to make sure the cook has a kir royale at her side, but watch your own glass as it might disappear before your eyes when the chef's own supply has run dry!! The end result was a very tasty pasta dish adapted from a Cookiecrumb idea over at I'm Mad and I Eat.

photograph copyright sam breach
3 finely chopped leeks
5 rashers of English bacon
2 gloves garlic (minced /fine chop)
1 tbsp butter
~ saute together slowly over medium heat with lid on, until leeks are soft
~ turn heat to high for last 2 mins cooking time to crisp the bacon.

~ meanwhile cook pasta in salted water, drain, keeping some of the pasta cooking water.

~ toast a handful of crushed walnuts in a dry pan until golden

~ mix together: 1 cup or so white breadcrumbs, finely chopped parsley, grated parmesan, black pepper. Add a slug of olive oil and stir with crumb mixture until just moist.

~ Stir a glug of double cream into the leek mixture & grate in a little nutmeg. Add the pasta, with liberal glugs of reserved pasta water to keep moist and stir well to mix up all the ingredients evenly.

~ If your pan is not ovenproof, transfer it to one that is and then top with the breadcrumb mixture and put under grill (broiler) until the top is golden

Serve with a glass of champagne.

photograph copyright sam breach
There was a little over and Embee has his lunch ready for tomorrow!!

Lessons Learned: (I have to show the cook I've un-learned what she previously taught and remember all this new stuff- not sure if this old brain box will retain too much -it's a bit like a sieve collects every thing but then lets some things drain away!!)

* use chef's knife, not pairing knife
* glass chopping board will blunt knives- use wood or plastic
* no oil in pasta water~ oil will stop sauce sticking to pasta.
* toast walnuts to bring out the flavour
* keep pasta water to thin out pasta sauce
* breadcrumbs ~ add a great easy crunchy topping to all sorts of dishes ~ a great way to use stale bread. Other ways to use up breadcrumbs include soaking in egg and mixing with sausagemeat for farcis stuffing or for Ajo Blanco.

I think I will be making this again and trying it with a different pasta.

No archive 2006

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At 21/9/07 12:07, Blogger Beccy said...

I think I'll be making it too.

At 21/9/07 13:30, Blogger Asha said...

Oh yum!! Both look gorgeous,I would love to have the first one right now!:))
Have a great weekend Chris.

At 21/9/07 14:54, Anonymous Lisa said...

Looks great, Chris.
You are a great Mum to defer to your daughter's cooking skills! (I don't know if I'd be able to in my own kitchen.)

At 21/9/07 15:06, Anonymous nikki said...

My stomach is now grumbling.

At 21/9/07 17:06, Blogger Steffi said...

Your recipe sound really delicious and you make me hungry!Yummy!

At 21/9/07 17:28, Anonymous Karmyn R said...

If I had someone cooking for me every day, I wouldn't mind cleaning up the kitchen so much!

Looks very tasty. (I learned about no oil in the pasta water about a year ago - and just recently started saving my Potato water for the homemade gravy - and NOW will start saving the pasta water to thin the pasta sauce!)

At 21/9/07 18:51, Blogger her indoors said...

wow i want to eat that now please, didn't know about the oil in the pasta so thank you for that one.

At 21/9/07 19:40, Blogger ChrisB said...

beccy I think you would like it.

asha It was the lovely crunchy topping that made this so tasty.

lisa I'm much better at being the assistant so I'm happy.

steffi it was good wish I could have shared it with you.

karmyn I shouldn't boast but she is such a good cook. We always use vegetable water for stock and gravy.

her indoors if you ever get this way I'll put it on the menu!

At 21/9/07 20:40, Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Eeee! I am so... honored!
Glad you enjoyed this humble pasta dish.
I'm especially atwitter that Sam whacked it into shape.
Oh, hell. Now I want some.
But I've just picked an eggplant from the bush, so it looks like Chinese food today.

At 21/9/07 21:30, Blogger ChrisB said...

CC there was nothing humble about it, your version was more than good but I have to say we also enjoyed this one as well. This evening we had traditional Fish and chips just to take Sam down memory lane washed down with more champagne!

At 21/9/07 22:53, Blogger sillysausage said...

cookiecrumb - we didn't change it to knock you in to shape, but to use up some things we had in the house that needed using, that's all.

(shhhh - I think fatted calf bacon is more tasty than English bacon)

At 22/9/07 01:47, Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Oh, that might even be cuter (and perhaps as inappropriate, personally speaking) than "Cookiecrumb."
More champers, say I!!!

At 22/9/07 01:52, Anonymous swampy said...

Wish I had the ingredients to make that...guess I'll go have Ramen noodles and beer.

At 23/9/07 15:45, Blogger Sally Lomax said...

No I'm confused. My mother in law and sister in law tell me off for using my large wooden chopping board - harbours germs.

Jamie Oliver doesn't use chooping boards at all uless for fish and chicken and uses wooden work surfaces to chop straight onto.....

Sam says wood or plastic....

Who do I believe???!!!!

At 23/9/07 20:19, Blogger frannie said...

I left a comment a while ago, but it isn't here--- not sure what happened.

I said that Sam could have free room and board in Atlanta, if she would give me cooking lessons.

At 23/9/07 23:28, Blogger Sam said...

sally - I work directly on the wooden work surface at home - but mum desn't have a wooden work surace which is why I suggested a board.

I know the glass ones ruin your knives - and judging by mum's knife collection - that can't be denied!

At 23/9/07 23:34, Blogger ChrisB said...

sally she's right about the knives but really good ones cost a fortune so I had better try and get these sharpened.

At 24/9/07 05:02, Blogger my4kids said...

Mmmm that looks and sounds good but I'm not sure what "5 rashers of English bacon" is?


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