Sometimes You Just Have To Throw Shit in a Pot

This is a multi-part recipe. As in, you will be doing one thing while another thing is cooking. PLEASE READ THIS POST ALL OF THE WAY THROUGH. Unless you know, you want to meet your peril.

This is one of those recipes that can be filed under “original”, to a certain extent. To be perfectly blunt, I don’t remember if I came up with this assembly of food on my own, or if it was one of those polite suggestions my wife had. Regardless, it is super simple to make and there’s plenty of wiggle room to make it your own.

What You Need: 

  • Pasta (Try and get the kind that says they’re made out of vegetables. Yeah, it’s not much more than a gimmick but you’re significant other will recognize the extra effort you’re trying to put in towards their overall health. Every little bit helps, yo).
  • Sauce (Whatever you got a taste for).
  • Vegetables (I try to stick with some combination of eggplant, mushroom, onion, squash, or zucchini. These roast up the best).
  • Anything else you think you need to add in order to really make this dish (like meat)

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STEP ONE: Begin the vegetables.

Preheat the oven to 35o. You’re going to slow roast these bitches. That is to say, you’ll be cooking them over the course of a couple of hours. (If you’re running short on time, you could turn up the temperature. Just be sure to keep an eye on them).

Cut ’em up however you like, just make sure you got enough of the fuckers. Personally, I like to quarter them: so’s I can say I HAVE DRAWN AND QUARTERED THE VEGETABLES.

IF YOU ARE USING MEAT, go ahead and skip down to STEP TWO-A. Just be sure to start that shit before you get up on the vegetables. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy: ground meat will do. Just do yourself a favor and make sure you defrosted it before you throw it in your pan.

By now, if you’re new to cooking, you may be pooping your pantaloons at the fact that you have a ton of veg in a baking tray and you have no idea how you’re going to turn the veg.

FEAR NOT, FRESHMAN! Veggies (much like your willy when your significant other is on the warpath) shrink when you cook them. Remember: they’re being slow roasted. Eventually, they’ll all cook down and you’ll be left with some deliciousness and a good smelling house.

STEP TWO: BEFORE YOU PUT THE VEG IN THE OVEN, make sure you grease those little piggies up with the cooking oil of your choosing and season them. Veggies are fine when they’re cooked on their own, but with the right seasoning they’re really FINE.

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Try and make yours, look something like the pic above.

As the veg cooks down, they’ll eventually look like the pic on the right side here. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THEM. They don’t need to be turned every five minutes. Just get in there with a big ass spoon and stir that shit up to ensure maximum flavor.

The veg will be done when it looks something like the sideways-ass pic on the right. Generally look for carmelization and good-smelling-ness.

STEP TWO-A: Meet your Meat

THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL. You don’t need to throw meat up in this recipe if you don’t want to. I do it because I am a fan of left overs and when you rely on leftovers to fill in any gaps in the menu, every little bit helps when you’re trying to stretch things out.

There’s really nothing to cooking ground beef. If it’s frozen, defrost it. If it’s not frozen, throw the fucker in a pre-heated pan and start breaking it down with the wooden implement of your choosing.

Once everything starts sizzling, get in there and stir things up. After the first stir, go ahead and season your beefiness with whatever you want. Since this is a pasta dish, I went for the Italian seasoning. You can do whatever the hell you want, though.

STEP THREE: OODLES OF NOODLES B’IATCH

By now, you ought to have the vegetables roasting (DID YOU REMEMBER TO STIR THAT SHIT UP?)and the meat sizzling away in the pan. Time for the noodles!

Towards the end of the meat actually turning into its act form of meat (instead of, you know, ‘dead cow’), get the biggest pot you have and fill it up with hot water.

  • How much hot water? That usually depends on how much noodles you’re making. When I make this, I aim for two boxes because leftovers are our friend. If you’re making one box, fill your big ass pot 1/4 full of hot water. If you’re nutting up and using two boxes, fill it up halfway from the bottom of the pot and the rivets of the handles. Keep in mind, you want enough water to cover whatever amount of noodles you are using.
  • Why hot water? Because it boils faster. Dumbass.

After you get the hot water in the pot, and the pot on the burner, grab the corresponding lid and put it on the pot, just not all the way on. You want to leave a sliver of space between the lid and a full seal with the pot so the water turns to a boil faster. Think: Jaunty beret

Once you do that, get the strainer out so you can de-water the noodles and put them back into the pot without burning yourself.

Now, take a deep breath and enjoy feeling like an accomplished adult. DID YOU FORGET ABOUT YOUR VEG??

As soon as the water is boiling, throw the noodles in and give them a bit of a stir. The noodles will be done once you see a visual change in them (depending on what type of noodle you’re using, they’ll plump up because they’re sucking up water) and you’ll be able to eviscerate one of said noodles easily with your veg-stirring spoon.

When the noodles are done, and de-watered they’ll look something like the picture above. 

Congratulations: you multi-tasked a meal. NOW PUT ALL OF THAT SHIT TOGETHER. 

STEP FOUR: Throwing all of that shit in the pot.

That’s it: Throw it all together. It doesn’t really matter what order you do it in. Just be sure to stir it all up really good so that the pictures below…

 

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…look like the picture above. 

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Behold! The Sandwich!!

