Friday, May 14, 2010

dumpster diving in my fridge.

when going away for the weekend, it is important to clean out your fridge and use what you have as to make sure not to waste any food. well, i never think food should be wasted, which often leads me to eating excessively just so it's in a stomach rather than a garbage. i scrounged up an elaborate cheese plate (scamorza, aged pecorino, brie) with prosciutto di parma (i'm not sick of it yet) and a rabbit salad made from jules' leftover rabbit stew (yes, he butchered the entire rabbit himself. yes, i have impressive friends.)

taking into account my available kitchen ingredients, i decided to make caponata. 

heat up a couple glugs of olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped up eggplant and sprinkle with oregano. allow the eggplant to soak up the olive oil until it has become a golden colour, adding more olive oil if needed. add finely chopped red onion and some garlic cut as small as you can cut it without a garlic press. include capers, green olives and parsley. add a couple splashes of red wine vinegar and when that has pretty much evaporated, add some chopped up tomatoes - i used the remaining cherry tomatoes i had - and allow the flavors to aromatize and the ingredients to simmer. of course, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. this was inspired partly by my fridge, jamie oliver for some slight methodological instructions, which clearly i don't follow anything too specifically and by the italian ALMA kids who were horrified by the use of eggplant and lentils together. i don't know if they, being sicilian, would approve again, but with some toasted bread to soak up the juices, i quite enjoyed it. 

i also made an asparagus salad with roasted red and yellow bell peppers - inspired by a Thomas Keller recipe, but again, up to my make-shift culinary skills and judgements. 

heat the oven (just onto high since i don't know celsius temperatures yet) and add halved red and yellow peppers - two of each - cut side down and lightly covered in olive oil. meanwhile, boil salted water to which asparagus (stalky ends removed and the spears cut in half) will be added and boiled for about 4 minutes, until bright green. the roasted peppers are done when the skins are slightly charred. removed from the oven, the skins are supposed to be removed according to the recipe, but i didn't. cut them into strips, similarly sized to the asparagus, and add them back to the baking dish. add the drained asparagus and roast the vegetables with some garlic for 15 minutes. after, add to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with some good balsamic vinegar. the colours are gorgeous together and it tastes not only healthy but full of spring. 

for as much as i like food photography, these pictures are horrible. oh well. 

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