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Pasta Tahdig

When I first saw this recipe in the NYTimes I knew I had to make it. It sounded so simple and I love when I make pasta al forno and the pasta gets all crusty. This sounded similar to that crusty-ness but a lot more of it.

Pasta Tahdig (Adapted from the NYTimes)

1lb spaghetti
2 c homemade tomato sauce
1 c parmesan cheese (grated)
olive oil

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and add back to pot. Mix with 2T olive oil, tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Heat a 10" skillet. Add 3T of olive oil. Add pasta. Press it down with a spatula. You want it to form a dense cake-like blob. Brown for 20 minutes. Be sure to move the spatula under to ensure it's not sticking every few minutes. Add more oil as necessary. The oil should be bubbling a bit up the sides. Carefully drain off the oil. Using a pizza pan (or other flat surface such as a pot lid), flip the pasta cake out of the skillet. Put the drained oil back into the pan and slide the pasta cake back into the skillet. Again brown for 20…
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Grilled Octopus

Grilled octopus is so delicious. It seems so intimidating to make, but it isn't.

Grilled Octopus

8qts water
1 c white wine
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, cut in 3
1 rib celery, cut in 3
3 whole clove garlic
3lb octopus
olive oil

Place water through salt ingredients into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes.  While water is coming to a boil, clean the octopus. You might need to remove the innards from the head (more than likely they have been removed already). Cut the octopus head right below the eyes. From the lower part of the body find the firm piece and remove (sometimes called the beak). You might need to cut in with the tip of the knife to find it. Cut the eye section from the head. With a mallet tenderize the legs and body of the octopus (a few whacks should do it). Now you should be ready to cook the octopus.

Lower the water to a simmer. Gently lower the octopus in body into the water. Keep in the water for 3-4 seconds. Pull it back out.…

Butterscotch Pudding

I followed this recipe without any changes (I must be going soft). At first I wasn't going to do the salted caramel (it did say optional after all). Then I thought well it's not often I make pudding (which I don't know why I don't because pudding is really good stuff) so why not go full on. Well I do have to say the caramel does add that little something extra. The pinch of salt on top also adds.

I do like the receipe process of adding the cornstarch to the egg yolks and egg. It ensures a smooth consistency. I've made another butterscotch pudding but I think I prefer this one. For the pudding when I added the heavy cream and milk, I did have to put it back on the heat to melt the caramel. With the sauce, I had a similar situation but not as bad.

FBF - Have Oats Will Travel

I've previously posted about the overnight oats. What I didn't mention is that I use these for travel. I omit the maple syrup and use brown sugar instead. I also omit the vanilla. I pack them up in little sealed bags, bring a spoon, and a plastic container. As long as there is a refrigerator in the room, I'm all set for a good breakie. Instead of those awful hotel breakfasts.  Often the hotel has containers of milk for sale or if not, there's always somewhere selling milk close by.

Quinoa Chocolate Brittle

How can you make quinoa unhealthy?? By adding chocolate and eating a lot of it you say?? Why yes that is how. I saw this receipe quite some time ago - almost a year in fact. I don't know why I waited so long! It is quite addictive.

I used mixed quinoa and only used almonds (I didn't have any cashews). It is a bit gooey and I found it keeps better in the refrigerator. This might not be a bad thing because at least it is hidden from view. If it weren't, I would be eating even more of it!

Lemon-Spice Visiting Cake

This looked like a nice simple cake. Rather pound cakey (the Sous Chef's favorite!). I had some lemons; I had some heavy cream so why not?!

Lemon-Spice Visiting Cake (Adapted from NY Times)

1 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1 t ground cardamom
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t sea salt
1 1/4 c sugar
1 lemon (with zest)
4 eggs
1/2 c heavy cream
2 t vanilla
5 T butter, melted

Optional glaze:
1 c confectioners sugar mixed with about 2T fresh lemon juice & zest
1/3 c marmalade mixed with 1/2 t water (warmed to make easily spreadable)

Grease & flour a loaf pan. Set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom, ginger, and salt. Set aside.

Add sugar to another bowl and zest the  lemon lemon over the bowl to capture all those oils. Rub zest into the sugar with your fingers.  Set lemon aside. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add 3T of juice from the lemon.  Add vanilla and heavy cream. Whisk together. Whisk in dry ingredients into the batter in two additions. Pour into prepared…

Melting Potatoes

So melting potatoes are a thing?? Apparently so. These were so delicious. They were a little crusty on the outside but soft on the inside. Two things that make potatoes taste great. I followed the recipe exactly - well OK not exactly. I used regular old russets. I also used a selection of dried herbs (actually I got them as a sample from Penzey's*)

*You don't know about Penzey's??!! This is a great company that has all sorts of spices, cocoa, and vanilla too. They often throw in some free samples with your orders. I choose to support them because, there's been a bit of a boycott (on the right) because of some of their polictal beliefs. This makes me want to buy even more things from them! Hey quality products and the same political views as me - win/win.