The Blue Kitchen angel hair aligue pasta

26 10 2014

THIS RECIPE is so good it will make you want to reach for your cholesterol–lowering medication just by reading it.

But at the same time, it is quite simple that it wouldn’t drive you nuts to curl your culinary biceps (if there’s such a thing) a hundred of times just to build the muscle needed to whip this dish up.

Today’s six–ingredient fix is my The Blue Kitchen Angel Hair Aligue Pasta, the result of still having a stash of a bottle of The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue.  To someone not Filipino, “aligue” is simply crab fat, which if we’re being very specific, is not actually fat, but the heptopancreas, the innards that performs the function of both liver and pancreas.  Crack a crab open and it would be the stuff that lines the shell.  In lobsters, this is the tomalley.

Another one of my quick fixes involves a maximum of six ingredients.  This one features a new favorite bottled product – The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue!

Another one of my quick fixes involves a maximum of six ingredients. This one features a new favorite bottled product – The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue!

 

I made the acquaintance with The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue by way of a gift that found its way to the dining table at home.

I made the acquaintance with The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue by way of a gift that found its way to the dining table at home.

And to anyone Filipino or otherwise, I have to say that The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue is simply the best.  The operative word here is “pure”.  Topped off with just a tiny film of oil – it’s the perfect sunset orange hue, rife with the promise of almost buttery smooth goodness.  You taste the hint of saltiness – but not the salt.  They are online at http://www.thebluekitchen.com.

For this simple dish, all you need are

 

Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic

The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue

De Cecco® or San Remo® Angel Hair Pasta

Fresh Kalamansi (Small limes, or calamondin)

Millel® Parmesan Cheese (optional)

 

I add up to six tablespoons of Bertolli® extra virgin olive oil  to a heavy–bottom pan over medium heat.  I use that much oil as this sauce tends to be on the dry side, with just the pure aligue alone.  Using my handy IKEA® garlic press, I mince five large cloves of garlic directly on to the oil.  All I need is to infuse the oil with the essence of the garlic.  The moment I catch a whiff of it – which should be within mere seconds from when the garlic hits the oil – I add about three heaping tablespoons of the The Blue Kitchen Pure Aligue.  The moment the whole thing comes back to a slight bubble, I squeeze in the juice of three fat kalamansi.  All that’s left to do is to tumble in al dente De Cecco® or San Remo® angel hair pasta, which has been cooked according to package directions.  Once the pasta is completely stained with the sauce, it is ready to serve!  This one doesn’t even call for a sprinkling of salt at all.

This next step is totally optional (as I am very old school about the use of cheese on seafood–based sauces), grate – not shave! – onto this, as much Millel® parmesan cheese as you like.  Enjoy!

This has got to be one of the yummiest pastas I've ever had!  I would sometimes eat this straight out of the pan, standing by the kitchen counter.

This has got to be one of the yummiest pastas I’ve ever had! I would sometimes eat this straight out of the pan, standing by the kitchen counter.

 

All I prefer to add to my sauce is a squeeze of these fat kalamansi!

All I prefer to add to my sauce is a squeeze of these fat kalamansi!

Copyright © 2014 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Pasta as a judicious use of scarce resources

23 10 2014

THE THOUGHT of having breakfast fare three times a day frees me from the constraints of the orthodox timetable.  While it is to me the perfect excuse for all places that serve “all–day breakfast”, I find that the concept of freeing oneself from these constraints allow me to fling open the pantry and the refrigerator door and let my often scarce resources yield to my culinary creativity.

That, and feeling unapologetic for having pasta first thing in the morning.

My Mushroom Cream Pasta is obviously not timid, obviously not shy.  When I need an instant high, this is what I would OD ("overdose") on – fresh wild mushrooms in various states of doneness, swimming in cream.  Heady with the hint of garlic.  Kissed by salty goodness of parmesan.

My Mushroom Cream Pasta is obviously not timid, obviously not shy. When I need an instant high, this is what I would OD (“overdose”) on – fresh wild mushrooms in various states of doneness, swimming in cream. Heady with the hint of garlic. Kissed by the salty goodness of parmesan.

