08 January 2011

Two from Husband

So, what was your New Year’s resolution?  Personally, I think it’s all a stupid game--be a useless slob and generally bad person all year, then sit around hating yourself for it on January 1st, resolve then (and only then) to be a better person in some impossible ways, and repeat.  I have friends who cleverly get around the guilt part of this by resolving to “have more fun” or “drink more” or “piss off someone at work”, but that is also sadly playing into the game, isn’t it?

Alright, I’ll make a resolution--I resolve to let my husband cook more of the meals.  Not really--I love cooking, and in return he does scary things like climb on the roof and tedious things like prune the fruit trees.  But I couldn’t think of a good introduction to a couple of recipes featuring his hidden cooking talents.

These recipes are pretty stereotypically man-like: simple, comforting, and pretty fatty.  I love them, and while I also love fussy things like smoked salmon with capers and lemon-dill sauce and escargot, there is something very satisfying about eating a huge pile of pasta and undercooked brownies, too.

These recipes are both form the horse’s mouth, but don’t worry--I got permission to print them here.  I think.

Easy Carbonara

Celebrity chefs have come up with all kinds of fussy ways to dress up this dish, but all the roasted chicken and pancetta in the world doesn’t make it any better than this.  

2 eggs
¾ cup grated Parmesan (the cheap powdered kind in a canister is fine)
1 cup frozen peas, 4 slices bacon, well-cooked and crumbled
generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
enough stick pasta for four

Cook the bacon.  Last time we baked it in the oven, only we lowered the temperature to 350° F and used parchment paper instead of foil.  Cook pasta according to directions on package in salty water.  Place the frozen peas in the bottom of a colander and drain cooked pasta over them--this heats them up without overcooking them so that they’re still sweet.  Return pasta and peas to cooking vessel.  Working quickly, crack eggs over pasta and dump in the cheese, crumbled bacon, salt and pepper.  Stir like mad so that the eggs form a creamy sauce and you don’t see any raw bits floating around.  This recipe serves four, but we usually eat it by ourselves.  Then you can skip dinner.

Jason’s Fudgey Brownies

This is loosely adapted from Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her? By Betty Rae Frandsen, et al.  A delightful guidebook to not setting your first apartment on fire and managing to get some nutrients into your pitiful diet from 1983, it actually does have some good guidelines in it.  Definitely subscribes to the Midwestern palate, though.  What makes this recipe uniquely Jason is that the brownies are totally undercooked, so his editing of cooking temp and time are crucial.  Have a spoon ready, and DO NOT remove from the pan until you are about to put one on a plate.

I topped mine with leftover cranberry sauce
and Greek yogurt for breakfast.
1 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
½ cup cocoa
1 ½ cups flour

Melt butter and mix with eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl.  Add the dry ingredients and stir well.  Pour into a greased brownie pan (9 ½ x 13 inches) and cook at 300°F for about 18 minutes.  It will appear wet in the middle but with a solid skin over the top; remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan before cutting.

Good job, Jason!