Sunday, October 4, 2009

Easy creamy lemon pasta

This one is so easy that I honestly didn't believe it the first time I tried it. In fact, I have complicated it significantly since I first tried the recipe. I really wanted a light fresh cream sauce, and I was astounded at how easy this is. The lemon juice actually curdles the cream turning it into this lovely light and lemony cream sauce. The thyme is the perfect accompaniment. And depending on what you add into this one, this recipe can take as little as the amount of time it takes to cook pasta.

Creamy lemon pasta

Enough pasta for 2 people
1 cup cream
2 tsp lemon juice
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
3 tsp thyme
Olive oil
Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish

-Saute the lemon zest and the thyme in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
-Add in the cream and cook until it is reduced a little.
-Add in lemon juice.
-Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-Coat pasta with sauce.

Serve with any of the following.

-Chicken breasts cooked with lemon juice and thyme cut into small pieces.
-Slightly wilted baby spinach
-Sliced proscuitto ( I recommend you add this to the sauce at the last minute)

Or you can do what I do and add all three. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add any or all of the ingredients above to accommodate any number of picky palates.

Forays into gourmet looking cooking

While I was in California this August I spent some time with my brother-in-law's fiancee. I have always liked her and was happy to get a little time alone with her. Recently, she found out that she has a rare bundle of allergies (the condition has a horribly unpronounceable name but for the life of me I can't remember what it was) that slowly makes her esophagus close up. When it closes too far they have to inflate a balloon in her throat in order to make it open up again. Now, I haven't experienced this myself, but I'm told that not only does this suck royally but it is also dangerous and can lead to tearing of the esophagus. Not good. So her only real recourse is to take steroid inhalers and avoid the foods that cause the problem.

You may think well, that's obvious you know you're allergic to something avoid it. But here's the problem. There is no way to tell what she is allergic to without having expensive allergy testing done. Also, some of the things that are bad for her are so common that they are almost impossible to avoid. Like onions. I know I would have a problem living without onions I can only imagine how hard it must be for her. Now luckily she can eat the biggies, dairy, meat, and gluten are all ok.

When we were in Cali we went out to Maggiano's for dinner and poor Katie had to order her own specialty things to eat. Though, the chef did seem pleased to finally have a chance to do something out of the ordinary. One of the things he made was a modified crab cake that was simply delicious so, knowing that I am a foodie, Katie turned to me and asked if I could figure out how this was made. I took a few bites to figure out the main ingredients involved and decided to give it a try once I was home.

This is a really easy light and flavorful appetizer and this recipe makes enough for around 5 people. You can make it as casual or fancy as you choose. Not only is it good for someone allergic to gluten or onions but my shellfish loving father is going to be extremely excited about this as well.

Crab a la Katie
1/2 cup minced fennel
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
12 finely sliced basil leaves
12 oz lump crab
1/2 juiced lime or lemon
Roughly 1 tsp old bay seasoning to taste
Dash of garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 or 2 grinds of pepper
2 avocados 1 chopped or mushed 1 sliced into arches

Mix seasonings with crab and set aside. Saute peppers and fennel in olive oil for 2-3 minutes at medium heat. Turn down heat, add in crab, heat through. Transfer to medium bowl, add avocado and combine. Mold inside biscuit cutter/tin can etc
Serve with avocado slices.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Katie!!