Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coming Home to an Empty Refrigerator - Ugh

You know the feeling: you are coming home from the airport after a long trip and flight, there is not much in the refrigerator and you are not looking forward to a grocery run. But you at least need milk for tomorrow morning's coffee. And if you are like me, you just can't get too excited about a bowl of cereal for dinner. Even though really, tomorrow will be another day and a better meal. Just one evening without something tasty should be ok?  No No.  Not to be.  Can't do it.

This time, coming home by myself to an empty house, I do walk to the store to get milk and while there, pick up some romaine hearts.  I know I have cans of tuna, pasta and capers always in the pantry and fresh lemons always in the refrigerator or freezer, so I plan on a quick pasta with tuna for dinner.

A quick Ceasar salad on the side and everything is right again and I feel at home.  I can wait til tomorrow for that major grocery trip.

Pasta with Tuna and Capers
(Serves one)

1/4 pd. spaghetti or penne 
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
1-2 teaspoons rinsed capers
3/4 can albacore tuna packed in water
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley (if you have it)
Lemon wedge (if you have it)
Shredded Parmesan (if you like)

While cooking the pasta, heat the olive oil in a small skillet, add the garlic and let simmer in the oil for a minute or two.  Don't brown.  Add the capers, tuna and heat through.  Fold in pasta and top with pepper to taste, parsley and a squeeze of lemon.  

Quick Ceasar Salad
(Serves one)

Wash the romaine hearts, dry, then keep in refrigerator to chill until you are ready to eat.

Crush 1 garlic clove and mix with 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, a scant 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I keep quarters of frozen lemons in the freezer in case I am out of fresh lemons) and 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (I always keep a tube in the refrigerator).  Whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil.  Serve on romaine leaves with freshly ground pepper and shredded Parmesan.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

An Appetizer For An impromptu Dinner Party - or for Hungry Teenage Boys

A charcuterie platter like the one at Spruce that I highlighted in my last blog entry is an inviting casual dinner party appetizer but an even simpler one that I often put together is a prosciutto platter.  Simply cover an attractive platter with thin slices of prosciutto and accompany with a bowl of cornichons, a slab of butter, a trio of varied salts, and a basket of fresh bread slices.  (Either an Italian or, surprisingly, a good rye bread are both great with the prosciutto).