Today’s six–ingredient breakfast fix is my Mushroom Cream Pasta, the result of having a stash of

 

Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic

Fresh Heavy Cream

Fresh Cremini and Shiitake Mushrooms

De Cecco® Angel Hair Pasta

Millel® Parmesan Cheese

 

I add two tablespoons of Bertolli® extra virgin olive oil  to a heavy–bottom pan over medium heat.  Using my handy IKEA® garlic press, I mince five large cloves of garlic directly on to the oil.  All I need is to infuse the oil with the essence of the garlic.  The moment I catch a whiff of it – which should be within mere seconds when the garlic hits the oil – I tumble in the sliced fresh cremini and shiitake mushrooms.  I make sure that I keep the mushrooms – caps, stems and all – in one layer.  I allow the mushrooms to sizzle away, stirring only at the moment when they’ve given up most of their yummy juices.  At this point, I pour in the heavy cream.  If you’d ask me how precise the measurement is, I’d say, put just enough to cover the mushrooms.  The moment the whole thing comes back to a bubble, turn off the heat and tip this sauce over waiting al dente De Cecco® angel hair pasta, which has been cooked according to package directions.  Shave – not grate! – onto this, as much Millel® parmesan cheese as you like.  Enjoy!  (Before any one of you accuses me of not seasoning the sauce with salt – knowing well enough that any underseasoned food is vile – the cheese takes care of this needed flavoring.)

By the way, a word of caution along the lines of the orthodox, this time with regards to preparing vegetables.  While everything else calls for thorough washing under running water, please do not do this to mushrooms!  The best way to prepare them is to wipe them clean with a slightly damp cloth.

For the mushrooms I cook into the sauce, I'm perfectly fine with keeping the stems.  For the garnish on top, just before serving, I just use the caps.  By the way, do you notice those plimp cloves of garlic peeking from behind the earthy brown pile of umami goodness?

For the mushrooms I cook into the sauce, I’m perfectly fine with keeping the stems. For the garnish on top, just before serving, I just use the caps. By the way, do you notice those plimp cloves of garlic peeking from behind the earthy brown pile of umami goodness?

 

Six ingredients.  10 minutes to prepare.  Five (or so) easy steps.  One bowl of goodness.  You eat this and you will realize that the world is as it should be.  That all is good.

Six ingredients. 10 minutes to prepare. Five (or so) easy steps. One bowl of goodness. You eat this and you will realize that the world is as it should be. That all is good.

Copyright © 2014 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Marinara I want to master

5 05 2014

WHATEVER PROPRIETY remains in me – not to mention the little elbow room one is allowed in the caféteria – was all that prevented me from licking my Rubbermaid™ TakeAlongs™ clean of what arguably could only be the best marinara sauce I’ve ever had that I didn’t reach for from the supermarket shelf, pour on a deep dish, nuke for a minute, and then toss with breathless–in–anticipation angel hair.

image (5)

A rosemary leaf perched atop a fork-ful of angel hair in the amazing Jonathan Young Marinara Sauce.

Except that in this instance, the last two actions – nuking and tossing – couldn’t be helped. This superb pasta meal for today’s lunch is, it has to be said, a lunch box treat from a dear colleague at work – the Mr. Jonathan Young.

It’s his own recipe. And for making the huge batch that he just did (they’re hosting a pasta dinner at home tonight), he used canned tomatoes – which to me is surprising as all the flavor I got from the first bite was a smack of fresh goodness. I could tell that the generous amount of finely minced garlic was allowed to sweat much in the extra virgin olive oil, rendering the sauce with a hint of “smoky”–ness that’s not arresting, like, if the garlic had burned. And like a bouquet of subtle perfumed essence, fresh rosemary leaves dot the sauce sparingly – and in the mouth, teasing the palate here and there.

