Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pesto Wars

Today turned out to be simply yummy for me as I tried honing my experimental cooking skills in the kitchen the entire day today. What with half a kilo of fresh basil leaves, half a kilo of fresh marble potatoes, a huge head of fresh iceberg lettuce, and a bag of fresh strawberries (emphasis on fresh!) I had no choice but to make something out of them before it all spoils. Apparently, a friend of mine who went to Baguio had a blast buying fresh fruits and vegetables given the really cheap price tag attached to it. I'm not one to complain, though. It's fresh, healthy, and would allow me a more diverse menu for the week. Best of all, it's free! Provided, of course, that I drop by said friend's place and cook her up a meal or two of whatever I manage to whip up in my own kitchen. Fair deal, I say. Thanks, Emily!

Today's specials were: my version of a fresh garden pasta, marble potato salad, and strawberry milk. I bet this would have been better if I knew a bit of French and if I had one of these babies to snap photos with:

But, then again, words are all I have. For now. So, sit back and relax as I'll run you through with the menu.


Vegetarian Pasta
1 part onions, coarsely chopped
1 part basil leaves, finely chopped
1 part tomatoes, sliced to strips
2 parts iceberg lettuce, coarsely chopped
Olive oil

Pre-heat 2 tbsps. of olive oil. Add onions and sautee until almost caramelized.
Add tomatoes and wait until soft but not mushy.
Throw in iceberg lettuce, followed by penne and basil leaves.
Mix then serve immediately.

It is essential to note that the lettuce should still be crisp (not wilted and soggy) by the time you serve it. Not only does it add color to your pasta but it also helps maintain that fresh vibe you want to exude out of it. Plus, wilted lettuce leaves taste bitter and you would not want too much of that, would you? Also, as you might have noticed, I used a generous amount of onions as it contributes to both the sweetness and the bite of the meal, more than enough to scrimp on seasonings or eliminate it altogether. But, sure enough, no one's stopping you. Same goes for meat. Of course, if you want more meat into your pasta, you may actually add some, though you might want to rethink the name soon after. For my first attempt, I added diced crabsticks and it turned out real great!


Marble Potato Salad
1 part butter
1 part cornstarch
3 parts quickmelt (cheddar) cheese, shredded
4 parts milk
1 part onions, coarsely chopped
1 part basil leaves, finely chopped
Lots of marble potatoes, boiled then halved

Melt butter in pan then follow with cornstarch and milk. Mix thoroughly until cornstarch is melted and let simmer until liquid thickens.
Carefully add shredded quickmelt cheese and mix until dissolved.
Throw in onions, basil leaves, and marble potatoes. Lightly season with sugar, salt, and pepper.
Mix then serve immediately.

Following my roommate's advice, I usually mix pre-heated olive oil while I melt my butter as to prevent it from being burned. I served this to my roommate and my landlady and they were all praises! I have to say that I enjoyed it as well.


Strawberry Milk
2 parts milk
1 part strawberries, diced then crushed

Mix both ingredients then throw in microwave at High for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve.

This is my own take on the more popular sliced strawberries and cream medley. I wanted something warm today for a little pick-me-up drink so I figured it would do. It was not what I expected - it tasted like strawberry tea with milk - but I loved it, nonetheless!


I would have wanted to go for pesto pasta and a strawberry milkshake today but having no food processor or blender at my place, I knew I needed to be more creative. My roommate and my landlady being the judges of my work, I have to say that these would actually pass as food in my books! Yay!

Photo Credits:
[.] Cutting Basil by Michelle Meiklejohn
[.] Canon EOS 7D by The Digital Newsroom

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails