Leftover…Pasta and Cabbage

 

My job is done, almost. I got my husband to eat chickpeas. I got my son to say he would eat cabbage – he balked at the sight of the legumes, but heck, I'm nearly home.

Just about every ingredient is flexible or replaceable…cabbage and kale could switch places. Shallots and onion of just about any color are interchangeable. Bacon isn't essential if you're meat free. Pancetta could sideline the bacon if you're a meat lover.

I channeled my inner NY Chef Michael White for this one – who else would mince a jalapeño for this pasta special?

Ingredients:

12 ounces pasta

4 slices bacon, 5 if you're snacking

2 shallots chopped

1/2 cabbage roughly matchsticked

2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1 jalapeño, chopped fine

1 cup chickpeas rinsed

1/2 cup Parmesan or similar Italian cheese

Olive oil (if not using bacon)

Salt & pepper

1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions, saving 1 cup pasta water. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove and chop. Leave fat (or add olive oil if you skipped bacon), adding shallots. Soften 2-3 minutes. Add cabbage and garlic if using. Cook 5-ish minutes. Add jalapeño, 1-2 minutes. Add chickpeas, cook through, then add pasta with enough pasta water to make “sauce” and get the good stuff from the bottom of the pan. It will be at least 1/2 cup. Add bacon & butter. Season with salt, pepper & Parmesan.

 

Better Baked Beans

With back to back weekly snowstorms you can cook or clean. The former is more fun. Plus the latest 8-10 inches gave me a chance (an excuse?) to go through my recipe file.

The root beer in the recipe caught my eye first, THEN I remembered its author, and my friend, Rick Rodgers gave it to me personally. I'm sure it was intended for a summer shindig. But frankly, a hot bean dish in summer? I don't get it. (Click here for the recipe)

This is neither vegan nor vegetarian, but the snow went to my head and I made it on meat free Monday. Primarily pantry ingredients and a quick cook time make it a winner.

I halved the ingredients and added a pinch of cayenne. I wouldn't hesitate to big batch it for a party, or the freezer, although that will break down the beans further.

Eat – B

 

The I Don’t Feel Like Going to the Store Frittata (with bacon!)

I did a happy dance after figuring out I could avoid the Sunday supermarket rush. Plus the bacon didn't hurt. Frittatas have saved me on many occasions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and sometimes for entertaining. Don't share the ingredients with pickier eaters unless you really do want to go to the store. 🙂

Ingredients

6 eggs (I used the 5 I had. Six are better)

6 strips of bacon cooked and chopped

3 russet potatoes, peeled, quartered and steamed till tender

1-2 ounces meltable cheese of choice, chopped

Butter

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375. In medium non stick pan melt a knob of butter with a small pour of olive oil over medium heat. Don't be stingy, it helps release the eggs later and adds flavor. Slice the potatoes and give them a good stir around with salt and pepper. While they take some color, whisk the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, bacon and cheese. Add eggs to potatoes, redistribute the lumps and bumps, then let set and pop in oven. When cooked through (10-15 min), broil so cheese bubbles on top.

Serve with salad and bread.

Eat -B

Optional add-ins: sautéed onions, shallots, mushrooms, peppers. It's all good.

 

The Pasta My Mother Would Never Make

…I say that with love as I had a tasty and healthy upbringing. But never, not in million years, would my mother lace pasta with bacon and cream for an everyday, weekday dinner. What you do with this Bon Appetit recipe is up to you and your cardiologist. (Click here for the recipe)

However, if you need an excuse, invite friends over on a Friday. It's that simple to put together at the end of a work week. Really.

Notes: I switched out the pasta for what I had and reduced the quantity by a quarter. I also subbed dried thyme for fresh and cut the amount in half.

 

Mangia – B

 

Best Corn Dish So Far

One of my kids won't eat corn on the cob. (An aside – she didn't eat ice cream for the first 5-ish years either and only recently learned to appreciate. Where are the genetics?!)

So, I spend my knife skills cutting corn from the cob. And though it's not as good this time of year as in late August, global sourcing means year round corn availability.

This dish will cover long travelled corn's shortfalls…with BACON!

Ingredients

3-4 slices of bacon, crisped & crumbled (more if you're snacking)

1 small or 1/2 large onion, any color

1/2 bell pepper, any color

Kernels from 4 ears of corn or a couple of cups frozen kernels

4 scallions chopped

Salt & pepper

Crisp bacon, mostly drain the fat (or not – I didn't) and cook onion 3-4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook veg until a bit softened, 3-ish minutes. Add corn. Cook 2-3 minutes, longer if using frozen corn. Add scallions & bacon. Stir, season & serve.

Eat – B

Add-ons: 1 chopped jalapeño (add w bell pepper) or pinch of cayenne. A dash of cream – add off the heat at the end, give a stir. And/or sprinkle of your fave melt able cheese.