Saturday, October 17, 2009

About Goddamn Time

Yes, I know, I've been neglecting my cooking. Believe me, I've had a VERY good reason for it. A very good reason that I will not be getting into right now. But enough about that, because look! I have a new post and everything!

Anyway, I've got both a dinner recipe and a dessert recipe, should you feel so inclined to treat yourself. For dinner: Pasta Carbonara with Poached Eggs, and for dessert, Pecan Pie.

Pasta Carbonara with Poached Eggs

(Shamelessly stolen from Epicurious)
  • 2 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon or parsley
  • 1 large egg
Start off by frying the bacon in a skillet until it's nice and crispy, but hopefully, not to the point of being burnt into a blackened crisp. That would kinda totally suck a fat one, wouldn't it? Anyway, when you're done with that, dry the bacon on a paper towel, and put the skillet and the bacon grease off to the side.

Boil the spaghetti in a pot of boiling water until al dente, and while that's boiling, mix together the bacon grease and the butter in your skillet. Once that's done, mix in the cheese, the spices, your crumbled bacon and some of the water from your spaghetti (about 1/3 of a cup should do it). When you're spaghetti is done, drain it (or scoop it out to save the boiling water for your egg) and mix it in with the sauce in the skillet.

To top it off, you're gonna need a poached egg. Having never actually made one of these before today, I honestly had no fucking clue how these things worked. As it turns out, there are a couple ways to pull this off without creating egg soup. You can either pour a bit of white vinegar in the water (which I didn't do, since I, you know, didn't actually HAVE any), or you can stir the boiling water into a mini-whirlpool and then just drop the egg in the center, which will keep your egg together. Then just boil it for about three minutes to keep the egg yolk soft and runny, then take it out with a slotted spoon and serve it over the pasta.

Pecan Pie
(Stolen from...Someone. I can't remember who)
  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup of Corn Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Cup of Coarsely Chopped Pecans
  • 1 prepared Pie Shell
This next one was a bit of a pain in the tuchus. Despite baking this last year, and having it turn out perfectly, this year's Thanksgiving pie turned out...somewhat worse for wear, really. Not that it wasn't good; on the contrary, it earned some pretty rave reviews. It was just mind-meltingly delicious. The only problem was that it didn't set well, so rather than Pecan Pie, I was left with Pecan Soup. Bummer.

Anyway, the way you're SUPPOSED to make it goes like this: Whisk together the sugar, flour, eggs and butter until it's golden brown and smooth. After that, whisk in the syrup, the vanilla and the pecans and pour the delicious, golden syrup into a prepared pie crust. Bake it at 375 for 30 minutes, then let it cool on a wire rack (or if you have one available, a window sill, if only for the kitsch value).

So far, my theory on this is that something about the pie crust threw it off. Last year, I only had to make one, so I tortured myself by making one from scratch. This year, however, I had to make two of these, so in order to cut some corners, I made the mistake of buying a Pillsbury crust. I know, I know, that's like a mortal sin for bakers, but I absolutely SUCK at making pie crusts. Anyway, prepping this crust involved poking holes in it, which I think may have affected it, but who knows? Anyone care to shed some light on this bitch?

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