Super Easy 5-Ingredient Homemade Frascatelli Pasta with Mustard Greens & Parmesan Cheese (Vegetarian or Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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My Farm Fresh to You delivery came today & there were mustard greens in there.  I’ve never cooked with them so I Googled them for some inspiration.  And did I find it!!!  The mustard greens in a recipe – sure.  But the revelation is the FRASCATELLI!    I had never heard of frascatelli before & I was intrigued.  It was the photo below (from Bon Appetit) that caught my eye. Looks like gnocchi.  I read more & discovered it was a 2 ingredient pasta that required no tools or resting time.  I had to try it.  Immediately!

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Incredibly, frascatelli is as easy to make as the instructions suggested & I am certain I will be making this stuff over & over again.

The process is to spread out 2 cups of semolina flour & splatter it with water.  Then scoop it up, put it in a colander & shake it around.  Tiny dumplings form & the rest of the semolina falls back to the work surface.  Repeat.  When all my flour was used up – I manually pressed some of the teensy bits into larger dumplings but that is not necessary.  And guess what?  You can cook it immediately & it is done in 30-60 SECONDS.  Yes – seconds.  You MUST try this.  It would be a great thing to make with kids.  I think they would love the process.  Here are the directions from Bon Appetit:

  • Spread semolina flour in an even layer in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Fill a small bowl with 1 cup water and set next to dish. Working in 4-5 batches, gather your fingertips and thumb of 1 hand together and, working quickly, dip into bowl of water, lift hand from bowl, and splatter water over semolina. Repeat several times until surface of semolina is dotted with ragged wet patches about the size of a nickel. Let stand until water is absorbed, forming individual dumplings, about 5 seconds. Using a fish spatula or slotted spoon, turn dumplings over to coat with semolina, then transfer to a sieve. Shake gently over same baking dish to remove excess semolina; transfer dumplings to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining semolina and water until all of the water or all of the semolina has been used (there may be some water or semolina left over).
  • Working in 3-4 batches, cook dumplings in a large pot of slowly boiling salted water (if the water is boiling too rapidly, it may break up the dumplings), gently swirling water once or twice to prevent sticking, until al dente, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer frascatelli to another large rimmed baking sheet.

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Frascatelli is like a softer cavatelli or a chewier & more dense gnocchi.    Worked great with the cheese & mustard greens but a red sauce or cream sauce or anything would work with this stuff.  Just amazing!  I have no idea how frascatelli was not on my radar until today.

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5-Ingredient Homemade Frascatelli Pasta with Mustard Greens & Parmesan Cheese (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

2 cups semolina flour

1 bunch mustard greens (or collard greens or spinach or arugula or chard) – ribs removed & chopped

2-3 TBS butter (or vegan butter or olive oil)

1-6 garlic cloves – chopped

1 cup Parmesan – vegan or otherwise (or any other cheese/vegan cheese you like blended into pasta)

OPTIONAL  – Crushed red pepper, S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Make the frascatelli & set aside.

Prep the other ingredients.

Bring a pot of salted water to a slow boil & immerse the frascatelli.  Stir so it doesn’t stick.  Scoop out a cup or two of the boiling pasta water & reserve it.  In 30-60 seconds – drain the frascatelli & set it aside.

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Heat the butter (or vegan butter or olive oil) in a large saute pan.  Add the frascatelli.  Warm it through – stirring but trying not to crush or mush the dumplings.  I added some crushed red pepper here – about 1 TBS.

Add the garlic & greens.  Stir in a little of the reserved pasta water to wilt the greens.

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Add the cheese & some more pasta water (only use as much water as you need to melt & blend the cheese).  I added a bit of salt & a bunch of pepper.

Serve with extra cheese.

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Super Ultra Easy and Guiltless Vegan Mashed Cauliflower with Chives and Scallions

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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It doesn’t get a whole lot easier than this.  Guiltless mashed “potatoes” –made from cauliflower.  I have posted many variations on this theme.  This is only the latest.  You can really add anything to these that you might add to a mashed potato.  I have been regrowing scallions from the white rooted ends of scallions I bought & used.    All you do is put the ends in some water as instructed HERE & in about a week – once they get going – transplant them in some dirt.   Brilliant!  Anyway – I have lots of homegrown scallions now & wanted to use some – hence this recipe.

