Monday, February 15, 2016

When it's too cold to go out: Stay in, cook comforting food, eat, drink

EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK: A Middle Eastern spice, Mexican-style salsas, reduced-fat Swiss cheese and smoked wild Alaskan salmon are among the ingredients in this 10-inch frittata, which warmed me on a zero-degree day.


We ran around on Saturday in the bitter cold, and when we drove home from a concert around 10 p.m., the temperature readout on my car's dashboard was 4 degrees.

Sunday morning was even colder -- zero degrees -- so we stayed in, cooked comforting food and drank a couple of glasses of red wine with our evening meal.

I've heard Italians don't use grated cheese on pasta dishes with seafood -- preferring bread crumbs instead -- but I've never understood why.

For dinner, I prepared a seafood pasta in a sauce made with Parmesan and Romano cheeses, and used grated cheese as an accent. 


And we had plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week, if we want to put a meal and a salad on the table in just a few minutes.

For the frittata, I used 3 cups of egg mixture -- liquid whites, whole organic eggs, grated cheese, 1% milk, chopped garlic, red-pepper flakes and other seasonings -- that I poured into a preheated 10-inch pan with olive oil. Once the bottom was set, I moved the frittata into the oven and finished it under a low broiler setting.

For dinner, I prepared Organic Whole Wheat Shells from Whole Foods Market with anchovies and sardines in Victoria-brand Vodka Sauce, which is made without heavy cream. I used 1 pound of pasta, about 35 ounces of sauce, three cans of skinless-and-boneless sardines, and one can of drained and rinsed anchovies. Optional is adding red wine, olive oil, black pepper and other seasonings to the sauce. For al dente pasta, boil for 9 minutes, not the 14-15 minutes listed on the box.

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