Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just Close Your Eyes And Eat

There are days when my concoctions don't quite work out. Despite fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients, the resulting dinner just looks like something that Cora threw up. This dinner was like that, a total mess.

I was doing fine as I chunked my crimini mushrooms, cut up my broccoli florets, sautéed my spicy Italian sausage for tiny meatballs, and sliced my garlic. The water was madly boiling when I added my pappardelle to it and I was sailing along.

When the pappardelle was almost ready, I removed the sausage bits and sautéed the mushrooms and then the broccoli in the same pan with a driz of extra olive oil as the sausage had been lean. I added about half a cup of half-and-half to the pan with the four cloves of sliced garlic, thinking to make a really garlicky sauce for the pasta. I found an interesting bottle of herbs, too, called "Pasta Sprinkles," no doubt a hostess gift from a friend, so I added a shaking of that and some smoked paprika to the mix. Returned the sausage to the pan and then I had the bright idea to add some plain yogurt to the boiling sauce, to give it a little kick of sour flavor.

Not a good idea. The yogurt separated instantly into curds and whey, breaking the sauce and turning it a sullen shade of tan with islands of cream-colored curd. I'm not sure what I did wrong - maybe should have added the yogurt at the last minute off the heat? - but it looked disastrous.

Still, I reasoned that everything in that pan was good and tasty - it might not look like it was, but it simply must be! So, I cooked it down a bit more, added fresh black pepper and a sprinkling of salt, and slapped it onto plates. What the hell!

I instructed My Beloved to close his eyes and take a bite - and it worked! The sauce was really quite good. The yogurt did just what I hoped it would, giving a little tang of sour to the otherwise bland sauce and pointing up the other flavors. The garlic was present and accounted for but gentled by the cream, and the mushrooms added their funk to the slightly salty sausage. All in all, it was as good a meal as I have made in a month, even if it did look like road kill.

Just close your eyes and eat!


Anonymous jann said...

Sometimes it really is all about flavor, not presentation. Sure it was delicious.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012  
Blogger Toons said...

Just the other night I made a meal where the only thing that came out right was the wine!I don't mine closing my eyes at all when I eat, it's holding my nose that bothers me. He he he. I'll bet it was wonderful, cheers!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Yeah, yogurt will break in heat. Instead of adding it at the end, try subbing creme fraiche. Or forget the added dairy and goose it with more lemon; that's what you were going after.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Jann, yes, but I do like a pretty plate, too. I just have to pay more attention when I'm cooking.

Toons, welcome! And thanks!

Cookiecrumb, good idea to use more lemon - I will remember that. I even _had_ a lemon in the house, but didn't think of it. Sheesh.

Thursday, March 29, 2012  
Anonymous Katie said...

Greek yogurt is more stable. I've never had that break.... but the regular will if heated. Greek is also better with tomato sauces. Like you, I just pretend it's pretty and eat it any way. I've had my share of 'dog dinners'

Thursday, March 29, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Katie, thanks for the reassurance. I usually have Greek yogurt on hand but this time just had regular. I'll remember your tip.

Thursday, March 29, 2012  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Let me second Katie's suggestion about Greek yogurt. I always keep a few containers in the fridge because that's just about the only kind I eat these days. Your dinner sounds delicious so obviously beauty was NOT in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, March 29, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, another vote for Greek yogurt! Must get some and keep it on hand. I do love that creamy taste.

Thursday, March 29, 2012  

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