(Photo from www.TheKitchn.com)

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Super Ultra Easy and Guiltless Vegan Mashed Cauliflower with Chives and Scallions

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower cut up into large florets

1/4 cup chopped scallions and/or chives

1 TBS vegan (or other) butter

Homemade (or other) almond milk to taste (I used none)

Salt & pepper to taste (use a lotta salt)

Extra chives and/or scallions as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Boil the cauliflower about 10-12 minutes or until soft.  Drain & return to the pan.  Mash with salt, herbs & butter.  I used an immersion blender.  A potato masher or a food processor would both work, too.  I added no almond milk because I like these guys on the thicker side but you can add as much as you need to get the texture you prefer.  Season with S&P & garnish with more chopped herbs!

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Super Ultra Easy Any Season Spicy Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Listen, people.  Not everything has to be labored over or locally sourced or a pain in the ass to be totally legit & delicious.  This salsa is spicy & yummy & you make it in your fucking blender.    Winter in the northeast?  No worries.  This salsa is spicy & kick ass & you won’t, I promise, you WON’T miss chopping sloppy, ripe tomatoes & other shit to make some pico de gallo.  Pico de gallo that NOBODY will presume cost you hours of chopping & three Bandaid wrapped finger cuts from chopping with a dull knife.  Don’t be a bitter, wounded – literally & otherwise – douche that has to tell everyone “I made that myself!” – because, frankly, they all really should kiss your ass for making them homemade pico de gallo when you know they probably open a jar of Pace Picante sauce when home alone.

But I digress.

Just buy these ingredients & stick’m in a blender or food processor & be done with it.

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Super Ultra Easy Any Season Spicy Salsa

This make a LOT – like PARTY quantity

INGREDIENTS

1 15 oz can FIRE-ROASTED tomatoes

3 tomatoes (ripest you can find but don’t sweat it if they ain’t really ripe)

1 4 oz can fire-roasted green chiles

1/2 sweet or red onion

1/2 red bell pepper

4 garlic cloves

juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno (I didn’t seed mine for extra heat)

1/2 cup cilantro

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne or chili pepper

Puree that shit.   Season a bit more with lime or salt or whateverthefuck you like.  Done.

See?

Maybe serve this over my Vegan Ground Beef Taco Bowl with Cilantro Scallion Lime Cauliflower Rice?

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Super Easy Vegan Chicken Parmesan & Pasta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – let’s just get THIS part over with.  I wrote a book.  I promise – it is funny & dirty & smart.  And you will enjoy!!  www.BathingBook.com

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Ok – so – I stopped eating chicken 25 years ago and I cannot honestly say whether I have ever had chicken Parmesan.  But I made this & it is so fucking easy & delicious & guiltless (as far as your chicken karma goes) – I think this might become a staple around here.

I cheated a bit in that I did not use the Beyond Meat chicken here –

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because I did not want to go through the whole breading process.  So – I used these guys – despite the fact this Simple Truth is being sued for telling less than the simple truth.

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I used some homemade sauce I had in the freezer & dry pasta.  You can make a fresh pasta or your own sauce & take this to another level – or just use your favorite jarred sauce.   I also have several recipes for sauce on this blog – Spicy Basil MarinaraFive (5) Minute Arrabiata Sauce, or my basic Marinara Sauce.   I did not use and Parmesan in this so – technically – this is chicken mozzarella.  FTW!

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Vegan Chicken Parmesan & Pasta

Serves 2

The ratios here of pasta to sauce or cheese to chicken are really a mater of personal preference so I am just gonna list the ingredients & let you decide quantities.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb dry pasta – cooked

Pasta sauce – lots – at least 1/2 a normal jar or more (to taste)

Vegan (or other) mozzarella and Parmesan – enough to cover the chicken

Vegan breaded chicken – enough for two

Parsley or basil – chopped as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425.

Heat the chicken for about 20-30 minutes (flipping once in the middle) or until crispy & golden.  I did this in a pie plate sprayed with cooking spray.

Heat the sauce.

Cook the pasta.

Top the chicken with some sauce & the cheeses.  Heat another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted & beginning to brown.

