Saturday, December 03, 2005

Expiration Date Mandate

I heard a strange sound when I got home from work last night, a sort of chanting banging noise. Was it coming from the kitchen?

"Eat. Us. Up. Eat. Us. Up. Eat. Us. Up."

There was the clanging of tiny tire irons and the "swip" of switchblades flipping open. I opened the fridge.

Eeek – the food was going bad!

The broccoli was clustered on one side, snarling and baring its stems at the broccoli rabe. So sad when brother turns against brother that way. The gorgonzola was throwing stinkbombs, the bacon was just laying, limply, wounded, trying to avoid the fray.

What to do? Could this food be saved? Born again in a new pure form? The situation was pretty dire.

Here’s what I had:
2 heads of broccoli
1 bunch broccoli rabe (wilty)
2 portobello mushrooms (slightly soggy)
1 wedge cheap gorgonzola (furry)
Garlic and heavy cream

In advance – I trimmed the broccoli rabe by chopping off the stems halfway and threw it in a pot of boiling water for 4 minutes or so.

After I pulled it out I drained it and, when it was cool enough to touch, I chopped it up a bit and set it aside. I sliced the mushrooms, removed the fur from the gorgonzola and crumbled it. I cooked the broccoli for later use in another dish.

The actual recipe…

First, I started the pasta water. Next, I cooked the bacon in a large skillet till crisp and brown and pulled it out to drain on paper towels.

I put a small saucepan of heavy cream (1/2 cup?) on the back burner to simmer slowly.

By this time, the water was boiling and I threw in the gemilli. I turned down the heat slightly and, without draining the skillet, sautéed the garlic until fragrant.

I added the crumbled gorgonzola to the simmering cream (stirring often), and added the sliced mushrooms to the pan of garlic (and bacon fat) and cooked them till they FINALLY relented and got soft. This took much longer than expected. All the while, be sure you’re stirring your gorgonzola and cream, or it will get icky.

The pasta was almost done, but not quite. I added the broccoli rabe to the mushroom garlic pan and, once it was thoroughly warmed, I crumbled in the bacon.

Now, time to drain the pasta. After draining, I put the pasta back in the pot, added the mushroom, bacon, broccoli rabe mixture, and added the gorgonzola cream sauce. I stirred it all up, added a LOT of ground pepper, and here it is…

This was a surprisingly delicious dinner, especially considering the fact that it was made with food that was on the verge of total collapse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent recovery! I give it a 10!! And extra points for quick and creative thinking!

Now let's hope the chanting goes away. If not, I will be worried... =:o

11:53 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

Very nice very nice. That sounds similar to a dish I caught on the foodnetwork. Never tried broccoli rabe in pasta before but might just have to!

3:59 PM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

When I hear that refrain from my kitchen, it's usually cookies... so nice that nourishing food speaks to you!

5:13 PM  

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