Explosions in the Kitchen and the Explosive Green NoodleI am so glad I started this blog. It was a spur-of-the-moment, whimsical idea that occurred one morning as Cesar (it was nighttime for him) and I were having our umpteenth chat on food. The idea was just to keep a record of the food-talk we shared; hence, the blog.
Little did I know that within six months of its creation, I would take a 180 degree turn from being kitchen shy to being obsessed about cooking and discovering hidden joys in it. For this, I must thank the vast community of food bloggers from across the globe who, with their words, images, and passion, have introduced me to the euphoria and epiphanies of culinary adventures.
So I saw it as a sweet coincidence that soon after I started frequenting the kitchen to cook up the new recipes I learned from the various wonderful blogs I read everyday, a new toy entered our kitchen premises.
A simple mixer-grinder; no big deal. But I was thrilled to the bits nevertheless. This is the first time this immensely talented gadget has entered our house, since all these years, my mother staunchly opposed buying it, vouching for her time-tested grinding stone. My mother has an exceptional ability to prevent her life from getting easier, or she is phobic to gadgets—either way, for years, my and my brother’s requests to let us buy a mixer-grinder were vetoed. And we meekly obeyed…Until this November, when my brother decided to defy Ma’s marching orders anyway and came home with this brand new toy for me.
I had been looking to put the machine to good use, and along came a recipe that asked me to do exactly that! Cesar’s (find adjective/s later) Pesto Pasta recipe! I like spinach a lot, so I could sense I was going to like the dish. Cooking spaghetti was completely new to me though, and I did take step-by-step instructions from my patient Peruvian friend for the same.
Okay, so for my Pesto, I changed a few things. First, instead of pecans, which I didn’t have, I used cashew nuts. Second, I went a little easy (only a little) on the cheese, and finally, I used ordinary (liquid) milk instead of evaporated milk. As I put the milk and nuts into the blender and turned on the switch, I was aghast. The thundering uproar created by the machine was no less than explosions in my kitchen. A novice who was using this gadget for the first time, the booming sound made me wonder if the lid wouldn’t actually pop off the blender and fly across like a disc…My imagination was stopped in the tracks for good when I turned it off to look for the result. Wow. A thick green, fresh sauce with a warm, cheese smell. Next, I cooked the spaghetti to perfection (must be sheer chance).
As I grabbed my plate of pesto spaghetti (named “Green Noodle” by the 10-year old nephew of my friend who, too made it a few days after me) and tasted the first forkful, I was delighted. It was a wonderful salty, cheese-ey, spinach taste that gave a whole new dimension to the pasta. My friend found it delicious too.
Not only that, I went on to make a salad using the sauce as a dressing. For this, I just stir fried some carrots, cauliflower, spring onions and garlic with a little salt and pepper and poured the green sauce over it. Tasted great (never mind the fuzzy picture).
I had a great time with Pesto and I definitely recommend it to all pasta lovers. To Cesar, I have just one question: Isn’t my green greener than yours? :P