Ok, so it’s not really spring yet. But there were a couple nice days and spring normally begins in February, right? Just in NorCal I guess. However, the weather encouraged me to flip through the spring section of my nifty new cookbook, and I found a recipe for Green Pancakes. I adjusted slightly based on what was in my fridge, as per usual, namely substituting kale for chard, but the basic concept is the same.
1/2 cup flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup milk
2-3 large kale leaves, chopped into little pieces
Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together. Add the eggs, garlic, and milk, and beat until smooth. Let the batter rest a little bit. While the batter is resting, chop the onions and the kale. After about 30 minutes, fold both of those into the batter. Heat olive oil on a frying pan. Place some of the batter (about a 1/3 cup) on the frying pan and spread it out so its flat and pancake-shaped. Once the bottom begins to brown, flip it over and cook the other side. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up extra oil. Serve warm.
These were good, and very light, but oddly bland. Maybe I didn’t add enough salt and pepper, or garlic. I added ketchup or blue cheese to the pancakes, and that improved them immensely. I feel like I should recommend the blue cheese in particular, but, honestly, I love ketchup so its up to you. I had this with red wine, a Bordeaux actually, but white might be better. Song of week: La Tortura by Shakira. Anyone who has been in a confusing, doomed, or complicated relationship or couldn’t stop with the feelings even when they wanted to (aka basically everyone) can appreciate this song. Also, it’s just awesome.
I wanted to use up some of the milk in my apartment, but wasn’t sure how to go about doing it since I didn’t want pancakes/crepes/yorkies. So I called my dad and he suggested making white sauce (bechemel sauce) and doing something with that. Which was an awesome idea. Since I’d been a bit stressed lately, I decided the sauce needed to go on macaroni, and then just kinda went from there. The result: Macaroni with Parmesan sauce and kale.
Macaroni with Parmesan Sauce and Kale
3/4 cup macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup (or more) Parmesan cheese
2 large kale leaves, ripped into little pieces
2-3 tablespoons pine nuts
Boil the macaroni, drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted add the flour and mix them together so you have a sort of paste. Add the milk and whisk in the flour-butter paste. Then just keep stirring until the sauce has thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Once the sauce is thick, turn off the heat and add the Parmesan, stirring it in until it is entirely melted and smooth. Mix in the kale, and then the macaroni. Pour the entire mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top and bake at 350 until its all nice and bubbly.
I love mac and cheese. It is the ultimate comfort food, and endlessly versatile. There are probably a million variations you can do. Given my love of pine nuts, this one is definitely up there. Song of the week: Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot. I love this song. It’s amazing. And I know all the words. Seriously all of them. Sure it’s a guilty pleasure, but its awesome.
This is another one of those “I impulsively buy things at the grocery store and then have to find uses for them” weeks. This week’s ingredient: blue cheese. Originally I was going to stick it in a crepe with some sort of green vegetable, because everything tastes good in a crepe (incidentally, the first time I liked blue cheese was eating it in a crepe in France). However, its been a difficult weekend, so I switched to one of my ultimate comfort foods: mac and cheese.
Cook the macaroni before you start on the sauce. Make however much you like, but I’ve found that 3/4 cup dry macaroni is perfect for 2 servings.
I adapted the sauce from this recipe.
1/4 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 large kale leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tbsp flour
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, and saute the veggies in there. Once the kale is cooked, add the blue cheese, milk, a little black pepper, and flour. Turn the heat up so that the milk begins to simmer, and stir frequently until the sauce has thickened. The sauce won’t become particularly thick, but it will be thicker than milk. Once the sauce is done, toss with the macaroni until all the pasta is thoroughly coated, and serve. If you want, you can also add parmesan cheese on top of the dish when you serve it.
Such a good dish. Exactly what my frustrated soul needed. My only issue with it was that it tasted a little on the salty side. Which is strange because I didn’t add any salt. Well, to the water for the pasta but that hardly counts. I think it was the addition of the parmesan on top of the blue cheese that caused that problem. I didn’t have any wine or beer with this, but it would probably pair well with a solid red wine. Also, if there is any meal designed to give you stinky breath (onions, garlic, and blue cheese) it’s this one. However, comfort food is usually a solo dinner, so you should be totally fine. Song of the week: not actually a song, but rather Mozart’s Requiem. Its my ultimate in “dark music for when I’m sad/depressed/unhappy.”