Thursday, May 07, 2009

vini, vidi, vace!

Vace Italian Deli
3315 Connecticutt Avenue
NW Washington DC 20008
(202) 363-1999

What's better than a couple good friends, a rainy day, a great movie, and a couple yum-azing pizzas? Almost nothing, that's what. Go, see, and eat some pizza from Vace!

Crust: Not thin, not thick. Strikes the perfect in-between balance.
Sauce: Slightly sweet, just like I like it.
Cheese: Ample, fresh, gooey.
Toppings you shouldn't miss: Pepperoni - sliced fresh from their deli.

Thanks, CC, for showing me some of the District's finest!

NPR's $10 Recipe Challenge

Forget Sandra Lee - NPR's got the money-saving, food-making game all wrapped up. Check out this awesome list of $10 recipes (including a decadent Mac-n-cheese by the Neelys, a skate dish from a former Navy Chef, and Jose Andres' family favorite stew):

How Long Can You Go? $10 Meals

Thanks, H, for sending this my way!

From a post I did a while ago, "Ten Meals for Ten Bucks," here's one of MY favorite $10 recipes!

What to buy:

Barilla PLUS Thin Spaghetti, 1 lb. $1.75
1 5 oz. pkg. Stella Parmesan - $4.49
3 lemons - $3.00

Total: $9.24

What to do: Put a large pot of water on to boil, and add at least 2 T. salt into the water. Meanwhile, grate the entire block of parmesan, and juice the lemons, taking care to remove any seeds. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, plus 1/4 C. olive oil, plus 1 t. salt and plenty of black pepper. When the pasta is al dente (about 9 mins), don't drain it - instead use a tongs to move the pasta from the boiling water to the bowl with the lemon juice/olive oil. When pasta has been combined with lemon juice and olive oil - add 1 C. pasta water into the bowl. Toss until absorbed (2 mins), then begin to incorporate about 1/2 the grated parmesan (you can use the other half of the parmesan to top each individual plate, if you like a lot of parmesan, which I do). Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

sunday at noon: more sandra lee

THANKS Food Network! Just what I have always wanted...MORE SANDRA LEE. I've been thinking for a long time: if only I knew of more ways to throw myself at my dinner guests while serving them near inedible food and toxic cocktails...

This Sunday at noon, the Food Network is debuting a second show hosted by Sandra Lee. This time, it's called "Sandra's Money Saving Meals." I'm all about saving money on food, so, under most circumstances I feel like I'd be all about watching this show.

As I have documented in the past, I really can't explain how much Sandra Lee bothers me. If you're new here (welcome!), this should help explain it: I just did a search for Sandra Lee on YouTube. The following "suggested searches" came up:

sandra lee drunk
sandra lee semi-homemade
sandra lee hot
sandra lee bikini
sandra lee cake
sandra lee beach
sandra lee cocktail

Le sigh. Anyway, I am curious to see what this new show is all about, and whether or not it will soften my harsh views on her or fan the flame...The only thing I think Sandra Lee likes is, well, more Sandra Lee.

Monday, May 04, 2009

pasta with brown butter & parmesan

I'm not doing my butt any favors with this one - but the simplicity and just plain YUM of this pasta are worth sharing, swimsuit season be damned. This is one of those recipes that I remember eating when I was knee high (with alphabet pasta and parmesan from a can)...except this version uses an upgrade on all the ingredients, and a simple twist on one ingredient. These small changes produce something that is at once complex and familiar, elegant but comforting. Enjoy...

Pasta with brown butter & parmesan
Prep time: 0
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

You'll need:
8 oz fettucine or spaghetti (DeCecco fettucine in the nests is my favorite)
4 T. good quality creamery butter
1/4 C. parmesan, fresh grated

Here's how:
First, put a pot of water on to boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add 2 T. salt. Boil pasta according to package directions (if using fresh pasta, this will only take 2-3 minutes, dried will take longer).

Next, in a skillet over low heat, melt the butter. Let the butter foam. Swirl it around once or twice, then put the butter back on, and let the butter foam again - this time the foam should be golden yellow (will take about 6-7 minutes for the butter to go from solid to golden)... When you see this foam, remove the pan from the heat - you should be able to smell it now. If you burn or over-cook the butter, discard it and start over.

When the pasta is ready, use a pair of tongs to transfer the pasta from the boiling water to the pan with the brown butter in it. Toss lightly. Place in serving bowls, and top with a few T. fresh grated parmesan.

Simple, simple, simple, mmmmmm...