I was warned by the “Chef” that this could be quite spicy. It was, but not the kind that hurts. It was actually like a subdued flavor layer all its own. The kind that allows the tart and the slight sweetness to manifest themselves first before it creeps from nowhere, making its presence known only by a gentle warmth that encompasses the robust flavors that I now call as indeed the best marinara sauce I’ve had in years.

It’s my friend’s own recipe. No, make that Chef Young. And how I wish I could just as easily reach for it from the supermarket shelf, pour it on to a deep dish, nuke it for a minute, and then toss it with angel hair.

Rubbermaid™ TakeAlongs™ make for perfect containers to separate the pasta from the sauce.  Notice how smooth Jonathan Young's Marinara Sauce is, yet it is dotted here and there by finely minced garlic.

Rubbermaid™ TakeAlongs™ make for perfect containers to separate the pasta from the sauce. Notice how smooth Jonathan Young’s Marinara Sauce is, yet it is dotted here and there by finely minced garlic.

 

A smack on the tissue was all that prevented me from licking the containers!

A smack on the tissue was all that prevented me from licking the containers!

 

The experience, as posted on my Instagram.

The experience, as posted on my Instagram.

 

Copyright © 2014 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Capellini Pomodoro Parte Uno

22 04 2014

(Sent this to seven of my colleagues and friends who have been brave enough to try my cooking.)

ON A ‘culinarian’ whim, I had the sudden inspiration to make my “signature” “Angel Hair Pomodoro” last night.  It is one of those moments when I feel that I have the best of two things – not feeling to be under the tyranny of a strict recipe, and, being able to fling the door of my refrigerator open, see a seducing pile of roma tomatoes from WinCo (all 24 of them) and knew exactly what to do.

Only the freshest ingredients go to my basic pomodoro sauce.

Only the freshest ingredients go to my basic pomodoro sauce.

The sauce I made only has the following:  WinCo Roma Tomatoes “picked” at the “pick” of freshness as they sat in crates , Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 6 Cloves of Garlic (minced atop the golden film of oil, using Wolfgang Puck’s all–stainless steel garlic press), A Few Shakes of Ground Cayenne Pepper, and 18 fragrant leaves of Simply Organic Basil, hand–torn at the moment of addition to the gently boiling sauce.

The tomatoes were handled all by hand – cored/seeded, scored (the skins!), blanched, peeled, and roughly diced.  I have a dedicated cutting board for tomatoes (#NO_TO_CROSS_CONTAMINATION).

The pasta of choice is Barilla® Angel Hair – cooked 30 seconds shy of package instructions.

The cheese will be Stella® Parmesan, shaved not grated – bagged in Ziploc in separate portions.

My own chef wannabe ideals dictate that I serve pasta fresh the whole time – from the stovetop to the table in mere seconds.  But I’m taking a chance today J…  The pasta was cooked, prepped and refrigerated at around 2:00 AM, and the sauce was done about 5 minutes after that.  It was cooled and then refrigerated while still in the pot.  It was later scooped to the serving containers a few minutes before darting through the front door as my carpool honked.  Haha!

Unless they’re obviously in the blue GLAD, I am using now the two–compartment rectangular wonders that are the Rubbermaid take alongs J

The containers are not to be returned.  While the OEM does espouse re–using their wares, eNTeNG’s Catering Services devotes dedicated serving containers to its topnotch clientele.  You may recycle, re–use, re–purpose as you deem fit.

Every care and attention to detail have been given to the edible work of art that shall be delivered to your desk.  If you feel the sauce is not enough for the amount of pasta , please feel free to adjust just how much noodles you’d consume, to your preference.

Homemade pasta …  can be brought to you by eNTeNG.

For everything else…  there’s MasterCard.  Accepted the world over.

I spend time to prep the tomatoes well – cored/seeded, scored (the skins!), blanched, peeled, and then, roughly diced.

I spend time to prep the tomatoes well – cored/seeded, scored (the skins!), blanched, peeled, and then, roughly diced.

 

My trusty Wolfgang Puck Garlic Press!

My trusty Wolfgang Puck Garlic Press!

 

Copyright © 2014 by eNTeNG c”,)™©’s MunchTime™©. All rights reserved.