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Hat tip to Jug O’Wine for the photo bomb.

As the man of the house, and as the person in charge of what goes on in the house, including what the meals are composed of, it’s perfectly ok to make sandwiches for dinner. As long as they are totally kick ass sandwiches. Take a look at the picture above. I pulled all of that shit out of my food stores on a whim (because I didn’t have a dinner plan) and I turned that into dinner. 

Why?

BECAUSE. That’s why.

What you make your sandwich out of is up to you. The only real requirement is that there is some tasty shit in between the two slices of bread that make the sandwich, a sandwich.

Follow me as I walk you through how I turned all of that goodness above, into a tasty dish.

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  1. Get a pan. Put the pan over the source of flame that you normally use. Since we have a lot of stuff that is going into the pan, a bic lighter WILL NOT DO. Give the pan a minute to get warm. (TRADE SECRET: I have found that touching the inside of the pan while it is ‘warming up’ is a bad idea. Touch the handle instead. If the handle is warm, you are good to go.
  2. When the pan is warm enough throw in your food lubricant of choice. For the sandwiches I made, I used butter. Yes,  butter. This isn’t a “health food” blog, you stupid freshman.
  3. As the butter melts, start chopping up the veg, if you have any. I should hope you have some. If you’re my age, and you aren’t eating your vegetables, your colon will fill up with rubble and cobwebs.
  4. When the butter, is fully melted, move on to the next step. (TRADE SECRET: if you are using cooking oil, the cooking oil is ready to receive whatever it is that you are going to sautee when is looks super shiny and shimmer-y. For reals).
  5. Throw shit in the pan. If you are making anything with onions, make sure that you coat them in the food lubricant of choice.

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The trick with sautéing onions is to find the sweet spot. You don’t want to leave them in the pan and forget about them (because you’ll burn the shit out of them) and you don’t want to be premature. Generally, the onion’s onion-y goodness is at it’s maximum when they’re wiggly and kind of transparent.

  1. While you’re waiting for the sweet spot of the onions to ‘come to dinner’, work on the other veg you want to sauté. In this case I used sun dried tomatoes because my wife loves that shit. For real: I think she loves sun dried tomatoes more than she loves her own family.
  2. At any rate, if you use said tomatoes, you need to cut that shit up as fine as you can get it: they’re chewy as fuck. Because, you know, fuck is pretty chewy. 
  3. After you get the other veg ready, it’s time to move on to seasoning. Why seasoning? Because you have a cabinet full of spices and seasonings. LET IT RIP SON (OR DAUGHTER)!
  1. IMG_3199I generally like to start with any dry ingredients first. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, that’s just how I roll. If you’re pussyfooting about spice combos or using too much of anything, McCormick has come out with their “perfect pinch” spice series. Pick some of that shit up if you aren’t feeling creative.
  2. Toss your dry stuff in there. No, No I don’t “measure”. Know why? Because I got cooking chops like you got worry.

I have generally found that when adding spice to anything, if you lightly cover the thing that you are adding spice to, mix it up, and then taste, you’re golden because only you know what you like to taste.

VINEGAR = TANG

VINEGAR = TANG

  1. When you add your dry awesomeness, give it a minute to work it’s magic on whatever it is that you have got going on in the pan. There’s no real time limit, just do something else and then come back to it.
  2. For this recipe, I broke out the Balsamic Vinegar. Why? Why the hell not! That’s why. With this shit, you have to be careful: less is definitely more. Just a splash or two and then move on.
  3. Get everything all mixed up and cooking. You’re kitchen should be smelling pretty tits by now.
  4. Go get the other veg and throw that shit in there. Stir it up real good and then move on to the next part: SANDWICH ASSEMBLY.
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This is what everything looks like all mixed up.

A quick word about sun dried tomatoes: if you don’t like the chewiness, give ’em a little soak to soften them up. In this case, I wanted to extra wetness of the butter and vinegar to do just that. Never eat a chewy sandwich.

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  1. Generally speaking, the assembly of the sandwich components is what makes the sandwich. For the sake of this “recipe” I wanted a good base to put the pan ingredients on. So: bread, cheese meat.

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Now, the pan goods. TASTINESS ABOUNDS!

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  1. Put on another slice of cheese for consistency and then the other slice of bread. You are not done yet. 
  2. When you are making a tasty fucking sandwich, the bread needs to be toasted. Doubly so, if you have goodies in the middle. If you don’t toast the bread, your shit is going to end up in your lap instead of your face-hole. 

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  1. Depending on what you have at your disposal, your bread is going to need some food lubricant of some sort. You could move forward without it, but your bread is gonna be really fucking dry.
  2. For the sake of this post I broke out the $20 panini my mother-in-law got us a billion years ago, because toast lines on a sandwich is like a delicious fucking bread tattoo. 
  3. That thing in my hand that I am using to coat the bread with food lubricant was a Target purchase if I am not mistaken. Get one for your household. Hell of a lot cheaper than buying food spray.

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  1. After the bread is good and coated cook that shit. If you’re using a panini, the sandwich is done when the cheese is gooey. 

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BAM! Dinner is served. Pickles are mandatory. If there ain’t any pickles, it’s not a fucking sandwich. 

Got a sandwich story you want to share? How ’bout some suggestions? Let’s hear it in the comments at the top of this post!