Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mish Mash My Spaghetti Made a Splash!

Long about a Saturday Night…a couple of glub, glubs relaxin’ drinking some beer, thinkin’ ‘bout food. Well I looked in my cupboard and put my face in the fridge, I scratched my head and I grabbed all the leftover stuff and then I made a Mish Mash of my Spaghetti splash and well, I had a blast!
Ok, that opening statement is probably lame and geeky, but it’s been in my head for about a few weeks now and just had to start this post with it. It actually explains why I seem so giddy right now. Not only do I have a mash of a recipe for you, but I am also informing those who actually do follow me, that I finally, after 2 years ( I won’t say long, as time has gone by very quickly for me, even if I wasn’t productive) have a JOB! Yes, I finally have a job with a very prominent organization.
I don’t know if I can legally state the company name, but what I can tell you is that they are a Fortune 500 Company, they are currently listed as one of the best companies to work for in 2010, they are also listed as one of the best companies to start a career in (this is especially noted for those upcoming youngungs).
The company I am working for is one of the most respected tax & accounting firms out there. The fact that I can now put their name on my resume will open tons of doors. No matter, because the division/folks I work with after just a week, are most incredible and I am truly excited to learn more from them.
Back to the Mash…I started this blog to keep me busy while I was out of work. However I found that I truly enjoy posting my cooking/baking efforts for all those who are interested in these antics of mine. So, I do promise that I will continue to update this blog with every effort. Though the postings may not be as consistent as they have been; so, for those who do follow, please keep checking in. I really do appreciate your loyalty.
Today is a new day, as I am officially going to coin the phrase “Mish Mash Eats” AKA “MME” or the Eats can be substituted for Pasta which would be “MMP”. So unlike “EVOO” or other crazy culinary coined phrases, from some well know celebrity chefs/cooks, are in some ways just bogus to us regular folk who are just trying to make a meal out of nothing. MME, MMP or MM(any other major addition),is much easier because the acronym includes anything and everything you might have in your kitchen that is edible.
MME is just that, a Mish Mash of Eats left over in your pantry, fridge or freezer to create a satisfactory meal concoction. You just have to be open on how you utilize the ingredients. MME does not mean throw all that you have in a pot and hope it will be tasty or even edible. MME does have to have some compromise to the taste buds and work well with the all the other ingredients.
Now the MME I have for you is of singular left over stuff and not “leftovers” from a previously prepared meal. My leftovers in this instance are the bottom of the jar kind, with a half a box of Pasta, which would now make this meal an MMP.
I occasionally come up with odd MME’s that eventually are really tasty, but I will admit that all my MME’s are very fattening and without frying, probably have the same fat and calories as if you ate a burger with cheese. But in my case, I only have enough for one serving anyway and no leftovers to temp me even more. So those watching the waistline, should not be offended or disgusted, but rather take the “technique/method/idea” and make a healthier MME (or MMS –Mish Mash Salad) to make you feel better.

So here are my ingredients for my MME/MMP – these are all approximate measurements…use your eye on what you have left. If you have less of what is listed, use it anyway. This is all about using the bottom of the jar, not about exact measurements.
Mish Mash Pasta 
  • Any Pasta – About 1-2 servings Left in the box
  • Ricotta – about 1/8th Cup
  • Capers – about 1 tbls
  • Sour cream – about 2-3 tbls
  • Salsa – about ½ jar
  • Basil – about 4-5 Leaves-Chopped
  • Parm Cheese – I always purchase whole Parm Cheese to grate on Demand…If you buy the “jar” or pre-grated crap, use the little you have left.
  • Gorganzola – I had this on hand from another recipe…I used only a portion of what I had, as it is a strong cheese, but what it does if used properly with an MME gives a bit more flavor, like adding S&P to taste. When mixed with other milder cheeses, it will enhance those flavors.
  • Half and Half – about 1-2 tbls.
  • Garlic – I always have this on hand and never try to run out…so for me, 5-6 large cloves minced work. Eyeball it depending on how much pasta you are actually cooking. 5-6 cloves of Garlic for ½ lb of pasta is good for me!
  • Oil…I Only use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for 99% of my cooking. But if you only have corn/canola or other oil, that will still work. Just keep in mind that some oils are stronger than others. A sesame or flavored Oil may be too much, but what would I know…it’s your taste buds. 
So now to prepare this MME: This time I am going rogue on my previous instruction template and explain more about the method/technique. Look, in some ways there is no right or wrong way to put an MME together. But there are times where you still have to be somewhat methodical about it.
In this MME/MMP case, it’s really about how the above ingredients fit into what you eventually want, which ultimately becomes and “Alfredo” or “White Sauce”. There lies the actual technique. If you know how to make a “white sauce”, then you can figure out how to incorporate all of the ingredients above. If you don’t know how to make a “white sauce”, it’s pretty easy.
Many of those who think they can’t cook or even are afraid, already have applied master cooking techniques without even realizing it. For instance, has anyone ever made homemade Mac & Cheese? The base of the Cheese mixture is what is called a “white sauce”. The real “white sauce” is essentially and even mixture of Butter (maybe even oil), Flour and milk. Butter, Flour and Milk can be substituted for any other “like” ingredient.
So, how do you make a “white sauce” (which is an actual culinary requirement) and then make it your own variation with all the bottom of the jar ingredients or even follow a proper “white sauce” recipe?
Here’s my hacked method for quick and easy white sauce:
  1. Take a sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Add butter and/or Oil until melted/hot.
  3. Add Garlic (in this recipe) and sautee for just a few moments. You don’t want the garlic to burn.
  4. Add Flour and whisk immediately
  5. Add Dairy: Half and Half & Sour Cream – Heat until sauce thickens. (note: this may thicken quickly if it’s a small serving)
  6. Add Cheese to melt
--The above is your Quick and Easy White/Cheese Sauce--
  1. Add Salsa or Tomato Sauce
  2. Heat until slightly thickened again. It won’t get as thick as earlier.
  3. Transfer your cooked pasta to sauce pan and mix.
  4. Add Ricotta, Capers and Herbs to Pasta and mix again.
  5. Don’t forget to S&P to taste! 
There you have it…MMP-Mish Mash Pasta!

1 comment:

♥ Kathy said...

That looks incredible E! I am going to try it! Congrats on the job!! Woot Woot!! I am so happy for you!! Sorry to have been away for a bit...I've missed ya :)