Friday, August 19, 2011

Quick lunch on a foggy summer day

I had been cold all morning and needed something warm on this chilly day, something other than a sandwich. Plus there was the fact that we had no bread. A salad is not warming and a toasted cheese sandwich was impossible. I have goat cheese that needs to be used, cherry tomatoes in the garden, basil in a glass on the counter and I always have pasta. I thought back to a recipe I vaguely remembered and entered ingredients into google. I came up with a basic plan and the photo shows the result. It was good, warm, and quick and easy enough to have for lunch.
Chèvre and Cherry Tomato Pasta
serves 1
a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove of garlic. finely chopped
small handful of basil leaves, sliced
fresh goat cheese
some extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
a couple of pinches piment d'esplette, enough dry pasta, any shape, to serve one. I used linguine

Boil salted water to cook the pasta. While waiting for the water to boil and then for the pasta to cook, place tomatoes, garlic, and basel in a pasta bowl. Pour over a small amount of olive oil. This can be done as long as an hour before cooking the pasta. Crumble some goat cheese over the tomato mixture. When the pasta is cooked, drain, saving some of the water. Immediately add the pasta to the tomato mixture and toss. The cheese will melt to coat the pasta. Add some of the reserved pasta water to make the sauce formed by the melted cheese the consistency you like. Salt and pepper to taste. Add piment d'esplette to taste.
This is very rich and I ended up with more than I could possibly eat for lunch. The big eater in our household happily finished it even though he doesn't like chèvre.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Clam Chowder

A friend of mine unfortunately had to have a tooth pulled and wasn't able to have anything but soft food that she didn't have to chew. I made her a pot of this clam chowder which is a variation of the recipe from the first Sunset " Best Recipes" cookbook.

Clam Chowder
6 slices of the best bacon you can find. Mine was from the Corralitos Market
A little more than a pound of potatoes, la ratte or Yukon gold, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cans clams
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups whole milk
Fresh thyme
Salt pepper

Cut the bacons into lardons and brown over medium heat in a large pot. Remove bacon from the pot and add onions to the fat. Cook until almost translucent. If there isn't enough fat from the bacon to cook the onions, add a tablespoon of butter to the pot. Add potatoes and thyme. Stir and cook for a few minutes longer. Add liquid from the clams. If there isn't enough to almost cover the onions and potatoes, add water until almost covered. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. Melt the butter, 3 to 4 T, add the flour, and cook until bubbly. Slowly stir in 1 1/2 cup milk and cook until thickened. Add the thickened milk to the potatoes. Stir in the clams and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste. If too thick, add more milk until the chowder is the consistency you like.