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Q·E·2: Fast, Fresh (or) Frozen

8 Aug

Hi all!

I promise… I will get to our wonderful trip to the Adirondacks soon, but first I wanted to introduce you to my second Granny Cart editorial feature, Q·E·2: Quick. Easy. For 2. (It doesn’t have to be just for two people, but that’s our household). (And also of course you’ll remember that my first editorial feature is heirloom·modern).

My hope for Q·E·2 is to provide those just starting out in the kitchen (or those just completely overwhelmed with work/family) with a few simple tracery books of recipes. These are not handholding recipes (they require you to use your imagination and trust your taste-buds). To that end, I’ll provide bare bones ingredients (hopefully easily obtainable) and a few hints and suggestions.

None of the recipes in this series should be difficult. They shouldn’t require you to stress out or plan overmuch. They should be fun, easy and feed the pit of hunger hibernating in your stomach at the end of a long day at work (after-work drinks also shouldn’t be a factor… you should be capable of making any of these after a couple beers or a glass of wine or two, driving notwithstanding).

So without further ado, I present you with four “recipes” that represent the inaugural edition of Q·E·2.

Cold Soba, Warm Egg

I have a problem guys… A new addiction. It’s called Momofuku. Okay, good I see a few heads out there nodding in sympathy. For those outside NYC, Momofuku isn’t some dread disease, it’s a noodle bar. But this ain’t your ordinary Chinatown stylee noodle bar, this is a noodle bar that serves fresh, local, seasonal cuisine. Berkshire pork, Kurowycky sausages, seasonal pickles (omg, so good, you don’t understand…).

The biggest problems with Momofuku are, 1. I can’t go there everyday, 2. It’s a little pricey to eat everyday, 3. It’s hard to get into (small, no ressies, etc) and 4. Besides all that, they don’t deliver. So, what’s an addict to do? Try and recreate her favorite dish at home, natch!

Tsukemen is described as noodles, dipping sauce, Berkshire pork, poached egg. To recreate at home grab some bottled dipping sauce (aka Soba Tsuyu) from the local asian grocery and mix with some flavorings to make a tasty broth. Try combining the dipping sauce with heavy soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, etc. until you have a flavor that makes you happy. Toss some frozen edamame in salted boiling water. Add some frozen soba (or any Asian noodle) to the water when the beans are about half way done. Drain, rinse under cold water. Very lightly poach an egg for each person (the yolk should be rather runny). To eat: Put noodles & edamame in a bowl, pour dipping sauce over, place egg on top, garnish with pickled ginger and shredded wakame, season with a bit of togarashi. Dig in and slurp ’til your heart’s content.

Lobster Ravioli In Mushroom Sauce

If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, this one is a snap. TJs Lobster Ravioli are a steal at $2.99 a pack, come in the perfect size package for two people, actually taste like lobster, need very little gussying up and, to be frank, feel awfully sophisticated. “What’s for dinner honey?” “Oh, just some lobster ravis.”

Something to try? Saute some minced garlic in olive oil, add some pre-sliced crimini (aka “baby bella” ugh) mushrooms and allow to cook until they release their moisture. Flavor with a splash of lemon juice, some fresh oregano, salt, pepper and a wee bit of butter. Spoon the sauce over cooked ravioli. Mangia!

Truffles Love Eggs

Ever been seduced by one of those cute little jars of truffle pate? You know, the wee bitty ones that promise real truffle flavor without having to pay an arm and a leg? Or maybe it was truffle oil that got you. Either way, the aroma’s usually pretty good, but generally the flavor leaves something to be desired. The easiest way to enhance whatever flavor exists is so very simple, easy, tasty and elegant… scrambled eggs.

Prepare eggs for scrambling (2 or 3 per person, milk or no milk, heavily or lightly whisked, its your call). If using truffle oil, add a little to the eggs before cooking. Scramble in your favorite fashion (high heat, low heat, whisk, spatula, olive oil, butter, again, your call). To serve, place eggs on a plate, top with truffle pate or drizzled truffle oil. Serve with a simply dressed salad of butter lettuce.

Simplest Strawberries

A few weeks ago a guy at the Greenmarket had these beautiful frankenberries. He said they were a hybrid between his cultivated and some wild berries growing on his farm. I don’t care what they were. They were small and beautiful (about the size of a thumbnail) and actually tasted like strawberries. I felt like a kid again, when my mom would send me out for hours to go pick berries. So for a simple dessert preparation, I cribbed one from her playbook.

Halve the berries (quarter if large). Place in a bowl and toss with a tiny amount of sugar and a wee pinch of salt. Cover the bowl with a plate (to keep bugs out) and allow to macerate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. To serve, place in a bowl and drizzle with heavy cream. Enjoy!

Well, that’s all for now. Next time, we go back to the mountains. Happy Tuesday!