Tuesday, February 3, 2009

After Awhile Crocodile

Kids, I'm tired. We're all tired. It's like there is absolutely no point in even complaining because every single one of us is working our asses off because that's what we do. And if you're lucky (*I am very lucky) at least you get to do something you love on those 10-11 hour days.

And the thing is, I won't compromise. Yes, we're busy. And thank God for that. I have interesting projects (some of which I've more than hinted at) and I still laugh at work (cannot be undervalued). But I need my friends and I need nourishment and I need sleep. So tonight was one of those nights. A night when I could have gotten home at 8 and just sat there listening to NPR or watching Hulu but I didn't.

Instead, one of my college roommates and current neighbors came over for a meal that took all of 15 minutes to prepare and didn't require a trip to the store. She brought salad and wine and it tasted better for the company. Because you need that.

Sugar Shack Penne with Vodka Sauce
1/2 box penne pasta
1/2 jar of vodka sauce (I like Classico or Newman's Own)
2 diced tomatoes or 1 can tomatoes if you don't have fresh
1 package frozen spinach
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup vodka
2 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp white truffle oil (2-3 drops...it's powerful stuff!)

  1. Defrost spinach according to package instructions and start boiling your pasta.
  2. Sautee mushrooms in olive oil and season with S&P in separate sautee pan
  3. Heat sauce in saucepan, adding tomatoes. Once warmed through, add extra vodka. Stir regularly.
  4. Drain spinach and add to sauce, keep on low to warm through without burning.
  5. Drain pasta, add sauce mixture to the pot and toss the coat evenly.
  6. Add your droplets of truffle oil to the mushrooms and stir through.
  7. Serve pasta with shaved parm and truffled mushrooms on top.

Served with Salad a la Mag- arugula, toasted "pignoles", toasted pancetta, shaved parm and lemon vinaigrette. YUM.
I can't have anyone over for dinner without dessert but I was too tired to make anything and too stubborn to forgo= good night for Bananas Foster. This was one of the first things I remember being taught to cook. Standing in my Cajun neighbor's kitchen on New Year's Day and being allowed to light it on fire from the time I was 7 or 8. I think I picked up a little bit of my passion for food or entertaining from every kitchen on my block growing up!

Bananas Foster is fantastically easy- I bought two bananas at a Starbucks on my way home for $1.86, then a pint of Hagen Daz Dulce de Leche at 7/11. Seriously, melt a 1/4 stick of butter with 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a wide sautee pan. Once mixed together, add 1/3 cup of brandy and add the banana, cut lengthwise and then in half.

Stir over med- low heat turning every minuted or so to let the bananas caramelize (5 min). If you have it on hand, Add 2TB of 151 at this point and light the mixture with a long match. I had no 151 and am confident that I would have lit my house on fire so I skipped it, sorry Mag. Serve over ice cream with extra sauce drizzled over the top. Easy, elegant and completely heavenly.

After dinner we headed to a new Wicker Park spot, Crocodile, for a beer with B&C. And Jon who tells me he reads my blog, which still surprises me. But thanks Jon, kinda narcissistic to say but it made my night a bit!

I like Crocodile and I liked the company. Even on these long days, I do need company. Jaimeson is in Greece this week and I didn't expect to feel his absence like I do. But I leave for Nashville on Friday (0ne of my favorite cities). He comes home Saturday and when I get back Sunday, he'll still likely be in bed with HoneyCat. It's a nice thought.

In closing, I've been posting in depth infrequently but I do post short and sweet more frequently at tktc.tumblr.com. You might have known that already but just in case you didn't... Cheers to thoughts of Spring.


kat said...

I'm probably exposing myself as horribly ignorant right now... but what's Sugar Shack?

Also, I recently made my second attempt at using a recipe from your blog (you might remember that my first attempt, with the chocolate-rice-krispie things, left me maimed) -- and while chopping clams, I sliced off a piece of ANOTHER finger. I want to give this one a try but apparently your blog is cursed and I can't afford to lose anymore body parts, damnit.

TKTC said...

Kate: 1) Good Question, my college named our houses and that was the one I lived in. It is also a strip club in Stone Park, IL. I put this in front of recipes that were either "developed" or made a LOT in college.

2)I do not advocate the flow of human blood in the kitchen. However the lemon linguine recipe might be one of the few that would be worth it. Don't chop your own clams- with that much garlic, lemon and cream, canned pre-chopped clams are PERFECTLY sufficient. Save yourself!

nicoleantoinette said...

I'm tired too. So tired. And excited to be trading in "being tired from something I don't like" for "being tired from something I love."

Maris said...

I agree with you on dessert. When I have people over I feel obligated to serve dessert whether they claim to want it or not!

Annnnd it makes my day too, when people I know read my blog, especially if they aren't really food people!

Heather said...

I am so glad that you posted the pasta recipe! I saw the pictures on your Tumbler last night and thought it looked delicious. I will be making it this weekend.

TKTC said...

Nicole: Coming soon to a job near you.

Maris: Completely agree on both counts. Per the blog, it is especially hilarious when the admission is made after 45 min. of conversation. Or 45 min of me repeating myself if you read my blog.

Heather: You're already an old pro at Tumblr...so many people are missing out on the ease of usage!

stacy di said...

yum! I just made the pasta tonite for a quickie dinner...it's really great and really good! thanks :)