Pasta with Brown Butter Balsamic Sauce

I made the brown butter balsamic sauce recipe from 101 Cookbooks, which was delicious. I think the sauce would work well with a lot of different pastas. I used angel hair pasta instead of tortellini, but I made way too much pasta. Next time I’ll make less.

I also used sauteed broccoli rabe instead of arugula, which took longer but was pretty good. I always forget how much greens cook down, so I only cooked half of the bunch and ended up cooking the rest the next day. A single bunch of broccoli rabe probably makes 4-5 portions.

I also used leeks instead of onions, but sadly burned them because I didn’t take them out of the pan before I added the broccoli rabe. I might try this technique for caramelizing leeks next time.

Bread

Tried this bread recipe from 101 Cookbooks twice now.

The first time, I didn’t think the bread rose at all because the house was too cold. The final product was dense (but pretty yummy).

The second time, I let the bread rise for over an hour in a slightly warmed oven (so the yeast could work their magic), and it rose slightly more, but in the end it came out about the same.

Conclusion: After checking back with the photos on 101 Cookbooks, I don’t think this is supposed to rise all that much. I could try using white bread flour instead of white all purpose flour, but I think the bread it supposed to be little and slightly dense.

Pound Cake

This recipe was delicious. Would definitely make again. A few notes:

1. I forgot how many eggs cakes require – this one needs 6.

2. My bundt pan was slightly too small for the recipe – it makes a ton of batter, so make sure to use a really big bowl. And making pound cake cupcakes kind of failed, I think I filled them too full. Ramekins might be cute, too.

3. As always, making cakes is really time consuming. It probably took about 4 hours from start to finish (including making a glaze, cleanup and only partial cooling). Maybe it gets faster with practice. This one was less time consuming than a layer cake because it wasn’t critical that I let it cool all the way.

4. The glaze – I’ll make another post, but I always underestimate how much powdered sugar I’ll need. You really only need a few tablespoons of liquid for quite a lot of powdered sugar.

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

Yum! I’d definitely make this again with a few modifications. Here’s what worked and what I’d do differently. Also, it took me around 45 minutes since I had to cook the tofu and sliver the carrots. Should go a little faster next time since I’ll know what I’m doing a little better.

What Worked:

1. Frying the tofu (instead of having it raw…ew). I fried chunks in peanut oil over high heat with a little bit of salt and garlic powder. Delicious!

2. Don’t forget salt in the sauce if you’re using unsalted peanut butter. I remembered this time, but I could easily see myself forgetting in the future.

3. I added slivered carrots (per suggestion) which were tasty and added a bit of color.

What I’d Try Next Time:

1. Proportions: fewer noodles, less sauce, more veggies. It’s pretty saucy.

2. Follow soba noodle package directions carefully. They came out fine, but I misread the directions and added cold water before the noodles came to a boil again.

Other Veggie Ideas:

Fresh broccoli, fresh or frozen peas, maybe some cabbage?

Recipe from 101 Cookbooks.

Olive Oil – Not For High Heat

I had no idea! Olive oil burns at a much lower temperature than other oils, so don’t use if if you’re roasting at over 400F or stir frying over high heat. Try canola (or sesame) oil instead. Pan searing things in olive oil won’t work either, the oil needs to get hotter than olive oil’s burn point to successfully sear.

References:

http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/healthy_cooking_blog/why_you_shouldn_t_always_cook_with_olive_oil

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/things-you-shouldnt-be-cooking-with-olive-oil

Tomato Sauce

Made some tomato sauce with canned tomato, roasted garlic, red pepper and zucchini. It came out a little acidic. I added a little sugar, which helped. But I can do more next time, this site has some good tips. I think adding carrots could really help as well (adding sweetness). I made sauce a few months ago with some carrots and it was much better.

Maybe try Emeril’s roasted garlic sauce (adding carrots of course).