Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kitchen Renos Take Over

As I packed up tools and ingredients for storage to prepare for the beginning of our kitchen renovation, I made a list of all the things I won't be doing in my kitchen until it is finished:
• ricing potatoes
• rolling pastry
• making an Oreo cookiecrumb crust
• making green tea ice cream
...among other things. Not that I was really doing much of that prior to this renovation either, but now those special tools are even less handy than they were before. The good news is that the finished kitchen, with our old cabinets moved into the basement for added storage, will have tons of room for all my goodies. My cookbooks are all currently living in the basement as well, which turned out to be not as upsetting as I thought it might. They're all visible on a bookshelf, so I can still sort through them easily.

Having my kitchen under construction wreaks havoc on cooking opportunities. We've had takeout (pizza, then Thai food, then (embarrassingly) KFC) for three out of the last four meals here. Tonight I have pledged to cook (and I did make a hot breakfast this morning, including a hash of leftover root vegetable and wild rice pilaf mixed with moose sausage from Friday night's dinner, which was delicious), although all I'm going to make is spinach salad and:

Pasta with Asparagus and Toasted Garlic

1 bunch of asparagus
3/4 lb. spaghetti or other long pasta
2 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/4 t. red chili flakes (I'll likely add these later, for the sake of kids' palates, although I love them cooked right into the sauce)
1 2/3 T. anchovy paste (I will use a whole salt-packed anchovy fillet from Italian Star Deli)
1 T. basil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Quarter asparagus lengthwise. Heat olive oil. Tilt pan to create a pool of oil. Add garlic and chili flakes, if using. Stir 4-5 minutes, keeping garlic submerged in oil until it's golden brown. Remove from heat, stir one minute to cool. Add anchovies and asparagus. Return to heat, add water, cover and steam until asparagus is tender. Combine pasta, asparagus, basil and lemon juice. Top with cheese.

Photos on renovation to come. So far, so good. The removal of a wall has made a world of difference to the quality of light in here!

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