Friday, January 8, 2010

Tapas People

I will get to the Tapas in a minute, but first, Truffled Pasta.

It was delicious, the boyfriend walked back into the kitchen for more, and was so upset when he saw the empty pan (I let him finish my bowl, though). I don't really have a recipe for you, I was not even close to keeping track to how much of each ingredient went in, but I will tell you what I used and a little about the truffle oil. First of all, we were out of spaghetti (whoops) so my choices were whole wheat elbows or left-over ziti noodles, I went with ziti (something about elbows and truffles seems so very wrong). Then it took me 15 minutes to find the extra virgin olive oil, which was literally sitting in front of me on the counter the entire time. Finally I was ready for action. I sautéed some mushrooms, garlic and a whole lot of spinach (I love watching a giant thing of spinach shrink down to almost nothing). I set the spinach asides and threw a good amount of the elusive olive oil in the pan with the mushrooms, and added some more salt pepper and red pepper flakes, then a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water (starchy goodness) and some chicken Better than Base. Better that base is a small jar of extra concentrated chicken (beef, lobster, etc) something, it's like a bouillon but 1000 times better (and can be found in the same aisle in your local super market). Then I tossed everything together, pasta, oil-sauce-mushrooms, spinach and added just a touch of the white truffle oil. Delicious.

The truffle oil is intense, like really intense. Take a good whiff of it before you use it, and you'll see what I mean. It doesn't really smell so great in the bottle, way to intense mushroominess (and I know how mushrooms are grown, disturbing). So a very small amount does just fine. Use to little, you can always add more, it's much harder to add less. The flavor (in small doses) is so wonderful though and rich and decadent (like eating tasty gold, I think its more than gold, oz for oz). So a special thanks to the boyfriend, who went to 3 stores to find it for me. A fantastic gift.

So now a little about Tapas (because that's what we had last night).

We are tapas people, my family that is. Food is meant for sharing, only the aggressive get full, let someone (usually me, because of my knowledge of the Spanish language and loud voice) order everything, and on you go. I did not know we were going to a tapas restaurant last night (my brother's Bon Voyage dinner, before he heads to Rome for 6 months, oh college days). The boyfriend kept telling me it was and I kept saying no, no, no (the restaurant was Distrito, by the way, the Mexican themed restaurant byrecently named iron chef Jose Garces restaurant, in University City), but I was wrong, it is most certainly tapas.

One of my brother's friends looked at the menu and went, I wish this was in English (some of it was, most was in pseudo-Spanish), then the adults tried to pass around 1 set of reading glasses (for 6 people). The waiter came (bearing margaritas, of course) and recommended we do the tasting menu, which was immediately vetoed (what do we look like, amateurs). My dad looks at the waiter, points at me and says she'll be ordering. I ordered for everyone, we ate (kobe tacos, hamachi ceviche, and tres leches cake were my favorites), we drank, and were merry. Oh and I tried rabbit for the first time, but it was mole rabbit, and it just tasted like chicken, so I will have to try again. The boyfriend keeps calling us tapas people (think noodle people from Kung Foo Panda) because every out meal he has had with my family has been tapas (so I guess that's fair, we do love our tapas). My dad only said, all she needs is an unlimited credit card or you better make a lot of money to the poor boyfriend like 4 times, so we'll call that a victory.

Well I am done cooking for the week, wedding festivities bound. We will see what the new week brings on Sunday, but maybe I will try to make a tres leches cake of my very own...

Happy Eating!


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