Toss the pasta with some sauce (and cheese?) and place some chicken Parmesan on top.  Garnish with chopped basil and/or parsley & devour.  Then sleep easy with no worries that renegade & vengeful poultry will be attacking you in your sleep.  Nope.  Not tonight!

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Super Easy Spicy Vegan Orange Chicken

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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In case you haven’t heard – I wrote a HILARIOUS novel!!!  Read all about it HERE.

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I am not vegan but these Trader Joe’s faux meats are so inspiring to me!  (UPDATE – Beyond Meat vegan chicken is even better!) I mean, if you CAN eat vegan easily & deliciously, why wouldn’t you?  It isn’t like you can’t just go eat a burger or sushi tomorrow.  In fact, a carnivorous friend of mine is on that VB6 (Vegan Before Six) diet and dropped thirty pounds effortlessly.  Who among us wouldn’t like to a lose a few pounds while still feeling like the meals have been decadent?

Anyway – as I  said before, I am not typically a fan of seitan or tempeh or the other faux meats out there unless they are used sparingly & in busy dishes like vegetarian chili or pasta with a meat sauce.  One exception is soyrizo – which tastes pretty great but is very specific & can be overpowering.

However, my recent efforts with this brand of fake beef resulted in two of my new favorite meals – the Jameson Whiskey Spicy Vegan Beef Bourguignon and  the Mongolian Beef – seen below respectively.

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This Spicy Vegan Orange Chicken takes about twenty minutes & is better than take-out.  You might serve it with steamed broccoli or garlicky green beans and maybe use another variety of rice or quinoa.  But try it because it is an easy, guiltless, guilty pleasure.  Or – use real chicken – if you are a sissy.

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Super Easy Spicy Vegan Orange Chicken

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Rice (optional) – I bought mine already cooked at the local Thai restaurant

2 (8 oz) packages vegan chicken strips (or similar quantity of real chicken strips)

2 TBS cornstarch

2-3 TBS olive oil

Zest & juice of two oranges

2 TBS minced ginger

8 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup soy sauce

1-2 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)

3/4 cup brown sugar (or more, to taste, if you like it on the sweet side)

Scallions as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

If you are not cheating like I did (by buying cooked rice at a take-out joynt) – get your rice cooking.  The rest should be done even before the rice is.

Zest & juice the oranges & set those aside.

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Coat the chicken in cornstarch.  Add the olive oil to a large saute pan & fry the chicken (vegan or otherwise) until it is browned on the outside.  If using real chicken, be sure it is cooked through.

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Remove the meat & set aside.  If the pan requires it, add a bit more olive oil.  Add the crushed red pepper, ginger, garlic & orange zest & stir for 30 seconds or so.  Add the soy sauce.  Measure the orange juice.  If you have less than one cup – top it off to bring it up to a cup with water.  Add that to the pan.  Add the sugar & bring to a boil over high heat.  If it doesn’t thicken very quickly (less than 5 minutes), simply take 1 tsp cornstarch & 1/4 cup water & blend them together & add to the sauce.  It should thicken (at a boil) almost immediately.  Lower to medium heat & add the chicken.  If the sauce is too thick, add water.  If it is still too thin, cook until it thickens.  Serve with rice & sliced scallions as garnish – and with whatever veggie you prepared.  I went purist & just ate this like you see with no veggie.  It made for a pretty dense meal so I really suggest adding steamed broccoli, at least.  Enjoy!

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Super King Grocery Store in Los Angeles

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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My friend Bobbe emailed me today & said that there was a grocery store in Glassell Park – a neighborhood on the east side of Los Angeles – that I simply HAD to experience to believe.  She warned that the parking lot would be nuts but promised I would “Die!  I mean DIE!” when I went to this joint.  She mentioned hard to find fresh herbs (red basil) for prices like .69 cents a bunch.  ‘Nuff said.

An hour later – I fucking went!

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I navigated the parking lot fairly well (10:30am mid-week) & approached the entrance.  It was like a farmer’s market out front with tons of produce piled up everywhere for crazy low prices!  Check this out.

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I was immediately overwhelmed & my heart started racing.  I cannot explain why.  There was just a general sense of frenzy in the air – like at a Filene’s Basement or Fred Segal blow-out sale.  I blew off everything outside so that I could begin the more intimate exploration of the interior of Super King.

