Tuesday, November 11, 2008
What Will I Ever do About Priscilla?
Picture of Hannah and Priscilla at Starbucks.
I must reiterate to you all that Priscilla is a really good cook. Which is why I get so annoyed when she does stupid things in the kitchen.
A couple of days ago, I was over for a cup of tea (okay wine) and she was starting to make dinner. (I had already made most of my dinner, tacos, and I just had to go home and fry up the taco shells. You don't actually think I would use taco shells from a box, do you? Or salsa from a jar? Do you? How long have been reading this blog?) Prissie was trying to decide whether to cook the filets she had, or some pasta. Did she have any bacon to wrap around the filets, I asked? No. Any great ideas about a quick sauce? No. She thought she might marinate them in teriyaki sauce (one of my mom's recipes) but they could only soak for forty-five minutes. STOP RIGHT THERE, YOU GOOBER! Teriyaki is a great marinade, but it needs at least four hours, preferably longer. So she mixed up the teriyaki and put the steaks in to soak until the next day. Good thinking, Priscilla, glad I could help. (We won't go into why she shouldn't use $9.00 a lb filets for teriyaki. That was a losing battle with her, I assure you. She hates beef and so she must do anything she can to disguise its taste.)
So, she was going to make some pasta. Now, I learned ninety percent of what I know about Chinese cooking from Prissie, but Italian is NOT her forte. She overcooks pasta until it is mush. She mostly uses sauce from a jar. Her pastas come out with some really weird sauces she makes up on the fly. So anyway, she starts throwing pasta in a pot of boiling water and overcooking it. But guess what? She still hasn't decided how to dress the pasta! Here is a tip for Italian cooking: put the water on to boil and start making your sauce. Most pasta sauces can be made in under twenty minutes. Put the pasta in to boil just at the last minute and cook it a minute or two under what it says on the box. It should still be a little firm to the bite. Just tonight I made a sauce with sauteed shallots, porcini mushrooms, sage, and cream. I also added fresh cracked pepper and some of the porcini soaking liquid. I simmered it until the cream had reduced by about half and topped some homemade gnocchi with it and a grating of parmesan. Yummy!