Welcome to the adventures of a Culinary explorer...

Welcome to the adventures of a Culinary explorer...

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Buttery New Year

January 01, 2010 (wow, it's still kind of weird typing 2010... Ah it's like getting used to writing with your left hand), I ventured out to make a tangy hot pasta in butter sauce.

Let me tell you, Julie Powell is right-- one can never have too much butter. Today I learnt, butter tossed in a hot skillet will drag every member of the house sniffing straight to the kitchen. I guarantee it.
This was the first time I cooked in butter, and I will be doing it again. I wanted to combine tangy flavors with the resources I had (I didn't go grocery shopping with a perfect little list and measurements, I simply had an urge and bam... miracle).
First I warmed an empty skillet, tossed in the butter, and here I realized the butter quickly liquefies into a bubbling brown, great smelling, soup. I panicked, I thought the butter would take longer to melt because it was frozen. But we learn. So I slowed down the burner to low, and added three chopped tobasco yellow peppers and some of their bottled juice. This caused the hot butter to erupt into its own showcase of rapid fireworks, almost spitting the tangy juice out in tiny painful pricks on my stirring arm. I was boss, and it was time the butter accepted that.
After the butter cooled down a bit, I added salt, (a little too much) black pepper, dash of red chili flakes, lemon seasoning, a bit of lemon juice, and stirred.
Next, I sliced an onion, added that in. I covered a tomato in olive oil, wrapped it in foil, and set it to bake in my nifty little toaster oven (which I got on Black Friday with my friend Rebecca for an unbelievable steal of $8!) for about 15 minutes.
Here's another thing I learnt today, baked tomato smells entirely different from a fresh one. It also looks uglier... But smells very... toasty, for say. After the tomato was done, I peeled the plastic-y skin and chopped the mushy pulp for the sauce.
And now for my second favorite ingredient- Sweet potato! I baked one full sweet potato, peeled it, cut it in little cubes, and added them in too.
Fact of life: Butter+Sweet potato= DIVINE!
This whole time, I also cooked the pasta in very salty water (this I learnt while watching Food Network. Always cook your pasta in water as salty as ocean water. The result: a crispy flavor to the plain pasta by itself. I'm a person who nibbles on a few pasta pieces after they are drained, and always tell myself that one day I will make pasta only to eat it plain. It's scrumptious!), and after it was done, I added the pasta to the slowly simmering butter sauce.
My mom, brother, and I had a plate each, and didn't talk to each other unless it was a quick compliment spewed out in the time it took for the fork to gather the buttery goodness on the plate to the already full mouth. They loved it, and I was very content.

It wasn't perfect, definitely need a few alterations, but what I am sticking to is the butter.
One food phobia conquered this New Year Day, and I make a resolution to conquer one food phobia at a time, as Jeffrey Steingarten would say, in order to become a better omnivore.


Anonymous said...
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Coulter said...

ahhh next is to move up the butter ladder....