Category Archives: food

best of 2009: simple and yummy

I’m trying something new for me this month, a web community challenge: Gwen Bell’s The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. Find the best the year has offered me, and review, remember, contemplate, reflect, and celebrate it. There’s a question/topic each day.

A delectable suggestion for today: December 11 — New food. You’re now in love with Lebanese food and you didn’t even know what it was in January of this year.

Okay, so I haven’t tried new cuisines this year. That would be wonderful, but new ones are hard to come by around these parts. I went on a gastronomic splurge in my college and just-after years and tried every cuisine that I came by and there aren’t so many options where I live now. It’s a shame, too; I love ethnic foods. I have my preferences, but I’m willing to try almost any new food. I’ll also eat foods I don’t like all that much, not all the time, mind you, but I don’t have to all the time and sometimes it’s easier in group situations.  I was the non-picky eater growing up: I even ate liver while my siblings refused (I’m a middle child and I’ve read that trying to please is one of the traits I get from that).  And sometimes it’s good to revisit foods you don’t care for; your tastes might have changed and you will find a new fave. It’s true, though I still don’t like liver.

So my best food discovery of 2009 is a recipe idea, one that I heard on the radio during the Christmas-New Year holiday break last year or maybe New Year’s Day of this year. I think it was a food critic or a famous chef on a show I had playing in the background. The conversation was about things to offer when hosting holiday parties, dinners, and brunches. And this caught my attention: the chef said one thing he often serves that goes over wonderfully but is very easy to do is use eggs as the “sauce” for pasta.

The idea is simple: cook up some good pasta, and make a few eggs over easy. Put the eggs on the pasta before the yolks fully set. Cut into the eggs and voilà, they become the sauce and embellishment for your pasta. The chef mentioned using fresh garlic cooked in olive oil and then cooking the eggs using that, not butter. Healthier and makes a better pasta sauce. I think he also might have suggested a bit of fresh parmesan cheese and herbs sprinkled on top, too. And that’s what I remember from the show.

I’m not much of a cook. I make simple things that don’t require a lot of fuss or a lot of pots and pans. I love pasta, preferably without tomato sauce, and it’s easy to make. I also like eggs.  I’ve been practicing creating this dish all year and added in one enhancement: walnuts. Wouldn’t have thought of this myself, but walnuts cooked in garlic and olive oil are wonderful. I saw it as part of a recipe on a box of whole grain pasta a few years ago. I was supposed to be switching to whole grain pasta (wasn’t hard: it tastes just fine to me) and adding walnuts to my diet, so I tried it.  Delish!

Anyway, my basic version of my best food of the year is:

    start some pasta cooking
    mince up a few cloves of garlic
    sauté garlic in olive oil.
    add walnut pieces and cook a bit more then push to the side
    cook eggs over easy in the oil
    and finally serve the eggs and walnuts and garlic over pasta

I’ve added other things from time to time: onions go well with walnuts and garlic and sometimes vegetables end up in the mixture, too. The only tricking part is not overcooking the eggs, including timing it all so the pasta is ready and waiting when the eggs are done, or the yolks will set too much. It’s still a fine dish that way, so even the failed attempts have been yummy.