Wednesday, December 2, 2009
This time between Thanksgiving and the December holidays is a busy one. Parties, shopping, giving, and more all happen on top of the rest of life Dinner still needs to get on the table so here are a few ideas to help make the season go a bit more smoothly.
In today's NY Times, Mark Bittman writes about cooking your pasta like risotto. He lets the pasta slowly absorb stock after a quick saute with fresh mushrooms. The 15-20 minute cooking time is about the same as boiling a pot of water and cooking pasta the traditional way. It's the method that differentiates the dish, creating a rich dish with sauce that clings beautifully to each noodle and coaxing flavor out of the stock that you normally don't get in pasta. He throws in boneless chicken thighs the last few minutes but I think shrimp would be fantastic too.
Holiday shopping-are you done? I haven't even started! Russ Parsons, in today's LA Times, puts together his list of gifts for the cooks in your life. I love anything Russ writes so I may just print his list, cross off what I already have, and pass it along. Some of the best ideas?
--The carnivore in your life should have a great instant read thermometer
--Every cook you know should have a Microplane zester
--The big ticket item that will last a life time is an enameled cast iron Dutch Oven, like a Le Creueset
For some of my own favorites, click here
I love poaching fish in a flavorful broth (remember Halibut all'Aqua Pazza?). Not only is it quick but it ensures moist and juicy fish that is well seasoned. A simple salad and crusty bread for dragging through the bowl and you've got dinner. Today's Washington Post has a recipe for Cod in a Fennel Tomato Broth. Any fish would do, even shellfish like clams and mussels or a mixture of a couple favorites.
Happy Reading and Happy Cooking. I'll do my best to try and keep you sane over the next few weeks, at least as far as food and cooking are concered.