Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ten Minute Tasty, Fresh, and Easy Guacamole

As a kid, guacamole grossed me out for some reason; I guess it was a combo of being green and squishy looking that made it look so unappetizing. But isn't it funny how our opinions change. Now I think guacamole is delicious. Plus, it's easy to make, and wonderful to serve to other people because they love it!

Makes 4 - 6 Servings

2 avocados
1 tbsp of lime juice
1 small jalapeno pepper
1/8 cup of finely chopped cilantro
1/8 cup of very finely chopped red onion
1/2 roma tomato, diced
1/2 tsp kosher/coarse salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Tortilla chips

Halve avocados, remove stones, and remove flesh from the skin with either a knife or spoon. Immediately pour lime juice over avocado pieces so that they do not oxidize. To create a creamier guacamole, use a fork and mash the flesh. Add all other ingredients and gently stir.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Penne alla' Amatriciana aka Bacon Pasta

This recipe is an old favorite of mine. I think it's one of the first things I learned to cook. Who doesn't love something with pancetta or bacon as one of the flavors?

Penne alla' Amatriciana
Serves 4 for dinner

1/4-1lb of chopped/cut bacon or pancetta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of white wine
1 pound of penne pasta
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese

Quick tip: It's really easy to cut bacon with scissors.

Brown the bacon in a large deep bottomed pan. When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan and set aside. Throw away the bacon fat left in the pan by pouring it out. Do not wash the pan; the bits of bacon left in the bottom of the pan have a lot of flavor.

Next, add the olive oil to the pan and sweat the onion and garlic with the red pepper flakes, and black pepper until the onions are soft.

Add the white wine to the pan, and reduce the mixture until there is almost no liquid left.

Finally, add the bacon, the tomato sauce, and the two cans of diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil.

Turn down and simmer the sauce for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Add to the sauce, and stir for about one minute, until the sauce binds to the pasta.

Serve piping hot, with Parmesan cheese to garnish.