It’s the last day of the work week, and the day in our house where we usually have no meat, and instead have food from the sea. We’re practicing Catholics, yes, but the reason we eat fish on Fridays is for health reasons. Eating fish and shellfish at least once a week is quite beneficial. In addition, by Friday, all the meaty left overs are gone. There are so many different kinds of sea food that we rarely have the same kind of seafood twice in one year.
I have always liked Linguine and Clam Sauce, but don’t make it very often. The last time I made Linguine and Clam Sauce was in 2010. As you can see, there is a lot of variety with pescatarian dishes. But, I wanted to do something a little different, and that jar of Kalamata olive paste cried out to me. It’s a good thing, the meal was delicious!
I am so happy that it is finally getting cooler in Southern California. As a matter of fact, there was thick cloud cover this morning, and I had to wear a sweater. It was a good day for soup.
After making Crab Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, I had a half a package of crab left over. I also had some cream left over from making something else. I knew I needed to use that crab, I needed to use the cream, and I wanted something warm. I have always liked crab bisque, so I decided to make that.
I had this brilliant idea when looking in my pantry and spying a can of Great Northern white beans. I didn’t have that much cream, and I really wanted the soup to be filling. To compensate for not using real crab, or real crab stock, I added a little anchovy paste for flavor. Both additions worked beautifully. Honestly, if you wanted to, you could omit the cream completely, as the beans do a fine job of thickening without all those calories.
I used to make bread every week when I was Chef Farion‘s roommate, simply because he liked to have bread with his meal. I’m not that much of a bread person, seeing that at the time of this writing, I had to make a new category for bread. Well, today that is going to change.
My wonderful neighbor gave me some Lemon Basil this morning, I looked at it and said to myself, “Yes, you are going to put this in bread!” Then I thought that tomato goes so well with basil, and I have tube of tomato paste in the refrigerator. I am going to make three doughs, one with basil, one with tomato paste, and one with roasted garlic. Then I am going to braid them together, sprinkle sesame seeds on top, and throw it in the oven. I think it will be good. We will see!
I like making bread for a few reasons:
I know what’s going into it.
Kneading is a good way to relieve stress. Take out your aggression on the dough!
The wonderful smell of bread baking is second to none.
Finished bread gives you the feeling of a job well done.
Spane examining “Caesar” the tomato paste dough ball
Bread is a great science project for kids. Kids can learn about yeast, and how the yeast is alive and how it makes the bread. If you are lucky, like I was, your child may volunteer to do some of the kneading for you. Spane was so happy to do it that he even named the tomato dough, “Caesar”.
So, a few weeks ago I was at the market and there was a package of Uncle Ben’s Taco rice in the Manager’s Special section. I thought, hey, why not? It might be good. I prepared it according to package directions on Tuesday. When Spane tasted it, he made a face. I tasted it, and I made a face, too. I even put Tapatio on it, and sour cream, and it still tasted like dirty, old socks. Mind you, I’ve never tasted dirty, old socks, but I imagine they probably taste like that rice – horrible. Moral of the story, don’t by Uncle Ben’s flavored rice.
After that debacle, I was determined to make good Mexican rice, but my stove, Bertha, is on the fritz. I had to find another way to make it.
I also had a pork loin roast, and I wanted to marinate it, but, it too, could not be roasted in Bertha. I had to find another way for that as well.
When I made Risotto with Mushrooms and Saffron on Sunday, I had risotto left over. My friend Josef called me and said he would like to bring a friend over to discuss some business, and I offered to make lunch.
The first time I heard about Risotto Rice Balls, I was watching Lidia Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italy on my local PBS channel, and they looked wonderful! I looked at the recipe on the Internet, but I did not have Ragu. I did, however, have left over Italian Fennel Pork Chops that I thought I could make into a nice stuffing.
Even if a child does not like spicy food, presented with the prospect of pepperoni pizza (or pep-e-on-i as the toddler set says), a child happily stuff his or her face with it.
I like pizza, too, but some time ago, I decided that I did not like meat on pizza anymore. Margarita pizza is the one for me. I like to make my own, with a little help from Trader Joe’s (more on this later).
So, I wanted pizza, and I also wanted chicken, but I don’t want meat on my pizza. What to do, what to do? I know! Create Pizza Chicken!
This is basically fried chicken fingers with sauce, but I must say, it really fulfilled my desire for pizza.