Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tomato Sauce: The Short Version


Earlier this afternoon I made my own, home-made version of a cup-a-noodles. Much tastier, and only took a few minutes longer…

My last tomato, having been around for about a week, needed to be used, but I didn’t want another sandwich and unfortunately I have no fresh mozzarella at the moment. However, I always like to just throw some pieces of fresh tomato onto some pasta, so I thought I’d do that.

Of course, this was not the freshest tomato I was working with. Knowing that, I decided to just cook them up a little bit. I threw them into a pan with olive oil and a tasty little mix of herbs. I made a serving of pasta, heated the tomatoes in the oil for just a few minutes, threw it all together in a bowl and ate it up (of course it burned my mouth a little to begin with, because I didn’t give it a chance to cool off before I took a bite…)

(Imagine a picture here of some freshly-made pasta scattered with tomatoes

and dotted with herbs. Tried to take an actual picture, and it did not go well.)

I’m not going to detail how I cooked things, because it was extremely simple and everyone basically knows how to make pasta … but here are a few notes that might help.

1) Angel hair cooks SO fast because it’s so thin, it’s amazing for a quick meal. I almost always make too much pasta, so I adjusted for that and made what looked like too little. It was the perfect amount for lunch.

2) Use the good stuff! I have some cheap, meh-type olive oil and some good, delicious, thick olive oil. People often want to use the good stuff only for special occasions or something, save it and use the adequate but not-as-good kind instead – but let me ask you this: what are you saving it for? Unless you have something particular in mind, just use it. Especially in a dish like this, where the oil is going to be a big part of the flavor. Treat yourself. It’s not like you can’t buy some good olive oil ever again.

3) It’s your choice how long to cook the tomatoes, but if you’re looking to keep the fresh tomato taste, just simmer them long enough to warm them up and get them nice and coated in oil and spice. Which herbs or spices you use is also your choice. If you’re not sure, I’d recommend some basil. Basil is excellent for this.

Later I went to Davis Sq., so dinner was a Little Italy sandwich at Blue Shirt Cafe, followed by a mojito cupcake. Kickass Cupcakes makes, if you can believe it, some pretty kickass cupcakes.

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Ham, cheese, and tomato melt (Success)


One of the perks of no-recipe cooking, aka throwing whatever random (to some degree) foods I have on a plate, is that I’ll often get a meal together in 5-10 minutes, depending on if it’s something I can eat cold or not.

Last week I managed to make a really delicious sandwich with only a few ingredients and my oven. It was inspired by a panini or two I’ve had over the course of many years… yes, apparently, I love ham sandwiches. Not as much as chicken, as I’m sure you’ll learn if you stick around. … anyway, onto the anti-recipe

The ingredients: bread (two slices), cheese (it was a cheddar/mozzarella blend, but you can use whatever the hell you want. I recommend swiss or brie for this purpose), deli ham, tomato slices, mustard, honey apple butter.

Instructions: Heat oven to about 425, arrange items on bread, put in oven open faced, leave in until cheese is melted.

 

mmmmm, yeah

 

The stuff on top of the ham that looks like gravy is in fact honey apple butter from Trader Joe’s. Feel free to assemble your sandwich contents any way you like – however, if you do it this way, the apple stuff is almost like a glaze on the ham, so good, I can’t even tell you. The mustard is under the ham here, but you can put it anywhere you want, even not on the sandwich. But why would you want to do that? Just put it under the ham.

So, if you have a toaster oven, that might be a better way to go. I haven’t figured out where to set mine up, so I still make toast in my oven. Tip: if you want to warm everything up and melt the cheese, but not toast the bread, put it on a bit of aluminum foil or a baking sheet. If you want the bread nice and crispy on the outside, put it right on the rack.

 

I waited a minute or two, then put the two halves together and they just tasted soooooo good. It was really juicy. If I’d had the option, I would have used a really good artisan bread of some kind, because I am a bread fiend.

 

 

It was still really tasty, though.

 


I ate so much delicious food this weekend and didn’t keep track or get pictures of any of it. Instead I’m sharing this post about Venice by a blogger with some lovely pictures. It reminded me of the first time I was in Venice, and the delicious frutti di mare and cannolo for dinner the first night there. One of my main goals in life is to go back to Venice.

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