Saturday, 16 June 2012

Recipe - Spanish Omelette, Quesadillas, Philadelphia Pasta

Mindlessly consuming really takes it out of you. The next day is a chore. I just want to be in a clean, cold place where I can think about what I've done in peace. And I really want to be looked after and have my dad bring my tea and my mother make me food but oh wait I'm 'a grown up' now so that's not allowed. Or if it is allowed, it's not very viable. Despite my parents' reluctance to give me the recipes for their cooking (they denied me even when I argued 'what if you die before you get to give it to me?'), I've managed to glean what they do just by watching. I'm tricksy like that. So their absence doesn't screw me over. Well, I still have to get ingredients and go through the pain and effort of cooking. But then I remember that I really enjoy cooking and also that lying in bed feeling sorry and in a daze doesn't help anything. This is what I crave the most on these morning-afters. I had that the evening after my exam celebrations. Except I didn't get out of bed 'til four (ergh, slovenly) so that was my 'lunch' on that day. I thought I'd write up some of the other simple foods I've made recently. Unfortunately, in their very nature they are not very complicated or interesting at all. But they taste pretty good. Also, it's been handy for teaching my 'new friend' Stephen to cook. I initially decided to teach him when I decided it would be a good way of distracting myself from doing Other things with Stephen. But then I realised that was a silly idea and also that it wasn't a binary choice between cooking and 'being friends'. Maybe you can teach your Stephen to cook these things.

Spanish Omelette
Really whatever you want can go in this. But you need to cook the onions longly and slowly and make sure the potatoes are soft. For this particular omelette, this is what I used/did.

1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
50g mushrooms, chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped into thin slices
6 eggs
Handful of parsley
Handful of grated cheddar
Salt and pepper

Fry the onion, garlic, chilli, pepper, potato and mushrooms on a medium heat in a frying pan. Use a liberal dose of olive oil and fry for about 20 minutes with a lid on until the potatoes are tender. Remember to stir frequently to prevent sticking.
Season with salt.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and lots of pepper.
Stir in the parsley and cheese.
Once the vegetable mixture is cooked, pour in the egg mixture, ensuring it spreads out evenly in the pan.
Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes until set all the way through.
At the last minute, put the omelette under the grill to cook/brown the top.

Eat on its own or serve with salad. Or bread. Or in a sandwich. Or with patatas bravas. Or as part of a selection of tapas. You understand. Look at my blender flowers!

Again, can be anything you want really. The key is just to make the filling taste nice (aka remember to fry the onions for long enough if you're using onions) and add that and lots of cheese to a tortilla. Then fry.
I tend to fry some vegetables (and maybe bacon if I'm using it) and then a little of the fried mixture onto the middle of a tortilla. Then, I grate lots and lots of cheese on top and fold the tortilla up. Then I fry the tortilla in a touch of butter/oil to seal the opening and crisp the tortillas. This week I had one with peppers, onions, garlic, chilli and bacon. The other time I had peppers, onions, chorizo, garlic, chilli and potatoes. Both had lots and lots of red leicester cheese added to them. Mmm.

Leek and Pancetta Pasta
This came to be because I saw a friend eating this meal. She loves leeks. They're her favourite vegetable. I didn't think it possible to be as passionate about leeks as she is. Anyway, she offered me a bite of her pasta and I don't know if it was because I was hungry or something (actually, I'd been at an all day free BBQ so I definitely shouldn't have been hungry) but it tasted really great. Her sauce was made of Philadelphia cheese! That sounds like something I would usually have been snobby and suspicious about but it was so good. So when a friend returned from Italy, I decided to fry some pancetta (10 slices, in fact), some garlic (three cloves, finely chopped) and a leek (sliced finely) on a medium heat until the pancetta crisped and the leeks were tender. Then I mixed that and a tub of Philly into 500g of cooked spaghetti. I also added quite a lot of other cheese but if I were to re-run that meal, I'd probably skip out the extra cheese. Oh, remember to add lots and lots of black pepper. Otherwise it cloys like you would not believe.

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