Thursday, May 07, 2009

What's Cookin? Spaghetti Carbonara

Have you ever felt like you knew something was about to happen and then the next day it did? That's what happened to me yesterday/today. I'm not ready to talk about it yet, and it's nothing majorly bad but I am disappointed none the less. It's just weird that I felt it coming.

Moving on...

This weeks outstanding dish was spaghetti carbonara. Simple recipes are sometimes the best and the proof is in the way they go back for more...and more.

Carbonara can be a little bit intimidating I think for the average cook-putting raw eggs into a hot pan with pasta worries some people-mainly because they don't want to have scrambled eggs. Truth be told, it's not all that difficult and if you have the guts to try it once, you'll see what I mean. Here is my simple recipe for Chicken Carbonara. It serves 4-6.

1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed
1 # Bacon, cut into thin strips (lardons)
2 T. Olive Oil
5 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 # Spaghetti (I used whole wheat and it was great!)
1/4 C. Grated Romano Cheese
1/4. C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 Scallions, chopped
Garlic Powder

Traditional carbonara doesn't have chicken. However, I had one chicken breast left over and needed to use it, and I found that it truly made the dish tastier. You could leave it out if you want a more authentic dish, but I think you'll be sorry you didn't try it first.

1. Season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Brown in a large saute pan in the olive oil. Add bacon and cook until it is crisp.
2. Meanwhile boil and cook the pasta to al dente.
3. Whisk eggs and cheese in a bowl. Season with pepper (liberally) Set aside.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and dump it into the pan with the bacon. Using tongs, mix the pasta so that it's coated in the fat and the bacon and chicken are incorporated. Immediately add the egg mixture, stirring the entire time until it resembles a creamy sauce.
5. Add scallions and test seasoning. Adjust and serve immediately.

If you don't feel comfortable doing the egg step right off the bat, temper the egg mixture with a tiny bit of the pasta water...a few Tablespoons will probably do the trick.

I served this with garlic bread and because we always have a green veg, broccoli. Several helpings were had by most. I hope you'll enjoy this just as much as we did.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Big Game...Which We WON

I know that yesterday I promised to be back today with Toosdae ?'s. Well...a little thing called a 2 hour rain delay caused that not to happen. I also said I'd give an update about the game, but didn't get to that either. I'm here now though, so that's all that matters!

The plan on Monday was to meet my father at his office (close to NY border) and then drive to the Bronx from there. I thought we were taking the train, but it turns out the platform isn't ready yet and therefore is not running. In any case, my youngest sister and my parents and I hopped in the car and made our way down to NY.

The entire time we were listening to the radio to see if the game would be canceled. It had been raining all day and was slated to rain even more all night. Upon our arrival, we still had not heard whether or not they'd play.

My father wanted to take us to dinner before the game and had planned on taking us to the Hard Rock which is built into the stadium. Predictably, there was a long wait-about 1 1/2 hrs! Lucky for us my Dad's connection is a season ticket holder so we decided to go to the sports bar...but when we got in there, we decided we didn't like the food. So...up we went to the Audi club for drinks and dinner. The view from the club is really great. It's very open and airy there and also, expensive. $65 for the dinner buffet...we definitely got our money's worth though. The game was delayed 2 hours and we sat in there the whole time, staying dry and warm eating lobster tails (my Mom had 6!) and petit fours while all the other schmucks were getting poured on! Our server was very, very nice and he really liked my Dad. About and hour into the delay he came over to my sister and I and asked us if we wanted more beer-and that he wasn't going to charge us because my Dad was such a nice guy. (He tipped well, and in cash.) So, we got free beer!

I took a few pictures in the club. Mostly of the food-at one point I looked at my plate and decided that it pretty much summed up my "culinary point of view". What do you think?

Yes, that is a lobster tail and a hot dog on the same plate. And yes, it was perfect. (Admittedly this is my father's plate. I took a photo of mine which looked almost identical but was half eaten. I thought this would be a better picture!) The food at the club was really good. It was buffet style, but with individual stations with chefs cooking the food pretty much to order. I only didn't like one thing and that was a salmon burger and I am iffy with salmon anyway. Even my sister who eats like a bird had several helping of food AND dessert!! That's proof the food was great.

These little babies were (almost) orgasmic. I'm glad they weren't though, 'cause I was with my Dad and Mom and that would have been mighty awkward!

See that orangish one in the back? O-M-G. It was an explosion of mango mouse in your mouth and let me just say, I could eat those forever. My mouth is watering right now even thinking about it!! The green one was also fantastic-you'd think it was lime, but NO! Pistachio! My family are big pistachio fans, so that one went over big too.

Below, my Mom, Dad and Anthony watch anxiously as the tarp is removed from the field. Then reapplied and removed once again. I have to admit that I jumped up onto the booth, raised my arms and let out a "WOOOOO!" when the game was on!

We went down to our seat just in time for it to downpour again...

We realized that HELLO! we should take a photo with the stadium behind us...

Only one person was rude to me, and it was a waitress who thought she was cute. Everyone else was super nice. The stadium is nice, but honestly, it doesn't blow me away and it strikes me as an excessive cost for nothing. The old stadium was fine...I was expecting it to blow me away, but no...just like any other stadium really. The seats are comfy though and it seems like there are no bad views. That's definitely a plus. Overall, the stadium isn't really "user friendly". We had trouble navigating and got the run around from staff when we tried to find where we had to go. But, like I said, they were very nice.

There were a few Sox fans scattered in the same area as me, but none of them were as LOUD as I was. In the first inning I jumped up, knocking over my purse and umbrella, and was yelling and cheering. I settled down after a while, mainly because I was sleepy! It was a great game though, and I had a fantastic time.

We ended up leaving in the 7th inning because my dad had to work at 7am and at that point, it was already midnight. We ended up staying in a hotel near his office-sleeping in just what we wore that day, no toothbrushes or anything! But, we were exhausted (and still are).


*Seeing my sister eat!
*Lobster tails, Filet Mignon, Hot Dogs and Petit Fours.
*Free Beer
*Staying dry while everyone else had to wait in the rain.
*Creep, creep, creep!
*Pulling a pretzel out of my pocketbook.
*Hearing my (tiny) sister tell a mean looking guy to "Chill-no, seriously-CHILL!" and seeing him recoil, and then hearing him shut up. (Thank GOD!)
*Knowing she told him that because she thought he was yelling at me b/c I was a Sox fan (he wasn't).
*And of course, winning...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Out of Town

In about an hour and a half I'll be hopping a train to the Bronx. I'm in CT with my Mom, Dad and littlest sister and tonight I (obviously a Red Sox fan) and them (not) will be going to the new Yankee Stadium to watch our favorite teams battle it out.

I'm actually quite excited because usually when we go to games together, it's me, going to Yankee stadium without seeing my team play. So I'm happy that we'll all get to watch our teams play together. Plus, I'm kind of excited to see the new stadium even though I hear it's excessive and over done, it's still neat.

And baseball is baseball, no matter who's playing.

So, I'm off-I'll be back tomorrow with Toosdae ?'s so be sure to come by to answer 'em. Have a fantabulous day everyone!