Faux Pasta: A Sister Cooking Blog

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Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar, peas, tuna, & za’atar. Full disclaimer, I have unlimited access to the mac since I work there. Easy Sunday lunch before the holidays. For Christmas we are doing a fish and carnitas taco bar! I’ll be pickling radishes, carrots, and onions today.

♫ Shanghai noodles, I love you oodles ♫
♫ Pork buns, you’re so much fun ♫
♫ Lychee martini, goodbye bikini ♫
♫ Tuesday night happy hour won’t make you dour ♫
- Nellie

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m taking shortcuts in the kitchen recently because I’ve had a lot going on. I’m basically halfway to Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, which means I’m at a 75% cooking level, for those of you doing the math. Example: this is refrigerated Pillsbury dough and Muir Glen pizza sauce from a can and shredded cheese that has a light touch of cream cheese (what-what, creamy equity) from a company that starts with K, because Safeway doesn’t have shredded organic cheese and I was already kind of giving up, you know? I loaded it up with Applegate bacon (delicious), canned pineapple, and raw jalapeños. It was like the worst pizza I’ve ever made. Even the pizza stone couldn’t help. So… lesson learned, I’ll get pizza delivered if I’m in a bind.
- Nellie

Made a curried chicken salad for my plane lunch today. Keep trying to waft the curry smell away from passengers, but no such luck. Sorry, guys.

Nellie

Homemade tikka masala last night was really great. It was supposed to be chicken rogan josh (or josh rogan, the Mogul great great great grandfather of Seth Rogen?). I changed my mind midstream because I have no concept of the rules with either Indian, Korean, or Thai home cooking (unlike Japanese, where I feel like I have a decent grasp on flavor profiles).

By the way, do you know you’re not supposed to toast preground spices? It makes them lose their flavor. My recipe was totally roundabout but I’ll share it soon. Kind of want to optimize it first. Naan was a huge hit and now I have enough to make breakfast pizzas! Wonderful.
- Nellie

Confirmed: Smitten Kitchen’s Mini Meatloaves with Tomato Glaze and Trader Joe’s Green Bean Shiitake Casserole are delicious together.
- Nellie

This is a direct copy and paste from Serious Eats, because they are 100% correct about this fried chicken:

Chicken with Explosive Chili Pepper at Z&Y Restaurant, $10.95
The chicken at Z&Y isn’t all about the presentation, but it certainly makes for an impressive platter. A massive pile of fiery red dried chilies is placed on your table, with chunks of golden-fried chicken peering out. It’s up to you to dig, removing the juicy, thin-crusted pieces of dark meat with your chopsticks.

This would be fun with any kind of fried bird, but Z&Y’s chicken is standout. The meat itself is salty, juicy, and flavorful; the crust (made of cornstarch) is thin, crisp, and delicate. And then there’s that rich, spice-laced flavor, the slow-building heat. There’s an intense dose of tangy vinegar, ginger, and Szechuan peppercorns, and, of course, the tingly numbing sensation that goes with them. You’ll find that the heat doesn’t stop you, though—this is chicken that’s too good to leave unfinished.

Z&Y Restaurant: 655 Jackson Street, San Francisco CA 94133 (map) 415-981-8988; zandyrestaurant.com

- Nellie

Breakfast burrito rice bowl. Do it. Do it now. Yes, I know it’s 8:45 PM.
- Nellie

It’s been a crazy few weeks. No time for blogging :(. Here’s some sweet potato gnocchi in the meantime!
- Nellie

Guys. I made the best impulse purchases of my life from the King Arthur Flour website and now I am cranking out fresh pasta like it’s my job. This batch was even better than my first because I used type 00 Italian flour (you can get it on Amazon or on the KAF website) and measured the ingredients with my scale, and also omitted the salt in the dough, salting the water instead. 150g of eggs (still about 3 large) and 250g of flour (about two cups), and the dough was soooo easy to work with in a heavy glass bowl. Loving it! Pasta every night!
- Nellie