Monday, March 23, 2009

Girls and Boys

Dear H. knows how to do things extremely well.  So when this weekend was deemed girl's night for me - so naturally, H. had a boys night with some friends and he would make it spectacular. He is usually the cook - and I dabble in baking, so this was also a weekend of role reversals.  

Boys' Menu: Hand-ground chuck hamburgers, homemade white bread buns and homemade brioch buns (needed to compare) brought to a friend's hou
se for other sides and plenty of drinks i'm sure.

For the bread: H. wanted to see the difference between a hamburger bun made with white bread and brioch bread. The brioch was made with 88% butter - meaning it had a ratio of butter to flour of .88/1. The disc of
 dough spent some time in the fridge and
 became hard like a pie
 dough. He rolled it into
 perfect little baseball sized buns and let them sit before baking. Both doughs were used to make 6 buns and 1 loaf. The leftover brioch loaf was used on Sunday to make the best french toast i have ever tasted.

Girls' Menu: Bucatini All'Amartrice, mixed green salad, muscato d'asti - before going to a movie (Slumdog Millionair) 

When bringing my visiting mother to a favorite italian spot -Al Vento - she ordered a bucatini dish. 
This "hollow" speghetti will make any carb-lover dance with joy. It's tasty and thick. I wanted to make an authentic dish that would help myself and girlfriends forget that we ever thought carbs were bad. So - I did some internet searching only to find a tip: "use the Silver Spoon recipe - it's the most authentic." Funny to be led back to one of my many cookbooks - and a most simple recipe. 

I hate to admit that my share of the wine made me forget about taking a photo of the final product. However - this sauce was tasty with the pork fat. The leftovers have grown in spice as the pepper releases more heat. It's the best carb-loading dinner I've had in awhile.

I found dried bucatini at a local italian market for $8-$10/package and at Trader Joe's for 99cents... you take your pick.

Bucatini All'Amartrice adapted from the Silver Spoon
1 pkg bucatini (or speghetti)
olive oil for brushing
generous 1/2 cup pancetta
1 onion diced
28 oz whole peeled tomatoes (coarsely chopped in can)
1 chile seeded and diced
alt and pepper

Brush a flameproof caserole with olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over low heat until the fat runs (took me about 12 minutes). Add the onion and cook (stirring occasionally) for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes (with juice) and chile - season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes, adding a little warm water if neccessary. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Boil until al dente, drain and toss with sauce.

Sunday Morning: Brunch with H's parents. Turned the brioch into french toast!


matzoball said...

wow! those buns look awesome!

Culinary Wannabe said...

I bet the bucatini was awesome! So nice of you to cook for your friends. After looking through your site, I think we probably have a lot in common. I'm a runner too and am doing a 1/2 this summer and also just got my bid to the NYC marathon this fall. Cooking lots of pasta is on my agenda! Although the last time I marathon trained I ended up gaining weight because I was always hungry! Good luck with your training!

Tangled Noodle said...

Brioche buns and bucatini - can I come over?