Picked up the new eyeglasses after work and what an improvement! This pair is from the lenses-while-you-wait place. With my (relatively complicated) lenses, the wait is about a week but that's pretty fast compared to my eye doctor; the pair from them will take another week or two. (And then I'll A) have a backup and B) have my prescription and eye measurements on file at two different places. My experiences after cataract surgery have reaffirmed that this is pretty much essential for me.)
* * *
So far, the combination of yogurt and probiotic pills seems to be helping with Keflex side effects. Not perfectly, but it's helping. I am far less fatigued than I was and have only had a couple of chill/fever cycles in the last twenty-four hours.
The particular kind of plain yogurt
Tam found is flavorful but very mild, and worked well with a little salt and pepper. So last night, when I made pasta, I planned on trying the yogurt with or in it. (In fact, I like it well enough that I may even try some of their flavored varieties.)
The pasta was simple, a bit less than a pound of ground chuck and a bit more than a quarter pound of sweet Italian sausage (a dash of salt on the beef when it went in and a little garlic powder over all after draining), browned and drained, and then a small white white onion sauteed until it started to go translucent, followed by a few fresh king oyster mushrooms
and an entire container of chanterelles
, a rare treat Tam found at the market. Each ingredient gets pushed to the sides of a deep skillet
* before the next is added.
While the king oysters and chanterelles got acquainted, I put water just shy of half-way in a glass two-cup measuring cup, salted it lightly and stuck it in the microwave for two minutes. (Not a meat-eater? Look into King Oyster mushrooms; they have a nice flavor and texture and work well in pasta sauce in place of meat.)
Then the sauce -- I had a 24 ounce jar of Botticelli Tomato, Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Pasta Sauce. It costs about three times as much as the big brands; it tastes about six times as good, though, so for an occasional treat, I'll indulge. I poured that in and stirred everything together.
The water had boiled, so I took the cup out and added about three-quarters of a cup of fregula
, a small, ball-shaped pasta that is toasted when it is made. Then it put it back in for a minute, keeping an eye on it and stopping the microwave if the threatened to boil over. Once it was done, I tipped a bit of the water down the drain, and used a little more to rinse out the pasta bottle and pout it into the now-bubbling pan of sauce (at nearly six bucks, I want all of it!). The fregula followed it into the pan; I put the lid on, sent to vent steam, and set a timer for a dozen minutes.
With everything set, I took a minute to snip a couple of piparra peppers into it the sauce. (This is cheating; they're a Basque treat. But they're mildly spicy and good.) You could add a teaspoon of capers instead -- or even in addition.
Twelve minutes later, it was mostly ready; I wanted the pasta a little softer (get a spoon and have a bite to decide!), so I gave it three minutes more. The pasta thickens up the sauce even with the added water and the result is a kind of ragu, quite suited to eating with a fork. Fregula is a good alternative to other kinds of pasta and I am very happy we gave it a try.
Tam and I enjoyed our bowls of the pasta with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and of course, I had a little container of plain yogurt right there. I added a teaspoon of it to my pasta, mixed it slightly and had a taste: delicious! This should not be a surprise; tomato sauces with yogurt in them are popular in some kinds of Indian cuisine. But as someone who is normally not a big fan of yogurt, it was nice to discover just how well it worked with Italian food. I suspect I could use it in place of sour cream in chili and stroganoff.
This makes enough pasta that I have frozen the remainder for Sunday dinner. Might add sauteed vegetables.
* * *
Breakfast today was indulgent. We have some thin-sliced ham left over from grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches earlier in the week (with great tomato soup
, and don't let the "organic" and "low-fat" labelling dissuade you, it's good stuff, best I have ever had from a can). So I put a little fancy olive oil and butter in a pan, fried a couple of broken-yolk eggs, and warmed up some ham slices. Flip the eggs as soon as they're firm enough, blot gently and lay a warm ham slice on top; a couple of minutes later, when the egg is firm, flip again, blot again, add a slice of Swiss and another warm ham slice. Serve on or between toasted rye bread, and there's no need to butter it, there's plenty on the ham. I put a little parsley and black pepper on the eggs as they cooked. Quick and tasty! --Be warned, the mixture of extra-virgin olive oil and butter is addictive.
* Yes, the Always Pan. They don't give me anything for talking them up, and they have a tendency to get way behind on orders. Lead time was six weeks or more the last time I checked. It's a good pan, better when on sale, and if you order it online, do so from their website (linked above), fromourplace.com. I'm still longing for their big stewpot but it's a pure indulgence, so I can't justify the cost at present.