Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lou's Most Excellent Sausage Sautéed Spaghetti

This goes up there with true, genuine, man/dude/guy food. Quick, easy, and hearty. It ranks up there with crappy lo mein eaten while drunk. In fact, if I were drunk eating this I'd swear it'd be the best thing out there. And really only four ingredients, not counting the oil. Recipe is for one person.

Since we're moving to France in a month I'm trying to clean out the fridge and cupboards. It's amazing what you can come up with.

Spaghetti (1/6 of a box)
2 sausage links of your choosing, about ¼ pound (I used Elgin)*
1 clove garlic, halved
Grated Parmesan cheese
Canola oil

*Recommended sausages: Polish, Czech, even a real (i.e., contains veal) bratwurst.

Cook the spaghetti to al dente as per directions on the box in heavily salted water. Cold shock it (i.e. run cold water over it) when you drain and set aside.

Halve the sausage links lengthwise. In a small skillet add about 1 TSP of canola oil, the garlic, and the sausage and cook over medium heat until browned on both sides, about 6 - 8 minutes.

Remove the sausage from the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and add the spaghetti (IT WILL SPATTER - be careful). Toss the pasta around in the oil and let sit to allow it to crisp up, about 2 minutes. Toss it again and repeat this process about 3 times, or to your own desire.

Cut the sausage up into bite-sized pieces and add into the pan for a final toss. Transfer into your favorite I-use-this-bowl-to-inhale-food bowl, generously sprinkle with Parmesan, and go to town.

Variation that would work: in the spaghetti fry add a whole egg and scramble it up while sauteing the pasta. Mmmm. Could even sub American cheese singles for the Parm. Let it melt on the pasta, then mix it all up. Oh boy I'm hungry now.....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lou's Most Excellent Cast Iron Steak

Much like what I did in my Steaked Salad recipe, this takes it to a new level and is good for small cuts of steak...such as that from buffalo.

Buffalo NY Strip steaks, about ¾ inch thick
Salt & Pepper (or Montreal steak seasoning) hour before cooking.......

Remove the steaks from the fridge, quick rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim some of the visible fat off the steaks, about a scant ¼ cup worth, and reserve. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper or the steak seasoning. Set steaks on a wire rack and let sit for one hour, uncovered, room temperature.

Preheat the cast iron skillet to medium for 5 minutes. Add the reserved fat and "render" it for about 10 minutes, meaning, gently cook the liquifying fat out of the solids. Discard the solids keeping the liquid fat in the pan.

Crank the heat up to medium-high. [For what it's worth, my stoves burners go up to 19,000 BTU so medium-high on mine might be high or medium on yours.] As soon as the fat begins to smoke, add 1 TBS of butter per steak. It will immediately bubble and start to brown. Get ready.....

Add the steaks and try not to get fat burns on your arms doing this; tongs are advised. Sizzle for two minutes; tilt the pan to swirl the fat around.

Rotate the steaks to their sides as seen in the pictures - cook like this for about 30 seconds on each side (lateral ends excluded).

Flip the steak to the uncooked side and cook for an additional minute, tilting the pan to ensure equal fat distribution. When removing the steaks, swirl the top of the steak in the pan quickly to soak up some fat.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lou's Most Excellent HFS Garlic Hummus

I can't believe how crazy-stupid-easy it is to make hummus. To think I've been buying the inferior crap at the store all these years. Shame! SHAME on me! This said it makes a mess. Cutting board, food processor, etc. BUT...well worth it.

This makes A LOT of hummus so if you've got a party happening, great. If it's just the two of you get ready to hate hummus by the third day. Recipes I found called for very little garlic (which I changed) and I think a spash of paprika helps too. Lemon juice is critical. Most recipes called for 1 TBS of lemon juice, I think 2 TBS is better along with some zest.

2 cans of chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
½ cup of tahini
½ cup of good extra virgin olive oil
1 TSP kosher salt
1 TSP hot paprika
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
Juice from two large lemons
Zest from half a lemon

In your food processor add everything all at once, minus the chickpea liquid. Blend the shit out of it for about 2 - 3 minutes. While blending, add in about ½ a cup reserved chickpea juice so the hummus takes on the consistency of...hummus.

The longer you blend, the smoother it gets. [Duh.] I think I wound up going 4 minutes but experienced the law of diminishing returns on that.

Serve in a bowl with extra olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika (optional). Dip anything you want (assuming it's edible) into it. Cucumbers, radishes, pita, carrots, celery, etc.