07 March 2007

My dear Broccolini, where have you been my whole life?

Ben made dinner last night - which means WE made dinner together. Baked salmon (seasoned before I got to his place, so I have no idea what was on it - but it was good) and sauteed broccolini. A very simple meal for a very simple evening, but, nevertheless, very tasty. He isn't a huge fan of the broccolini since he's more fond of the florets than the stems, but he knew that I liked them, which is why he purchased them the last time he was at the market. I have to say that the broccoli stems are my favorite, which is why I prefer broccolini or Chinese broccoli over the traditional broccoli you find in the produce section of the market. I like the crispness of the stems, in addition to the fact that the little green bits from the florets always get stuck between my teeth (like that elusive pepper).

Tonight's menu is just a mish-mash of what I have in my fridge. So much to choose from! I have veggies (grape tomatoes, celery, carrots, green bell pepper, asparagus, yellow onion, pearl onions, garlic), fish (tilapia, flounder, shrimp), one chicken thigh (bone-in), bacon, tofu, tortellini, half a jar of tomato basil pasta sauce (Paul Newman), dried pasta, in addition to my herbs and spices and oils and etc. etc. etc. Here's what I came up with: Pasta Carbonara (using tortellini instead of plain old dry pasta) and a side of roasted veggies (grape tomatoes, pearl onions, and asparagus spears with a garlic and herb butter), perhaps I'll also toast up the last of my tomato-basil bread as well. Since it's still the middle of the day (not even lunch yet, and I still have a trip to the gym or the runners source before I even start cooking dinner), just picture it in your head and a picture will be up later today. Here's a quick recipe though:

Tortellini Carbonara

2 oz. bacon or pancetta
extra virgin olive oil
3 egg yolks
a splash of milk or cream
a handful of parseley, chopped (or 1 tsp of dried parseley flakes)
1/2 c. grated parmesan or romano cheese (or both)
1 pkg. tortellini (for 2)
black pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Throw in tortellini until they float to the top. Cut bacon into strips (crosswise). Cook in oil until translucent (do not burn). In a bowl, mix yolks, milk, cheese, and parseley. Toss cooked tortellini (quickly - this will cook the eggs). Add bacon and black pepper.

Roasted Veggies

veggies of choice (I used grape tomatoes, asparagus, and pearl onions)
a few cloves of garlic (minced)
mixed dry herbs (your choice - an herb mix would also work well)
enough melted butter to coat all veggies (or extra virgin olive oil)
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt butter in a small (oven-safe) pan over med-low heat. Add garlic and herbs. Stir. Add veggies and toss to coat. Salt and pepper pan before transferring to oven. Cook to desired done-ness.

UPDATE: Later that day. . .

So. . . dinner went off as discussed above (earlier today when I was starving - just before lunch). It was okay, but not the best. The veggies were a little over done and the tortellini a little underdone. I ended up not having dried parsley (or fresh parsley, for that matter), so I ended up seasoning with an Italian herb mix instead. All in all, not bad for cooking and watching a movie at the same time (Marie Antoinette).

I even had enough time to make cookies before I was off to buy myself a new bathing suit (TYR - so I can get my swim on at the Y).

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