måndag, februari 25, 2008

Leeks, Pasta and The Draining Lake

leeks and paste
I used to photograph everything, but have since slowed considerably as I've filled a ridiculous amount of photo cards, I hesitate to put so many images on my computer, I'm ambivalent about deleting original (which is to say, large-file) images--even goofy ones--so conserve space on the camera.

But I really need to get back to photographing things, especially food.

Lord. The Muse and I like to cook, and last night she made a gem of a dish. It was a version of Jamie Oliver's "Cheat's Pappardelle with Slow-Braised Leeks." We made a number of changes, certainly. She worked from notes she took while we watched the show rather than from the recipe, and I think her version came out brilliant.

* We ignored the porcini pangrattato.
* We used three leeks, not five.
* We used fresh (albeit store-bought) fettucini
* We used chicken broth instead of white wine (but only because we drank the rest of the white wine after glazing vegetables with it the previous night)
* We braised the leeks in butter and garlic, per the recipe, but used thin-sliced ham to create the "steam" covering rather than the cured meat Oliver recommends.

This isn't to say everyone should make those changes, but just know that's what we did in case you'd like to try this recipe. I encourage you to do so, for those of you who eat meat.

It was divine. We added to it some caramelized red onion and roasted peppers (extra from the previous night's cooking) and fresh shredded Parmesan cheese.

I just ate the leftovers--and totally without grace. It was good cold too. If you've never tried leeks and pasta, do so NOW.


I'm currently taking a break from the outstanding Halldor Laxness novel Independent People to read Arnaldur Indridason's The Draining Lake. Indriðason's Reykjavik mysteries are comparable to Henning Mankell's Skåne mysteries. (That's the southern most province of Sweden.) My friend Terry loaned me this British-English version (as the book is not out yet in an American translation). He picked it up while in Germany. It's a good yarn, friends. If you ever want to investigate Scandinavian mysteries, I'd recommend you try Mankell and Indriðason's works.

Of course, if you truly want a good dose of it, I'd encourage you to take it back a touch and read the 10 books by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. The married writers wrote ten mysteries to chronicle ten years of change in Swedish society. The books are set in the 1960s and 1970s. Good reads, definitely.


Blogger Lollie said...

Hey - did I ask you this already? Can those of the preggers persuasion eat gogi berries? Can you ask The Muse? I have a stack taunting me and I am wondering if they'll do harm if I wolf them down...

Word verification: vgergsoc - is that Swedish?

2:18 em  
Anonymous Anonym said...

Lollie -

I couldn't find anything wrong about eating gogi berries during pregnancy, but I always tell pregnant women that they should ask their doctors if they have any questions about certain foods being harmful during pregnancy. Sometimes asking the clinic dietician is more helpful, but it can sometimes be hard to track those persons down. If you do ask anyone, they might know it as a wolfberry. I didn't realize gogi and wolfberries are the same thing, but I guess they are. I found at least one suplement on the market called "Healthy Pregnancy" that had gogi/wolf berries in the ingredients, so it is at least okay in it's medicinal form. My educated guess is that they are fine, but I'd still ask, just to make sure. I've never had a pregnant woman ask me about any kind of berries being harmful in pregnancy, and I've never heard any professional tell me that they were dangerous during pregnancy, but I live in Minnesota, and I deal with a population that probably doesn't consume many berries at all, much less gogi berries. Sorry I can't give you more advice than that.


3:29 em  
Blogger j said...

i am always so jealous when you post about your culinary concoctions. sounds delish!

2:40 em  

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