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Big Cook Little Cook Pictures
- Represent (someone or something) in a photograph or picture
- Form a mental image of
- (picture) visualize: imagine; conceive of; see in one’s mind; “I can’t see him on horseback!”; “I can see what will happen”; “I can see a risk in this strategy”
- (picture) a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface; “they showed us the pictures of their wedding”; “a movie is a series of images projected so rapidly that the eye integrates them”
- (pictural) pictorial: pertaining to or consisting of pictures; “pictorial perspective”; “pictorial records”
- Describe (someone or something) in a certain way
- Heat food and cause it to thicken and reduce in volume
- someone who cooks food
- Prepare (food, a dish, or a meal) by combining and heating the ingredients in various ways
- (of food) Be heated so that the condition required for eating is reached
- prepare a hot meal; “My husband doesn’t cook”
- English navigator who claimed the east coast of Australia for Britain and discovered several Pacific islands (1728-1779)
- large: above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent; “a large city”; “set out for the big city”; “a large sum”; “a big (or large) barn”; “a large family”; “big businesses”; “a big expenditure”; “a large number of newspapers”; “a big group of scientists”; “large areas of the
- Of considerable size, extent, or intensity
- Of a large or the largest size
- boastfully: in a boastful manner; “he talked big all evening”
- Grown up
- extremely well; “his performance went over big”
Winter Spaghetti with Broccoli & Portobello
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I got a blender for my birthday, and it’s really been paying off. I’ve been wanting to explore soups and sauces for awhile now and after reading Thomas Keller’s advice on soup I decided it was high-time. So the first soup I made was something I called "Three Root Soup" and I’ll write that one up after a bit here, but the second go-round was less planned. I was making pasta sauce as I usually do and decided to throw it in the blender.
This was the result!
2-4 T. olive oil
2-3 T. bacon fat (or 1/2 cup of pancetta rendered)
2-3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 head of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 – 1 T. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
A pinch of sugar…
1 large portobello mushroom, diced
1 large portobello mushroom, sliced
1 T. butter
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes (get fresh if you’re making this in the summer)
1/2 white onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1-2 cups broccoli, quartered
This recipe is mostly inspired from an investigation into trying to make vegetarian dishes that taste amazing. I’m not a vegetarian, but I do believe that humans eat too much meat these days, so I’ve taken up the challenge of attempting vegetarian dishes that stand up to any dish, no excuses. Also, because I love vegetables.
So the first thing to do is get the sauce together. It can be made ahead of time and this yields enough that I’d recommend packing it away anyhow. I usually start pasta sauces with three crucial elements. Fat/oil, aromatic (in this case garlic), and heat/spice (red pepper flakes). This way you’re flavoring the oil with the intensity of whatever robust flavors you want.
Heat up your bacon fat, or render your fatty pork in a large skillet over medium heat. Then add your olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic. When the garlic is just starting to turn brown, throw in the onion. Make sure the garlic doesn’t get past golden brown and then throw in the mushroom and the balsamic. Continue to saute; once the mushroom is about 3/4 of what it was add your carrots. Now saute this for a good bit, making sure the carrots release a little sugar and the mushrooms soak up some of that tasty fat/garlic.
After that pop in the can of whole tomatoes and start mashing them with your wooden spoon. Don’t worry too much about size here but you want them opened and cut up so they trade flavors. You might want to turn up the heat just a notch or so here since now we’re working with a sauce instead of a hash of sorts.
About 10-15 minutes in you should have what looks like a pretty rustic pasta sauce. This is good, so taste it. It’s probably not salty enough, so add the parmesan cheese now. Taste it again, if it needs a bit more salt add some more cheese. It probably needs something else though, that something is sugar. Add a pinch. Better? Don’t add too much but sugar will help. You can add some fresh cracked black pepper as well. Interact with your food here and tweak it, it’s the difference-maker.
Once it tastes up to snuff, throw it in the blender bit by bit and get-a-blendin’. Taste it again, it’ll probably be better because it’s more homogenous now. You can still tweak the taste here, maybe it needs a bit more balsamic, or olive oil! Who knows, but you’ve gotta feel your food. Don’t be afraid, just make small changes and test. Now onto the pasta.
PASTA & ETC.
I like thick spaghetti here for this sauce. Because the sauce is blended pretty well, spaghetti or any noodle is a nice choice for a lot of coverage. Ideally I’d love bucatini in this recipe, but sadly America hates bucatini. I have no idea why…
First off though, take those slices of portobello mushroom in a skillet over medium heat with a T. of butter and give them enough space to cook. Think of these guys like strips of meat. Brown them on both sides, toss with some salt and fresh-cracked pepper and you’ll be eating these like candy.
Boil a big pot of water into a raging boil. Next add a handful- yes a handful of salt. It should taste like seawater. I’m not kidding. To save time, you can actually blanch the broccoli right here in the same water you’re going to cook the pasta in. So just throw the broccoli in, after no more than 2 minutes, get it out with a slotted spoon. If you’re picky about color, throw it in an ice-bath to stop the cooking process, otherwise just leave it out on the cutting board like I do.
Next throw your pasta in the water. Now, I’d of loved to make my own pasta here, but I’m still working on making my own noodles taste proper consistently. For this thick spaghetti it should take around 5-7 minutes to cook. Fish out a noodle from time to time and bite it. Look at it. In the center you should see a faint bit of lighter color, it’s pretty much done there. Turn off the burner, pour the pot into a colander and put the drained pasta right back into the pot you were cooking in. Put a cup of sauce or whatever you prefer back into t
My life as it is now, my kids, the new house, the pets, the nature and big out doors and the first picture is the bridge we crossed on the way here.