Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrating with Food!

So to celebrate Christmas and the end of term, I cooked my boyfriend some food last Sunday: spaghetti carbonara and brownies!

Since they're both so easy to make, I'm just going to post pictures and recipes. This also likely to be my last post before the 25th, so Merry Christmas, y'all!

Spaghetti Carbonara:

This recipe is a bit Martha Stewart, a bit of my boyfriend's French host mom's recipe, and a bit of my own tastes:

Spaghetti Carbonara
1 pound spaghetti
8 ounces (8 slices) bacon, cut 1 inch thick crosswise (if you're ritzy you can substitute pancetta)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs* at room temperature
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano** cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup half-and-half at room temperature
2-4 cloves of garlic (optional)
1 handful chopped parsley (optional)

*Straight from an Italian and tested by my boyfriend's host mom, it's best when there are n-1 eggs, n being the number of people eating. However, I follow this rule starting at 3 people; for 2 people I add 2 eggs, 3 if I don't have half-and-half. 
**Gruyere is yummy, a bit more flavorful, and may melt more easily. I've done both and I like the Gruyere more, but negligibly. I wouldn't substitute any other Parmesan cheese for the Pargmigiano Reggiano. 

1. Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta) and salt generously. 
2. Mince the garlic.
2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat (with the minced garlic cloves if you add them), stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
3. When the pot is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half. Set aside.
5. Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. 
6. Add bacon and some of the grease if you desire; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). 
7. Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese (and the chopped parsley if you have it).

Next up, Rose's (my roommate) world-famous brownies!

I follow the recipe exactly, and they are super easy to make. Just don't forget to grease/Pam the pan!

Brownie Recipe #2
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9 inch baking pan.
2. Mix together the butter, sugars, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs. Combine the dry ingredients, gradually stir into the wet mixture until well blended. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes

And then, just because it's totally brilliant--Rose's Christmas present to me! It has the in/appropriate name of a "Screwnicorn" because it's a corkscrew in the shape of a unicorn (I collect unicorns!):

Happy Eating!

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