Saturday, October 16, 2021

Glasses, Better, Breakfast, Dinner

      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.)

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      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, slated 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. 

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      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.
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* 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.

1 comment:

Zendo Deb said...

Amy's Organics has some good stuff. I don't care for everything of course, but quite a bit of their stuff is also gluten free - important to some of us.

It is always good to have some cans available for the sick-days when you just don't want to get out of bed, but really need to eat something.

Hope you feel better soon.