This is why I will die of chronic cholesterol. It is also why I will die happy…. For those of you who have read my post about hedonism, this is quite indulgent, and ooohhh so simple. There are many rewards to using only the freshest cream and butter, the finest of cheese, and the best of pasta. Truly, a RogueChef classic.
Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Latium, and more specifically to Rome, based on eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. Spaghetti is usually used as the pasta, however, fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini can also be used. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.
The pork is cooked in fat, which may be olive oil, lard, or less frequently butter. The hot pasta is combined with a mixture of raw eggs, cheese, and a fat (butter, olive oil, or cream) away from additional direct heat to avoid coagulating the egg, either in the pasta pot or in a serving dish. The eggs should create a creamy sauce, and not curdle. Guanciale is the most commonly used meat, but pancetta and local bacon are also used. Versions of this recipe may differ in how the egg is added: some people use the whole egg, while other people use only the yolk; intermediate versions with some whole eggs and some yolk are also possible.
Cream is not common in Italian recipes, but is often used elsewhere. Garlic is similarly found mostly outside Italy.
Other variations on carbonara outside Italy may include peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables. Many of these preparations have more sauce than the Italian versions. As with many other dishes, ersatz versions are made with commercial bottled sauces.
Lettuce and Bacon
It is spring and the first heads of lettuce are coming in, I so must have a dish from my youth. I can not count the number of nights dinner was thick strips of bacon, fried, with a salad of lettuce and onion, or spinach greens wilted with a hot bacon and vinegar dressing, served with a big wedge of corn bread and butter.
One can “class” this up and use spinach greens with a “Hot Bacon Dressing”, but I’ll always think of this as wilted lettuce.
These are the things that memories are made of, (some times, you wish to go back for just one more meal)
As said before
Bacon is a cut of meat taken from the sides, belly, or back of a pig, then cured, and smoked. Meat from other animals, such as beef, lamb, chicken, goat, or turkey, may also be cut, cured, or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon. Bacon may be eaten fried, baked, or grilled, or used as a minor ingredient to flavor dishes.
Sarah Hepola, on Salon.com, suggests that eating bacon in the modern, health-conscious world is an act of rebellion: “Loving bacon is like shoving a middle finger in the face of all that is healthy and holy while an unfiltered cigarette smolders between your lips.”
Colcannon and Bacon
It is early spring, and that means St. Patrick’s day (and yes, St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of technologists, when he drove the snakes from Ireland, he created the first worm drive).
If I seem a little underwhelmed by the holiday, you will have to excuse me, it is not the holiday, it is all the trappings. Great rowdy, drunken crowds whose sole claim to to being Irish is that they wear a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” button on St. Patties day, and stand around on street corners swilling poor quality beer with green food coloring…
While the above is rather annoying, the true tragedy of Saint Patrick’s day is the crime of foisting American corned beef and cabbage off as being Irish.
The New England boiled dinner is a traditional New England meal, consisting of corned beef or a smoked “picnic ham” shoulder, with cabbage and added vegetable items, often including potato, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot, white turnip and onion. When using a beef roast, this meal is often known simply as corned beef and cabbage even with the addition of other vegetables.
Corned beef and cabbage is perhaps the most common form. Although not a traditional Irish meal, it has become a part of Irish-American culture and is often related (Mistakenly) to Irish holidays such as Saint Patrick’s Day. In Ireland, the closest traditional dish is Bacon and Cabbage (more akin to Canadian style bacon or ham). Corned beef and cabbage became popular in America after Irish immigrants in the eastern United States used corned beef instead of pork in their traditional dish.
Bacon and Cabbage seems to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day, I love the combination of potatoes, cabbage, onion and bacon all through the cooler months of Fall and Winter!
The dish consists of boiled or braised bacon (this refers to Back Bacon, almost a loin of bacon which is cured and/or smoked. It does not refer to sliced bacon or rashers which one might fry) served with boiled cabbage and potatoes.
The dish continues to be a very common meal in Ireland. There are many different variations on the theme of bacon and cabbage, but in general the dish tends to involve slicing the back bacon after it has been well cooked and serving it with whole boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage.
The dish usually calls for butter for the potatoes (which are often mashed with the cabbage). The potatoes and cabbage prepared in this manner are severed with a white sauce and are often called colcannon
The bacon used for the meal can vary somewhat depending on individual preference. Usually Back Bacon is used for the recipe, but other cuts of bacon are sometimes preferred. However, the bacon used is almost always cured.
Slow Cooker Pulled pork
The local micomart had pork shoulders on sale today, at a very good price, so now I’m looking at this and trying to sort out how to cook and not spend hours dealing with it.
But taking a trick from my father, I have a the shoulder, some onions, some bbq sauce left from the last smoke job, and some liquid smoke. Take all of this and plop into a slow cooker and simmer until the meat breaks down and the sauce thickens to a rich, meaty, spicy spoonable mass.
Serve over split Hoagie or Onions Rolls, with cole slaw, BBQ Beans, or pickles and raw onion, add an Ice Cold Beer and I am almost ready for the coming week.
Sprouts and Bacon
Recently, I was accosted by a “Trained Food Scientist” … who it would seem, did not read the “It IS all about the TASTE! “ post, and proceeded to rip my cooking styles, menus, ingredients, into VERY small pieces, not to mention, my lack of knowledge in basic food science, poor taste, poor grammar, etc, etc, etc.
After several minutes of this, I left… (Remind me, to IGNORE my fan club…. or maybe start carrying a shock prod)
Let’s get one thing straight… I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING &%$%#!@ ….. about “modern nutritional science”, the folks who write / espouse that crap, also produce such healthy and wholesome items as the great American Fast food menu..
Bluntly, good food, prepared fresh, in reasonable amounts, combined with reasonable amounts of exercise, (GET OFF YOUR FAT ASSES!!!!), will be more healthy for you than consuming the prepackaged, chemically preserved and flavored, highly salted, over processed organic material that is excreted and extruded as a wonder of “modern nutritional science.”
It isn’t meat or butter or eggs or even sugar that are responsible for America’s obesity problem. I really believe it is dependence on foods that are full of chemicals and GMOs AND an inactive lifestyle. The combination is deadly. Problem is people decided to go low fat rather than get rid of the chemicals and move around a little. So now people ingest more chemicals, they are still fat, and they are battling diseases that are brought on by toxins in what they eat.
While in the green grocers, I noticed fresh Brussels sprouts. Now given the time of year, I had to ask, where they were grown, and the reply was San Mateo, Ca.. Wow… It seems they get FLOWN in… WOW!! … The price.. “UGH!”, but then again, sprouts are mild and sweet at the start of the season, especially if you toss them in hot butter or olive oil after boiling them, or shred them and stir them into hot bacon fat, with some onions and serve with a vinegar dressing.
16 Bean Soup
Today is another working day in the lab. Correcting all the mistakes I made yesterday, and making fresh ones for tomorrow. So food will need to the hearty, hot, and plentiful. I’m thinking beans, but maybe not my usual beans, a mix say 16 beans. Soaked overnight, and slow cooked with bacon, andui sausage, and the trinity of onion, celery and green pepper.
This is a good, simple, healthy meal for a winters day. It’s delicious and full of protein and fiber and low on cholesterol…you can’t loose. And it’s cheap, a good thing considering the current economy.
This can be made vegetarian, in fact vegan, but I really will need real meat protein, so I’ll also go with chicken stock as a liquid.
Soup is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth. Traditionally, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter and cream. Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour and grains.