Monday, March 8, 2010

The Perks Of Blogging.

One of the nicest benefits I experience from having a blog is the fact I've had the opportunity and pleasure to make many new friends, some of whom I correspond with on a regular basis, and in some cases, actually meet. Recently, I've been chatting with a new reader who is a virtual cornucopia of information and quite the foodologist. That would be Zadig-of-Nashville. He sent me the following recipe and I made it for dinner last night. Well, of course not exactly.
Saute 3 slices of finely chopped good Tell me this isn't one of Ina's recipes.lean bacon in two tablespoons of olive oil (who keeps panchetta around?) Rosie raises hand. Guilty.
As it gets half done, add 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 red onion chopped medium fine.
As those clear, add one can of rinsed cannellini white beans (or a can of mixed beans), a can of chicken broth and a can's worth of homemade turkey consomme . Turkey AND chicken consomme. (a recipe of mine says that this recipe must be in a rich broth -- it does)
Add about two and a half cups of cooked small shell pasta. Rosie used whole wheat. YAY for me, Ticky! (BTW, Ticky is a dear friend whom I met online. She stalked me for months before I would consent to meet with her.)
A teaspoon + of each, black pepper, dried tarragon, dried basil -- I was out of fresh, Rosie has fresh! and a good pinch of fine cayenne.
Very little salt -- the bacon is already salty
A large handful of spinach leaves -- I had arrow leaf spinach with the stems chopped off
Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Here's my bastardization of Zadig-of-Nashville's fine recipe: First, I went out to my garden and picked some kale. Wash it well. Isn't that a lovely, fresh green color?
Add about a half inch of water in the pan. Turn on medium low and watch the color change.
The color gets deeper and darker. Just for an experiment, taste pieces as you go along. You'll understand a little something. You'll appreciate cooking.
I like my kale when it reaches this color. And trust me. It is not bitter at all. It tastes green. A very healthy green. In fact, you can just feel your body getting healthy when you eat it. Another one of my comfort foods.
My mise en place: bacon prosciutto pancetta red onion garlic tarragon can of cannellini whole wheat medium shell pasta spinach And in the back right is a bale of white asparagus which I was going to use (It matches the cannelloni.) but forgot.
Quart of turkey consomme and quart of chicken consomme.
From left to right, Prosciutto, pancetta, and bacon. Behind, 3 cloves garlic and red onion.
Chop onion.
Mince garlic.
Mr. Hawthorne chops through the bacon, pancetta, and prosciutto.
I heated my pan and added olive oil, heated it up, then added the bacon, pancetta, and prosciutto.
Cook slowly over medium low heat.
Cooked kale on the left. Pig parts on the right.
When the pig is light brown, add in the red onion and garlic.
Cook about 2-3 minutes.
When it starts looking like this ...
... add in the rinsed and drained cannelloni beans.
Add in stock.
I like the above and below shots.
That's a bit of the frozen consomme plopping into the pot.
Bring to not a simmer. Oh ... Maybe it can simmer once or twice.
Taste test.
Another one. Just to be sure. Yup. It's good. And I'm just gettin started.
Add two cups of whole wheat shells
My spice mixture: ground pepper tarragon cayenne
Into the pot.
Mr. Hawthorne washes and tosses the spinach.
Spinach is ready.
Spinach into the pot. Set timer for about twenty minutes.
Mr. Hawthorne scissors the kale.
Soup's looking good.
Drain the kale.
Kale into the pot.
I love the different greens.
This is coming together very nicely.
This is beautiful.
Oh my goodness. You simply have to try this.
Chop a few basil leaves.
Basil into the pot.
And here's a little bowl of heaven.
Have I ever led you wrong?
This was hearty, had lots of nice textures, and had complex yet simple flavors. Throw in some subtle and not so subtle nuances.
Mr. Hawthorne loves this and he wants it everyday for the rest of his life. Three times a day.
Well, Mr. Hawthorne. Here are two quarts to get you started. Thank you, my new friend, Zadig-of-Nashville. And Bren, a friend by association. Zadig, remind me to send you the links to two of my posts, both from The French Laundry. The first is the Sex Swing with dried bacon, apple roll up, caramel sauce, and fresh thyme. The second is the Tuna with the Ultimate Marinade. Keller would have had me take Sushi grade tuna and make jerky out of it and I just Could.Not.Do.It. So I marinated it like he said and seared it medium rare and it was God-sent. You will thank me.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Yes, that's me - the stalker - and evidently you're not the only one who thinks so. Mwaahaha!

Whole wheat pasta is your friend, and your body loves you for it.