Super King, it seems, caters to a lot of Eastern Europian & Middle Eastern folks.  Hispanics, too, but the foods there that they had in conspicuous quantity seemed Mediterranean or Eastern European or Middle Eastern.  Look!  Raw almonds!  REALLY RAW!

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And an entire roasted nut bar!

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I’ve never seen fresh grape leaves at a supermarket – but Super King had’m!

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Look at all these pickling cucumbers

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The produce section was the most congested of the entire store and that is saying a lot because it is MASSIVE.

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I notice it doesn’t look very hectic in that photo but it was.  Once you head in & to the left – people are all zombie walking & leaving carts in the way & grabbing at vegetables.  I was most impressed by the fresh herbs which really were very varied & abundant & CHEAP!

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Five bunches of parsley or cilantro?  99 cents.  For FIVE.  Mint – 3 for .99.   I pay $4 for an anemic little bunch at Gelson’s.  And look at the cost of kale.

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Several varieties and practically free.

Also impressive was the VAST selection and not just of standards.  They had the sometimes hard to find celery root & kohlrabi & just everything imaginable.  They even had these golden beets (that would cost about $5 each at Gelson’s – if Gelson’s ever had them).

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At Super King?  They were .69 cents a pound!  I got three huge ones for $1.81!!!

When I was taking the panoramic shots, this guy stopped me.

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In the blue with the vest.  See how suspicious he looks?  He stopped me & asked what I was doing.  I explained that I was amazed at the store & was just taking some photos.

“No photos!” he spat at me, like the Soup Nazi.  No photos?  WTF?  Super King isn’t exactly on the Homeland Security Department’s list of high risk targets.  What did he think I was doing?  Casing the place?

“I have a blog,” I explained.  “I want to do a story about this place.”

“No photos.  Not allowed!” he said, sounding less convinced himself that this was actually a rule.  “The competition…”

Competition?  I thought he meant there was some kind of competition involving blogs & supermarkets.  I looked at him stupidly.

“Our competitors.  We do not want them seeing our prices.”

Competitors?  Prices?  First of all, competitors can just walk in the freakin’ door, just like I did, and see the prices.  And B, their prices are what makes Super King so great.  And they have a fucking web site – HERE – telling everyone about their prices.  But, for some reason, the silver fox Armenian in the sweater vest didn’t like me taking pictures.  So – I said, “Just this ONE, ok?”  And I took the shot that included him in it.  From there on out, I felt like a terrorist every time I took my camera out.  Which I did – many more times – but mostly in the aisles that sold non-perishables.  Those aisles were ghost towns. It was the produce & meat sections that had throngs of pushy, desperate people cockblocking you at every turn.  At any rate – between my accelerated pulse & the furtive nature of my photography – the photos in the blog are scant & lame.  Apologies.

OK – let’s talk about the meat department.  I took a number, number 92, and then looked in the mile of cases.  It seemed every cut of beef was near $4 a pound and pork was closer to $2.  Isn’t that cheap?  I don’t know.  I never buy meat.  They had marinated meats & regular meats & prepared meats like these lulas.

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I guess lula is what you use to make kabobs.

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On the shelf beneath the meat cases there were about 76 million brands of lavash.

Seafood was cheap, too, but didn’t look super awesome & didn’t indicate whether or not it was farmed.  Still – I bought a pound of shell-on shrimp for $7.99.  I opted to eschew the head-on variety.  Oof.

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Here is another very special thing about Super King.  SPICES.  A wall of spices.  Ethnic groceries are always the best source of cheap spices & Super King did not disappoint.

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Also – if 40 kinds of rice is too limited of a selection for you – look no further.

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Like a big selection of dry pasta, too?

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And where else can you spot a SELECTION of ghees??  (Ghee is clarified butter.  I use it making Indian food.)

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The olive oil aisle was over the top, too, as was the cheese aisle – especially as regards feta cheese.

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They also sell liquor at Super King.  I had just come from Costco where I priced a bottle of tequila for May 5.  Unless I am mistaken – the bottle I looked at (in the bright green box) was $69.99 at Costco – but only $36.99 at Super King.  But – sometimes the signs at Costco can get confusing.  Maybe I misread them.

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At any rate – I am absolutely IN LOVE with Super King.  Apparently, there are several locations so go to their site & see if there is one near you.  A little extra drive is worth the effort.  I promise!