To those who care: Affair of Breakfast round-up will be up ASAP, promise. I’m just waiting on something…
I think I mentioned that I got a bunch of cookbooks for my birthday, yes?
Well, to be exact I received four.
These four are part of the Easy Everyday series published by Alhambra Editions. I’ve barely cooked from these yet, but I highly recommend them. So far they’re well-written with clear, easy-to-follow instructions, and feature lovely photos of the final product, as well as a few process photos. The pasta one actually features a recipe for basic egg pasta with step-by-step photos of the dough. Plus the dessert one’s got a bunch of ice cream recipes that don’t require an ice-cream maker, yay! I took a couple of days to bookmark the recipes in each book that I want to make soon, and ended up marking the majority of them in almost all the books! Plus there’s a fair bit of variety in the types of recipes, ranging from British to Thai to food from New Orleans. So yes, highly recommend, see if your library has them . The only one I’m less enthusiastic about right now is the fast one, but that still certainly has its merits. There’s also the drawback of the fact that measurements are weighted for those who don’ have kitchen scales (I’m taking advantage of my mom’s while I’m here for summer vacation, mwahaha), but you guys can always do what I used to and use online converters to translate the measurements into cup-language. Less accurate, but I’ve never had a problem doing that so far.
So I figure four books, about four weeks in a month, why not make a recipe from a different book each week of May?
Although last week’s breakfast came from the healthy book, that was made in April, so this post marks the official kick-off.
Let’s get cookin’!
So for the first recipe, I settled on a dish from the pasta book by Ursula Ferrigno. It made use of the extra whipping cream I had left over from making chocolate ganache, mwahaha =]. I’ve never made any savoury dishes using cream before, so I was looking forward to seeing how this tasted.
Rigatoni With Garlic, Chilli & Mushrooms
2 whole garlic heads + 1 crushed garlic clove
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra (to roast garlic heads with)
1 red chilli
300g/10oz flat mushrooms (I didn’t use these)
350g/12oz rigatoni (I didn’t have any, so used fusilli instead)
150ml/0.25 pint double cream (I used whipping cream, but I think they’re close enough in fat content)
salt, pepper, and freshly grated cheese to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
2. Cut off the tops of the garlic bulbs, and brush/drizzle with the extra oil. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, turning after 15 (I would actually leave them in there for a bit longer, since not all my cloves came out as mushy as desired). The outsides will blush gold and become papery.
Just cut and brushed.
3. Mince the chilli and remove seeds. Coarsely chop mushrooms, and sauté in the 2 tbsp of oil for 8 minutes. Incorporate the chilli and crushed garlic clove, cooking for 4 minutes more. We only had dried red chillies, so I used one of those.
4. Cook the pasta in salted water. While the pasta is boiling, squish the insides out of the roasted garlic cloves, “like toothpaste from a tube”. At this stage most of my cloves weren’t roasted enough to be so squeezy, but this is what I’m assuming it should look like:
5. Add the garlic mush to the chilli and mushrooms. Pour in the cream, and season with salt and pepper. Blend with cooked pasta and top with cheese.
All in all, this was a nice dish, but I found the flavours a bit too overpowering for my taste. I believe that boiling the pasta in unsalted water would remedy this. If you decide to try this out, I have one warning: it is definitely spicy!
& Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. While it shouldn’t take a special day to receive appreciation for everything you do, it certainly doesn’t hurt, eh . Hope you really felt the love today, and enjoyed time with your family. I made my mom a butter cake using this recipe (which I absolutely recommend. You need to make this RIGHT NOW.), and I don’t think she’s ever praised anything I’ve ever made more in my life. & that’s saying something since she hardly praises anything I make. It’s almost as good as cheesecake, the texture is even kind of reminiscent of cheesecake, feather-soft with a melt-in-your-mouth moistness. The slight salinity of the butter (or in my case, margarine) melds perfectly with the sweetness of the (in my case confectioner’s) sugar. Plus, it develops this absolutely heavenly little crust a delectable golden-yellow, a definite crowd-pleaser. It would probably be good to note that I ran out of eggs, and used 2 tbsp of white vinegar to replace the last one.
I’d like to send all you mothers out there a slice in celebration: