I watched Jacques Pepin make a dish on public television that was so appealing for a cold weeknight, a casserole of pasta baked with peas, corn and diced French ham in a simple beschamel with cheese sprinkled on top. He put it in the broiler–one of the most overlooked part of your kitchen, according to Mark Bittman–to brown a warm, cheesy crust on the top, and voila! Gooey and liquid inside, contrasting crisp. Countryish warm fuzzy feelings abound.
Of course, I have been discovering all the classic French sauces with the help of my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and am scandalized by the amounts of butter and fats they require. I just have never cooked (aside from baking) with that much butter before. My immediate thoughts: was I really eating that every time I went to a French restaurant? Was that why it tasted so good and…French? So when I felt like coating my … Read More
Food that looks as good as a summer’s evening. And it almost was, after the temperature reached seventy degrees this Saturday in New York. I put on a light sweater and headed outside, with the tune from Amelie in my head as I strolled over to Fort Greene Park, thinking of the scene about the man who buys a chicken every day and cooks it with great care and tenderness, savoring the moment he bites into the oysters. I had … Read More
This was a leftover dish. It might not sound like one, but every ingredient used down to the parsley was already in my fridge for various reasons and past uses. It was so perfect, that because I didn’t have pasta, I decided to make pasta myself. I had flour, eggs, and salt…I even had fresh rosemary that was going to dry up soon. Dismissing the fact that I had never actually made pasta before, why not?
Castellane con spinaci e fagioli is what I would have called this recipe if a)I were a real Italian person (I somehow don’t feel I have the right to name this dish in Italian since I’m not), and b) I were actually using spinach, which I would have preferred. But even though the spinach scare is officially over, and the washed, bagged leaves are back on the shelves, I’m hesitant to forgive and forget. Castellane con spinaci e coli is … Read More